During the mating season, a male turkey has to change several female partners. Because of this, the birds have to be more attractive; females need to try harder to be chosen too, since they are usually more than the males. As an addition, many males battle with other individuals based on the colours of their necks and heads, the brighter and the more different – the better.
As this s both a way to attract and fend off predators, the exact functions of this transformation are rather unknown. We can be certain, though; that the more domesticated a turkey is, the less colourful it will be. The home-grown birds don’t need to fight for dominance, for safety or for females since everything is already there – presented to them on a silver plate.