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Large Whites

< 10
10 - 19
20 - 39
40 - 79
Large white

In the post WWII era the turkey market was dominated by the demand for ‘table birds’ - whole turkeys dressing under 22 lbs to be roasted for Thanksgiving and celebration dinners. The Beltsville Small White had replaced the giant Broad Breasted Bronze for commercial growers.  But demand was quite seasonal, leaving growers with empty turkey barns in the off season.  

Then in 1959 Californian George Nicholas introduced the Nicholas Large White, and that was a game changer.  The commercial growers had been limited to one crop a year, but now could sell 2 crops from each flock: the first being table size immature birds and the second being the large adults used for ‘industrial turkey’ -  ground turkey, turkey deli products, sausages, parted roasts, etc. And since the NLWs are adapted to indoor rearing, a grower could raise 3 flocks a year.  Improvements in processing, packaging and freezing turkeys enabled a grower to sell turkeys all year.  The Nicolas Large Whites are here to stay as the bird of choice for commercial growers.

Hendrix Genetics, always looking to genetically improve a good thing, has been working with the Large Whites for a number of years, addressing issues such as high early mortality, leg weakness, low fertility, etc.  The result of this work is a new breed, the Improved Large Whites.

Many of our customers who are growing ‘table birds’ for Thanksgiving and Christmas sales have a few orders for really big birds, and I am sure the Improved Large Whites would be a better choice than buying Nicholas Large Whites from Rochesters or Lilydale.  

You can add a few Improved Large Whites to your order of Minis and maybe some of the Blacks and Bronzes as well!


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