The Royal Palm turkey is active, thrifty, an excellent forager, and good flyer. The standard weights for these turkeys are 7 kg for young toms and 4 kg for young hens. Royal Palms play a valuable role on small farms, both as a producer of meat and controller of insects.
The Royal Palm turkey is white with sharply contrasting metallic black edging on the feathers. The saddle is black, which provides a contrast against the white base color of body plumage. The tail is pure white, with each feather having a band of black and an edge of white. The coverts are white with a band of black, and the wings are white with a narrow edge of black across each feather. The breast is white with the exposed portion of each feather ending in a band of black to form a contrast of black and white similar to the scales of a fish. The turkeys have red to bluish white heads, a light horn beak, light brown eyes, red to bluish white throat and wattles, and deep pink shanks and toes. The beard is black.
The Royal Palm is a strikingly attractive and small-sized turkey variety. The first birds in America to have the Palm color pattern appeared in a mixed flock of Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and Wild turkeys on the farm of Enoch Carson of Lake Worth, Florida in the 1920s. Further selection has been made since then to stabilize the consistency of color and other characteristics.
The Royal Palm turkey is listed as “Threatened” in the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. This list defines a “Threatened” variety as having fewer than 1000 breeding birds in the US with seven or fewer primary breeding flocks. These varieties are considered globally endangered.