Nero d’Italia

Geographic origin: Lombardy

Estimated total population size: 35 (Castillo et al., 2021)

Extinction risk status (FAO, 1998): Critical conserved

Historical origin of the breed

Even if the selection of the breed is recent, Nero d’Italia turkeys origin from a black turkey population spread throughout northern Italy before the introduction of American Bronze turkey. It is credible that Nero d’Italia breed could originate from the ancient French breed Noir de Solange, once very appreciated in crossbreedings to improve local populations.
In the past, Nero d’Italia females were used as brooding females, due to their very good brooding aptitude and to their light weight, which is not dangerous in case of stepping on the chicks.




Nero d’Italia – male (UniMI)


Nero d’Italia – female (UniMI)

Qualitative morphological traits

Plumage colours: Black

Colour features: Single colour

Colour pattern: Brilliant black throughout with black down both in the male and in the female. A slight bronze edging on back and tail feathers is admitted.

Head: Naked in the male, slightly feathered in the female on the central part of the skull

Neck: Medium-lengthed, arched

Caruncles: Well developed, on the head and the naked part of the neck, larger on the lower part; red, changing to blueish-white when excited. The fleshy protruberance above the beak elongates during excitement, more in the male than in the female.

Iris colour: Dark

Beak colour: Dark

Skin colour: White

Shank colour: Black in young birds, dark red to purple in the adult

Shank feathering: Free from feathers

Genetic traits

Characterisation of the breed with Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)

Characterisation of nucleus populations with microsatellites and mating plans

Reproductive and productive quantitative traits

Body weight and growth data

The presented data were registered in the nucleus population conserved at the University of Milan (UniMI).
Latest update: July 5th, 2024

Download the technical data sheet of the Nero d’Italia breed:

(The layout of the data sheet is ready for the booklet format. Print on both sides of paper, selecting “flip on short edge”.)

Germplasm collection

The breed has yet to be conserved in our Cryobank.

Nero d’Italia