The Narragansett Turkeys is a very uncommon heritage breed. Like most heritage breeds, they were developed by crossing the Eastern Wild Turkey with domestic breeds. These domestic breeds were brought to America by colonists from England and other parts of Europe. Accepted into the APA in 1874, the Narragansett Turkey was particularly influential in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It was the foundation of the commercial turkey industry in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Narragansett Turkey is named for the Narragansett Bay of Rhode Island.
The popularity of the Narragansett Turkey dwindled with the rise of the Broad Breasted Commercial Breeds. That being said, a recent revival of sustainable agriculture and free range turkey production has helped the numbers of the Narragansett Turkey recover in the 21st century.
These are excellent turkeys to raise in free range or backyard environments. This is because of their excellent foraging abilities and resourcefulness of eating crickets, grasshoppers, and other insects has made it less costly for farmers wishing to spend less money on supplemental feed. The Narragansett Turkey is also enjoyed because of its calm disposition and excellent mothering capabilities. They mature more quickly than some other Heritage Turkey Breeds, but still moderately slow compared to the Broad Breasted Breeds. The good egg production and excellent meat qualities also make the Narragansett Turkey an excellent choice to raise in large or small quantities on a large or small family farm.