13 Royal Palm Turkey Facts You’ll Never Forget

Great royal palm turkey facts

Royal palm turkey (Meleagris gallopavo domesticus) is a domestic ornamental turkey of the family Phasianidae. Domestic turkey is one of the two species in the genus Meleagris with ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata). The origin of royal palm turkey is in Lake Worth, Florida, in the '20s. This relatively new breed of turkeys is a cross between bronze, black, Narragansett, and native turkeys. The American poultry association's standard of perfection recognized these animals in 1971. These turkeys, or some turkeys with similar appearance and color pattern, are also called Cröllwitzer, pied, or black laced-white in Europe. Royal palms are more endangered with three heritage turkey breeds after the raised demand by the turkey industry. They are not primarily chosen for meat production. These birds have metallic black and white-colored feathers. The domestic turkeys are predominantly bred to have white feathers as it means that when the carcass is dressed, the pin feathers are much less visible. The Latin word Gallopāvō means 'chicken peacock.'

If you enjoy reading this article, you may also enjoy these bobwhite quail facts and brant facts.

Royal Palm Turkey

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, nuts, seeds, leaves, buds, and fern fronds

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

100 eggs per year

How much do they weigh?

10-22 lb (4.5-9.9 kg)

How long are they?

39.5-49 in (100-124 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black and white

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Exhibitions and small farms


The United Kingdom, America, Australia, and Europe





Scientific Name

Meleagris gallopavo domesticus





Royal Palm Turkey Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a royal palm turkey?

Royal palm turkey is a domestic livestock bird of order Galliformes and phylum Chordata. These turkeys lack the size to be selected for meat production and large-scale commercial use. So, they are mainly raised for small farm use and for pest control. The royal palm turkey is economical, active, and great flyers and foragers. These are specially raised for exhibition use because of their small size and growth rate. They are known as ornamental birds and the tom is heavier than the hen. This commercial turkey displays the behavior of comfort by feather-ruffling, wing-flapping, dust bathing, and leg stretching. The royal palm turkey poults fly short distances, roost, and perch. Any stranger turkey placed in the group will easily be recognized by other turkeys. Opinion on temperament differs from one owner to another. Many records show that these birds are friendly while other keepers call these birds 'royal pain'.  They adapt to every climate. One tom mates with many hens.

What class of animal does a royal palm turkey belong to?

Royal palm turkey belongs to the class Aves of animals.

How many royal palm turkeys are there in the world?

Royal palm turkey is currently threatened, the population is less than 5000.

Where does a royal palm turkey live?

Few reports show that the royal palm turkey originated in Florida, whereas, few others show that they originated in the United Kingdom.

What is a royal palm turkey's habitat?

The active royal palm turkey is raised as an exhibition bird and lives on small farms. Their calm temperament makes them suitable around the house to keep pests at bay.

Who do royal palm turkeys live with?

Royal palm turkeys live with other turkeys. Due to their calm temperament, royal palm turkeys can live in flocks on the farms.

How long does a royal palm turkey live?

The royal palm turkey male lives for just over a year normally, the average lifespan of a domesticated turkey, however, is, typically, 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Royal palm turkey can breed naturally unlike other varieties like broad breasted turkey, which needs artificial insemination due to its smaller size. During their breeding season, these birds are bred for the purpose of shows and exhibitions, it is necessary to breed turkeys that have desirable traits. Toms will fan their tails and strut and gobble around to attract the hens. Toms are not aggressive. Hens are good mothers. Royal palm turkey hen lays 100 eggs in a year or two eggs per week. Raising royal palm turkey poults is not difficult. The royal palm turkey eggs' color is black, brown, or red with spots. The eggs are medium-sized and larger than chicken eggs. Even at eight weeks of age, toms are larger than hens. Young royal palm turkey chicks hatch between March, April, and extend to June.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of royal palm turkey is Endangered. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has classified this livestock species as being on 'watch.' Breeders need to preserve this small turkey breed. They are also included in the catalogue of heritage food in danger of extinction, Slow Food USA's Ark Taste. This species has been reported as Endangered to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations by the United States and Australia.

Royal Palm Turkey Fun Facts

What do royal palm turkeys look like?

The European breed has similar marks as the royal palm turkey

Royal palm turkeys primarily raised for farms have a beautiful color pattern. They have a unique appearance and color pattern. Their feathers are white with metallic black edging. There is no brown color on their body. Royal palm turkey feathers give a fish scale appearance. This species is too small for commercial meat production but this turkey is sometimes used for meat by small-scale industries. This bird breed has a white base color and saddle feathers are black. The tail is also white with black bands. This bird breed has black and white stripe-looking feathers on its breasts formed by white feathers that have black tips. This breed has a red throat, head, and wattles. They have light brown eyes.

How cute are they?

Small royal palm turkeys have a beautiful color pattern but this turkey is not considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Royal palm turkeys communicate using calls and body language. This turkey has around 15 different calls. The most recognized call of royal palms is the gobble. The tom gobbles around to attract hens during the breeding season.

How big is a royal palm turkey?

Royal palm turkeys are 39.5-49 in (100-124 cm) long. In size, this turkey is smaller than other standard varieties of turkey like Bourbon red. The royal palm turkey is generally smaller in size than other varieties of turkey.

How fast can a royal palm turkey fly?

The ornamental royal palm turkeys flight speed is 55 mph (88.5 kph).

How much does a royal palm turkey weigh?

Ornamental royal palm turkeys weigh around 10-22 lb (4.5-9.9 kg). Old royal palm hens are around 12 lb (5.4 in) in weight. The old royal palm toms are around 22 lb (9.9 kg) in weight. The young royal palm hen is around 10 lb (4.5 kg) and the young royal palm tom is around 16 lb (7.25 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male royal palm turkey (pied) is called tom and the female royal palm turkey is called a hen.

What would you call a baby royal palm turkey?

Royal palm turkey males are often called jake and royal palm turkey females are called jennys.

What do they eat?

The royal palm breed usually feeds on plants like nuts, seeds, leaves, buds, and fern fronds. This breed also feeds on insects. In captivity, they have the same diet as farm chickens.

Are they poisonous?

No, royal palm turkeys are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Royal palm turkeys do very well in flocks and on farms. The royal palm turkey for sale can be found around many farms.

Did you know...

There are several varieties of turkey birds like bourbon red turkey, broad breasted turkey, white Holland turkey, and many more.

The domestic turkey is a famous poultry raised breed. The meat production of these royal palms and other turkeys is cheap.

Another small turkey variety is the midget white which can be raised in homesteads with limited space.

Why are they called royal palm turkeys?

The name 'turkey' was due to a misidentification of these poultry birds with other unrelated breeds that were imported to Europe from Turkey. This breed was probably named because of their characteristics.

Are royal palm turkeys endangered?

The conservation status of royal palm turkey is Endangered. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has classified these livestock species as being on the 'watch.' Breeders need to preserve this small turkey breed. The estimated global population of these birds is less than 5,000.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including greater sage grouse facts and leghorn chicken facts .

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our turkey feather coloring pages.



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