A remarkably attractive bird, the Royal Palm displays some of the nicest colors of all turkey varieties. These birds are quite small compared to other turkeys. Mature toms weigh 15-20 pounds and hens are considerably lighter at 10-12 pounds. They are striking in appearance. These beautiful birds have a white base color and most feathers are banded with a bright metallic black color. The contrast of this black/white combination is truly radiant. The Royal Palm is not a common variety and therefore we have a limited supply.
The toms are noted for being non-aggressive, and the hens are particularly good mothers.
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. 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.
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 American Livestock Breeds Conservancy categorizes the breed as critical on its watchlist, the highest priority of conservation. It is also included in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a catalog of heritage foods in danger of extinction.