Slate turkey babies.a help me understand...


Dux eradication specialist
8 Years
Jul 11, 2014
Orrock township, Minnesota
I am so confused about slate turkey babies.

I have new babies today!! the hen started setting 29 days ago, She kinda brought them to me today..

Anyways I was surprised when I looked at them, I thought all the babies would be one color. They are not.

Some are yellowish, some have a grey on them and some have a red/brown on them.

I can show you the pictures I took today, BUT I cannot get individual pictures until tomorrow. Right now letting Mama and babies get use to the brooder/tank I put them in. The weather here is not safe for them to be on their own, and I do not want predators getting my babies..

Here are pictures, I know they are not great, any help explaining this will be appreciated.

I understand basic genetics and why a Chocolate lab crossed with a white one gives you black babies, BUT these turkeys I do not understand.

Both Parents I am told are slate blues, But actually they have some brown with black spots.
I will try to get some pictures tomorrow during the day, When I say brown that is not really right, it is a shade of her grey I think.

But who knows I bought them off craigslist so anything is possible...

And you're right healthy is what counts
So long as they are healthy poults.

Yes, some shots of the adult(s) in natural light would help. Black "splashes" are OK, brown? (looks reddish in shots - like some Bourbon got passed around at some point).

Laggerdogger's posts are informative:

I could not get a picture of Ethel today, it was overcast and dingy here. She was not very cooperative today, she is kind of a nervous Nellie with her babies. I did look closer and I see dark in here but not "red" Not even sure I would call it brown. I did look at JJ and I did see a light brown "tinge" across his tail. I am guessing you are correct and they are not "pure".

I looked at my other slates, I got from a different source and they are very pure in the "grey/blue" I have at least one hen I would guess is a self blue, as she has no dark spots on her anywhere that I could see. I am not sure if the rest do or not as they stand still for me to inspect. ( I have 15 turkeys total).
That could be. Anything could be. When I compare them to the other slate blues I see the difference. I am guessing I never saw it earlier because of the condition of their feathers.

When I got them their wings had been clipped and many feathers were wore down and broken. Now that they have molted ( well the tom anyways) you can really see the brownish red tint in a band across his tail and the feathers on his back. Also his feather ends are darker than the slate blue and self blues I have.

And the babies are definitely not slate. I think they will be a pintos..Like a paint horse

Interesting thread!

The pictures you posted and the feather are nearly identical to mine!

Obviously, someone lied to someone or did not know the truth about what the turkeys were. I feel bad I told people they were slate blues when in fact they are not. I may just pull them out of my breeding program. Or maybe I will just raise those "lilac" or "red slates" or whatever they are. They are beautiful birds.

I will try to get a picture of JJ (the tom) if I can today. He is very friendly but camera shy and closes his tail whenever I want pictures..
S%$@ happens.
When I found out mine were crossed I just started to breed them as such.
Your poults look exactly like mine did at that age.
This fall I will decide if I am going to go Lilac or red slate.
The specked spotted looking poults will turn red slate and the yellow/white ones will turn Lilac.

I should also take some more pics of my poults grown up to update that thread.

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