Smokey-gray (white) turkeys

photo of smokey-gray wild turkey

Smokey-gray wild turkeys are rare but not uncommon in Michigan. This color variation in wild turkeys is a recessive trait, more common in females than in males, present in Michigan due to the wild turkey restoration program using birds that were acquired from Iowa in the 1980s. Some of the birds from Iowa carried this trait. Through our restoration activities, the smokey-gray trait was passed through the southern Michigan population of wild turkeys. This smokey-gray color aberration in wild turkeys is not an indicator of birds with domestic turkey genetics. It is a trait similar to melinism or albinism and is found in wild turkeys. On average, hen (female) turkeys weigh about 9.4 pounds and tom (male) turkeys weigh 19.2 pounds.