The Slate turkey is a breed of domestic turkey from United States. It is also known as Blue Slate and Lavender turkey and is known for the slate gray color of it’s plumage.
Exact origin place of this breed is unknown, and there are speculations on how it was developed. There are theories that it is a cross-breed between a Black Norfolk and an Eastern Wild turkey.
Another theory is that the breed was developed from a cross-breed of a Black turkey and a White turkey (though this is unproven with little genetic evidence).
The Slate turkey was recognized as a breed by the American Poultry Association in 1874.
Today it is listed as critically endangered by The Livestock Conservancy, and meet the definition of a heritage turkey breed. Read some more information about this turkey breed below.
Slate Turkey Characteristics
The Slate turkeys are medium to large sized birds with very beautiful appearance.
They may actually be any number of shades between pure black and white, but only ash-gray colored birds are eligible for showing under the directive of the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.
These birds are named mainly for their coloration. And in most cases their color is solid to ashly blue over the entire body, with or without a few black flecks.
The head, wattles and throat of the Slate turkey are red to bluish white in color. They have horn colored beak. Their eyes are brown, and the beard is black. Their shanks and toes are generally of pink color.
Average live body weight of the mature Slate turkey is between 6.3 and 10.5 kg. Photo and info from The Livestock Conservancy and Wikipedia.
The Slate turkey is a meat breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.
The Slate turkeys are hardy birds. They are mostly docile in terms of temperament, although some birds can become aggressive. They are highly dependent on selection by breeder.
They are raised mainly for meat production, and their meat flavor is excellent and produce a good sized carcass.
The hens generally lay spotted cream or brown colored eggs. However, review full breed profile of the Slate turkey in the following chart.
Slate Turkey | Breed Profile
|Other Names||Blue Slate, Lavender|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat|
|Special Notes||Very strong and hardy birds, docile temperament, but some birds can become aggressive, highly dependent on selection by breeder, today raised mainly for meat production, excellent meat flavor, produce good sized carcass, the hens lay spotted cream or brown colored eggs|
|Breed Size||Medium to large|
|Tom||Around 10.5 kg|
|Hen||Around 6.3 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Almost all climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||United States|