Slate Turkey: Origin, Characteristics, Uses & Pictures

Slate turkey is also known as a blue slate turkey. It is a domestic turkey breed that has a slate gray color plumage. The bird has another name that used to refer to it, such as lavender turkey.

The number of this turkey breed has been decreasing gradually for several years until the kind has been listed as endangered species in the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

History & Origin of Slate Turkey

The exact origin of blue slate turkeys is unknown, but research shows that these birds were developed. According to our experts, the breed originated as a result of crossbreeding between Black Norfolk and an Eastern Wild turkey.

However, there is a theory that shows that lavender turkey was developed as crossbreeding between a Black turkey and a White turkey though there is no genetic evidence to prove the theory.

The turkey breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association, but the heritage turkey breed is now becoming extinct.

Slate Turkey Characteristics

Size and Weight

These turkey’s sizes range from medium to large and they tend to be quite beautiful when compared to other breeds of turkeys.

The average weight of a mature slate turkey ranges between 6.3kg and 10.5 kg. The feature makes them ideal for meat production.

Behavior and Temperament

These turkey breeds are quite easy to tame, but you need to handle them with a lot of care. They tend to spend most of their foraging in the field in search of food. They are calm and docile in temperament.

Climate Tolerance

Slate turkeys are hardy and robust. They can withstand different weather climate with ease. They can be breed in tropical and semi-arid weather climate.

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Productivity Rate

The fowls can gain weight at a faster rate as compared to other heritage turkey breeds, making them suitable for starting commercial turkey meat production.

The hens generally lay spotted cream or brown colored eggs. However, they are not great egg producers hence not suitable for commercial turkey egg production.

Feather Coloration and Appearance

The turkey feather colors have some shade of black and white. The coloration is what brought about the slate name.

Female turkey feathers tend to be lighter than that of the male blue slate turkey. The wattles, head, and throat tend to be red. Their shanks and toes are generally of pink color.

The lifespan of Blue Slate Turkey

Proper care and management are quite vital in determining the lifespan of a bird. The provision of appropriate diet and grooming is likely to foster the bird to have a lifespan of about 6 to 9 years.

Turkey Breed Profile & Pictures

Use the picture below to get to know other hidden features of the breed and the table for a vivid slate turkey profile overview.

Breed NameScaled
Other NamesCottontop, Blue quail
Breed PurposePets, hobby
SpeciesNew World Quail
WeightBetween 177 and 191 grams
Climate ToleranceAlmost all climates
Egg ColorCreamy, speckled with light brown
Egg Size/Weight8 to 13 grams
Egg Productivity12-14 eggs clutch size
Body ColorPale gray with bushy white crest
Place of OriginUnited States

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