Royal Palm turkey

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A Royal Palm tom

The Royal Palm is a breed of domestic turkey. One of the few turkeys not primarily selected for meat production, the Royal Palm is best known as an ornamental bird with a unique appearance, largely white with bands of metallic black. Primarily kept as an exhibition bird, or on small farms, it lacks the size for large scale commercial use. Toms usually weigh 16 to 22 lbs and the hens 10 to 12 lbs.

A relative newcomer among turkey breeds, the bird first appeared in the 1920s on a farm in Lake Worth, Florida, apparently as a cross between Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and native turkeys.[1] Years of selective breeding followed to stabilize the coloring, and the Royal Palm was finally accepted by the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 1971. In Europe, a turkey with similar coloration is sometimes called the Cröllwitzer, Pied, or Black-laced White.[2]

Along with the decline of most heritage turkey breeds after the adoption of the Broad Breasted White by the turkey industry, Royal Palms are a very endangered breed today. The breed is classified as being on "watch" status with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. It is also included in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a catalog of heritage foods in danger of extinction. The Australian and United States both report the breed as Endangered to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.[1]

The toms are noted for being non-aggressive, and the hens are particularly good mothers.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "BREEDS CURRENTLY RECORDED IN THE GLOBAL DATABANK FOR ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES". ftp.fao.org. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 

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