Photo Credit: Courtesy P. Allen Smith – Garden Home Retreat
Use: Slate turkeys were originally selected for their coloration. They serve as a meat producing turkey due to their size, but many strains have been selected for exhibition qualities and their productive capabilities are not well documented at this time.
History: Contrary to popular lore, it is now believed that Slate turkeys are not a cross between Black and White varieties but a true genetic mutation of its own. This is a very old variety as Slate turkeys were admitted into the first American Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Conformation: As their name implies, Slate turkeys should have plumage that is slate-colored or ashy blue all over. Some small black dots are permitted on any part of the plumage. Standard weights are: Old Tom: 33 lbs., Young Tom: 23 lbs., Old Hen: 18 lbs., Young Hen: 14 lbs.
Special Considerations/Notes: Slate turkeys do not reproduce in uniform colors; offspring may be black or various shades of blue, slate or lavender.