Slate Blue Turkeys

The Self-blue form is also known as Lavender

A Slate Blue turkey male

Following text with permission from
"Turkeys"
by Craig Russell
SPPA Bulletin, 1997, 2(4):5

The Slates, sometimes called Blues or Blue Slates, are related to the Blacks but they are less common and their actual development is more obscure. The color could have bee developed before European contact, in Europe, or in the U.S. The color is analogous to self blue or splash in chickens. It may have originally been produced by breeding blacks to whites or near white black sports. We have one variety with two genotypes. In fact, three, because when even-colored true blues (black X splash) are obtained, judges often favor them over splash, which is often marked with black, and self blue, which is generally very light despite the standard's preference for slatey or ashy birds.


Following text with permission from
"1998 SPPA Turkey Census Report"
by Paula Johnson

This variety is very interesting, and I will attempt to explain what can happen in breeding this color. First, I will try to define each color that occurs. A Slate is also called a Splash and is slate or ashy blue with specks of black scattered over the feathers. The Blue is more of a solid, dull, grayish-blue with the hens a lighter bluish gray. The Black is just that, black. When breeding Blue to Blue, the results are turkeys of three different colors: Slate, Blue, and Black. When breeding Slate to Slate, the results are just Slates and Slates will breed true. When breeding the Blue to Black, both Blues and Blacks result with no Slates. When breeding the Black to Black, just Blacks result, which breed true. This variety was not used on a large corporate basis, but was one ot the colors that was used by farmers to distinguish a flock of turkeys from a neighbor's flock and, thus, did have a market value when more turkeys were being raised on individual farms than on large corporate farms. The survey found 108 females and 35 toms, amongst twelve breeders, which is 5% of the Historical turkeys. More breeders are needed!


Slate Links:

Blue Slate at CBF Super Quail


A pair of Slate turkeys
Photo courtesy of Phil Sponenberg of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Another Slate tom
Photo courtesy of Phil Sponenberg of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

A Slate tom displaying
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall

A Slate hen
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall

Nice head shot of a Slate tom
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall

Slate toms displaying
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall

My Slate Blue tom, "Alex"
Color conversion in this image courtesy of Jeff Culbert

A Self-blue Slate and a Splash Blue Slate
Photos courtesy of Pam Marshall

A Splash Blue Slate tom from England
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

And here's a Self-blue hen
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall

Yet another Blue hen, this one from Denmark
Photo courtesy of Nikolai Ahlbrecht


A Slate Blue poult
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall


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