The Royal Palm Turkey is somewhat of a unique turkey. Not so much due to the way in which it looks. The look of the bird is fairly generic. It is more the fact that the bird isn’t really used for meat. It can be, but that was never really the intention of the development of the breed. Let’s take a little look, shall we?
Royal Palm Turkey Facts at a Glance
|Weight – Young||male: 16 lbs (7.5 kg)|
female: 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
|Weight – Old||male: 20 lbs (9 kg)|
female: 12 lbs (5.5 kg)
|Eggs||~ 100 eggs per year|
|Color||White and Black|
Where Do Royal Palm Turkey Come From?
Development of the Royal Palm Turkey took place in Florida in the early 1920s. However, this was very early development. It would still take a few decades before the Royal Palm Turkey would become an official breed in the eyes of breeding organizations.
We do not know for sure the exact breeds that went into the development of this bird. This is because it was developed by so many breeders. However, there are indications that the following breeds went into it:
- Turkeys that were native to Florida (the exact ones are unknown)
- Black Turkey
- Bronze Turkey
- Narragansett Turkey
Because this heritage turkey was deliberately bred to be small (more on this in a short while), it has never been a bird that has been used in the commercial meat industry.
As a result, it is likely that the Royal Palm Turkey will become extinct in the near future. In fact, it is pretty much on the cusp of extinction right now. Nobody knows exactly how many of this breed is left, but the number of breeding pairs is likely to be a few hundred, at the most.
The Look of the Turkey
As we said before; this is a very small breed of turkey. It will weigh somewhere between 12 lbs and 20 lbs, dependent on the sex of the turkey.
This is part of the reason as to why it was developed. People believed that they could create a small bird that would fill a gap in the turkey meat industry.
Of course, this didn’t happen. No commercial farming facility wanted small birds.
The feathers of the Royal Palm Turkey will be mostly white. However, there will be a small black outline around them. This will give them a distinctive look.
The back of the bird will be completely black, as will their beard. Honestly, this is an incredibly beautiful breed of turkey.
Is This Turkey Breed Used for Shows?
Once breeders worked out there that there was no real call for a smaller breed of bird, they decided to adapt the bird to become more of a show specimen.
As a result, it was no longer bred to be a muscular bird that boasted a lot of meat in a small package, it was bred as a bird that really focused on the coloring of the feathering.
While this breed is dying out and is likely to go extinct in the next few decades unless something is done about it, you can still find regular shows for the breed.
Sure, they are not as popular as they were a decade or so ago, but there are some stunning examples of the breed on show here. It is, however, sad that people new to breeding this turkey are unlikely to make any headway at these shows.
The only Royal Palm Turkeys you can buy as chicks will be ones that the breeder didn’t want as they do not live up to show standards.
That being said, this is a beautiful breed. You do not have to take it to shows. Most people are fine having a fantastic ornamental breed of turkey that is a bit smaller than the norm. It is great for placing in a small garden.
The Royal Palm Turkey For Breeding
Like most turkeys, the Royal Palm Turkey is not going to lay that many eggs. As a result, most people are not going to eat the turkey eggs and, instead, use them for breeding purposes.
Luckily, this is one of the easiest turkeys to breed. It has a decent fertility rate. These turkeys are very broody too, which means you shouldn’t have that much difficulty encouraging them to raise their young.
In fact, the Royal Palm Turkey is so broody that there is actually a strong chance that you can use it to raise the eggs of other turkeys. In fact, a lot of people do seem to be doing this.
If you do have the space to do so, then you are encouraged to breed the Royal Palm Turkey. As we said before; this is a breed that is pretty much on the verge of dying out. Every little helps when it comes to preserving the breed, right?
Royal Palm Turkey Meat
The Royal palm turkey weighs around 20 lbs. for males and 12 lbs. for females when fully grown. This means that it is not going to be providing the same amount of meat as the Broad Breasted bronze turkey for example.
However, the breast of the Royal Palm is fairly broad.
This means that it could be used as a meat bird. In fact, many people actually raise the Royal Palm Turkey as a meat turkey when they do not have a huge amount of space available to them.
You will actually find that this bird is pretty common with homesteaders.
Of course, you can also enjoy the fact that this turkey breed eats far less than the average turkey breed. This means that it is going to be a lot cheaper to raise. It does grow fairly slowly, though.
Royal Palm Turkey Eggs
The Royal Palm turkey can lay around 100 eggs per year, or two eggs per week. Even though some people has reported that their turkeys lay an egg per day. This will be rare, though.
The hens lay pale cream to medium brown with spotting eggs, that are pretty much large in size.
If you have not tried the Royal Palm turkey eggs then you are missing out, their eggs are delicious!
Raising Royal Palm Turkey
Raising the Royal Palm isn’t that difficult. In fact, they make a good pet. They do not really have any specific health issues that you need to be wary of.
In addition to this, they tend to do well when handraised. In fact, this is an incredibly friendly breed of turkey.
A lot of people report that it will eat right out of your hands if you raise it from a chick. Since many breeds of turkey can be aggressive towards humans, this is great.
The only thing you need to remember is that this is a social bird. This means that you will likely need to raise a flock of them.