2021 55¢ Heritage Breeds – Narragansett Turkey
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 17, 2021
First Day City: Mount Vernon, VA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Flexographic
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 25,000,000
Many breeds of heritage animals are named after the areas they were traditionally raised in by our ancestors. For example, the Narragansett turkey is named after Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. It is known as the foundation breed of the turkey industry in New England.
The Narragansett turkey originated from wild and domestic turkeys brought to America by colonists in the 1600s. Experts agree one of their main predecessors was the Norfolk black turkey. After several hundred years of development, the American Poultry Association recognized the Narragansett turkey as its own breed in 1874. In those days, turkeys were not given much supplemental feed. Instead, they were allowed to roam freely and eat grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects.
Narragansett turkeys feature a feather pattern of black, gray, tan, and white. They have horn-colored beaks and red heads with bluish white patches. Male Narragansett turkeys usually weigh 22 to 28 pounds, while females are between 12 and 16 pounds. They are known for their calm temperaments, egg production, and high-quality meat.
Narragansett turkeys were eclipsed by the Standard Bronze in the early 1900s. However, today they are making a comeback thanks to devoted heritage breeders.