The gorgeous Blue Slate turkeys are a rare and old variety of domestic heritage breed turkeys.
As with most birds of a blue color, the breeding and selection necessary to produce Slate Blue turkeys can be a bit confusing. Unlike some varieties of chickens and ducks, though, the Slate Blue Turkey does breed true. In other words, a male and a female Slate Blue will produce Slate Blue Poults.
There is only one variety of Slate Blue Turkey, but with two genotypes. A Blue Slate may be one of three different colors:
Slate, which is also called a Splash - a solid, ashy blue with black spots scattered over the body
Blue - a lighter, solid, grayish-blue all over, with no black spots
Black - as you might expect - black all over
Slate Blue Turkeys were never bred for commercial purposes, and their development was not recorded. No one is really sure if this variety was developed in the New World before European contact, in Europe, or North America after the colonists settled.
One theory is that farmers bred for a specific color to distinguish their flocks from neighbors' flocks.