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Australian Heritage Turkey Society Inc. (AHTSI)


Mission Statement:

The Australian Heritage Turkey Society Inc (AHTSI) has four main objectives:

1. to promote and preserve varieties of rare turkeys in Australia.

2. to establish a registration system to ensure the gene pool is identified and protected, thereby securing the survival of old established lines and newly developed colours.

3. to involve and educate the public about heritage turkeys.

4. to follow the protocol of the Australian Poultry Standards committee by documenting stages in the development of new varieties, to ultimately contribute to an inclusion in the Australian Poultry Standards.

What is a heritage turkey?

Unlike chickens, ducks and geese, which are made up of a number of different breeds, domestic turkeys comprise but one breed, with a number of varieties. The Australian Poultry Standards (2nd edition) recognises nine varieties. Check the Photo Gallery to identify standard and new/developmental varieties.

A heritage turkey is one which:

1. can mate naturally.

2. is adaptable to variations in its surroundings e.g. food, weather.

3. has a life-span of at least five years.

4. has played a role in the development of the Australian turkey industry.

​Turkey Breeding Hubs

​​In June 2020, AHTSI established breeding hubs for the 9 standard Australian turkeys plus 2 others of interest (Painted and Black-winged Bronze) as our response to most varieties being critically endangered. Successful applicants are breeding one variety of turkey and being mentored by an experienced turkey breeder in the processes of raising, selecting and breeding turkeys. Contact the Breeding Hubs Coordinator Roslyn McMillan if you're interested in finding out more about joining a breeding hub.

Become a member of AHTSI by downloading our membership form here.

If you need help with breeding or raising your turkeys, please send us a message through the Contact page or join the AHTSI Facebook group and ask your questions there.

Standard Australian Turkeys is a photographic introduction to the nine standard Australian turkey varieties. There are photos of day-old poults as well as mature males and females of each variety.


We'll publish a new edition once we've collected some new photos from members of the AHTSI Breeding Hubs.