Is Turkey a breed with a bad appearance? We bet you haven’t met a Blue Slate Turkey before.
Blue Slate Turkeys have existed for a long time. However, they belong to rare breeds that are classified as endangered species.
What is unique about this chicken so that people hunt it so much? Join us to find out the complete information about this rare turkey.
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Blue Slate Turkey origin
Strangely, the origin of Blue Slate Turkey remains unclear. The most commonly mentioned theory is that the breed crossed between a Norfolk Black and a white bird in the 1800s.
This turkey breed became extremely popular in the 1900s. However, they gradually became less and less popular in numbers and are now listed by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as a group in danger of disappearing.
What does a Blue Slate Turkey look like?
A Blue Slate Turkey usually comes in three characteristic colors: blue (accompanied by dark spots on the feathers), solid blue, or solid black. Their heads, necks, and tails are red to the blue-white color band. The beard of these slates are black, and their beaks are horns.
The Blue Slate Turkey size is quite mid-size, and a Blue Slate Turkey hen is usually lighter than a male.
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Types of Blue Slate Turkeys
Based on the color differences of Blue Slate Turkey characteristics, we usually differentiate this breed into three types.
- The first is the Slate. This is the most typical with slate, or ashy blue feathers ad scattered black specks.
- The second is the Blue type, with solid, grayish-blue males and bluish-gray females.
- The last is Black – solid black. They have pink feet and legs to distinguish them from other species easily.
What are Blue Slate Turkeys used for?
Because of the outstanding and beautiful color fur, blue slate turkeys are raised the most for pets. Their owners often take them to exhibitions, as well as poultry contests.
Besides, like any other turkey, they are also raised for meat.
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What do Blue Slate Turkeys eat?
There’s nothing as easy as feeding a Blue Slate Turkey. Poultry foods are good to feed your turkeys.
Besides, they can provide themselves in the natural environment with plants and insects. Be sure to feed them more fruits and vegetables and keep the eating area clean – your chickens will thrive.
Read more: What to feed a Turkey?
How big do Blue Slate Turkeys get?
Blue Slate Turkey’s weight is only 39 to 60 pounds (18 to 27 kg) per bird. Precisely, Blue Slate Turkey chicks typically weigh 23 pounds (10 kg). This figure for young hens is lower, only 14 pounds (6.3 kg) for a young hen.
Since this turkey is not raised for the primary purpose of meat, the individuals of the species are usually of medium size.
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How long do Blue Slate Turkeys live?
The Blue Slate Turkey lifespan lasts an average of 5 to 9 years. This is quite a long life expectancy compared to other conventional breeds, especially Toms.
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Can Blue Slate Turkeys breed naturally?
Yes, Blue Slate Turkeys can mate and generate offspring naturally.
Like all turkey species, Blue Slate Turkeys will look for partners to mate and eventually go broody to give birth. And this whole process can happen naturally.
The feather’s color is also a random genetic product from crossing two breeds with different genes. And when crossbred, depending on whether the gene is dominant or recessive, the color of the chicken feathers will differ. And now, Blue slate turkey is classified as “Heritage Turkey.”
Are Blue Slate Turkeys good layers?
The answer is not really.
Blue Slate Turkey egg production is just as normal as other chickens, with one egg per day on average. However, if you keep this breed to get eggs, I think it’s not very practical.
When do Blue Slate Turkeys lay eggs?
Typically, Blue Slate Turkeys lay eggs in the first half of the year, i.e., summer and spring.
However, this does not mean that the entire breed has such behavior. Some Slate turkeys may oddly lay in the fall or at other unexpected times. Therefore you should observe the signals from your bird to predict the most accurate time.
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What do Blue Slate Turkey eggs look like?
Blue Slate Turkey egg color is a lovely light brown or cream. There are also spots on the eggshell, but very small, even tiny, not as big as a quail egg.
You will easily recognize a Slate Turkey egg as it is quite unique compared to other bird eggs.
How much does a Blue Slate Turkeys cost?
Blue Slate Turkey’s price will be slightly different from other domesticated breeds. A Blue Slate Turkey poult usually costs between $15 and $20. It is because this breed is raised for non-commercial purposes.
Where to buy Blue Slate Turkeys?
A reputable buying source will assure the clear origin and the best health for your poultry from the very beginning moment of hatching eggs. So, keep in mind, always buy the bird from trustworthy sellers.
Other Facts about Blue Slate Turkey breed
1. Are Blue Slate Turkeys good to eat?
Don’t be surprised when we say: the Blue Slate Turkeys are delicious! Blue slate turkey meat is not flaky but firm, moist, and flavorful.
Those looking for a nutritious dish cannot ignore it because slate meat is darker, even the breast. Christmas and thanksgiving wouldn’t be perfect without turkey, right?
Read more: How to raise Baby Turkey correctly?
2. Are Blue Slate Turkeys friendly?
In general, Blue Slate Turkeys and other turkey varieties are pretty easy to tame and become friendly to humans.
However, you need to treat them with care, as sometimes the behavior of birds will surprise you, especially the males.
3. Are Blue Slate Turkeys easy to keep?
Taking care of a Blue Slate Turkey is easy if you buy it from a reputable source, to ensure that your chickens are free of pathogens. Just by providing them clean habitat and proper nutrition, this turkey breed will grow healthily.
Besides, since this breed is intentionally bred to create a good appearance, it is quite possible and even quite common to have problems such as poor eyesight or blindness.
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An information summary
Blue Slate Turkey may be a rare breed, but nurturing and caring for them will not be a problem if you have the most complete information about this beautiful bird.
Choose for yourself a reputable place to buy, with enough knowledge (especially on the care and nutrition of turkeys) and your chickens will be in excellent condition!