In 1996 a few tri-colored birds appeared out of a broad breasted bronze flock in Big Timber, MT, at Sweetgrass Farms. These birds had a heavily marked royal palm pattern with chestnut red. The name Sweetgrass was put on this strain of tri-colors.
The Sweetgrass genotype is (b'b' cgcg) Black winged bronze based with gray. They breed 100% true to their basic color/pattern with some tending to be a bit on the darker side.
I developed my strain from the Sweetgrass Farms' line in Big Timber, MT.
My new strain has a heritage turkey body style, they are not a broad breasted type like the ones developed at Sweetgrass Farms. As with all the broad breasted type birds you run into many other problems too like the need for artificial insemination and also health problems due to the massive body structure which leads to leg and heart problems .
I have selectively bred this line down to a much trimmer body type which can breed naturally and are also very hardy.
Old toms weigh around 33-36 pounds and hens around 18-20 lbs.
In Belgium, this color pattern has existed for hundreds of years and it is known as the Yellow-shouldered Ronquière. A clear example of one of these turkeys appears in this old painting, by the Flemish master Joachim Beuckelaars, from 1566!
Poults are a medium yellow downed color at hatch with a faint to heavy black strip extending down their backs, some tend to have a gold patch on their heads as well.