- Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the
official United States bird.
- In 2000, the average American ate 17.75 pounds of turkey.
- The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large
- A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent
- The wild turkey is native to Northern Mexico and the Eastern United
- The male turkey is called a tom.
- The female turkey is called a hen.
- The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th
- Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.
- Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.
- Tom turkeys have beards. This is black, hairlike feathers on their breast.
Hens sometimes have beards, too.
- Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited.
- Six hundred seventy-five million pounds of turkey are eaten each
Thanksgiving in the United States.
- Turkeys can see movement almost a hundred yards away.
- Turkeys lived almost ten million years ago.
- Turkey feathers were used by Native Americans to stabilize arrows.
- Baby turkeys are called poults and are tan and brown.
- Most of the turkeys raised for commercial production are White Hollands.
- Turkey eggs are tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs.
- It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.
- Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.
- Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.
- Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.
- Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.
- Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day.
- Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia and Missouri are the leading
producers of turkey in 2001.
- A 16 week old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey
is called a young roaster and a yearling is a year old. Any turkey 15 months
or older is called mature.
- The ballroom dance the "turkey trot" was named for the short, jerky steps
that turkeys take.
- Turkeys don’t really have ears like ours, but they have very good hearing.
- Turkeys can see in color.
- A large group of turkeys is called a flock or rafter.
- Turkeys do not see well at night.
- 2.74 billion pounds of turkey were processed in the United States in 1994.
- A domesticated male turkey can reach a weight of 30 pounds within 18 weeks
- Turkeys are related to pheasants.
- Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.
- Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test
runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart
- Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They especially like oak trees.
- Wild turkeys were almost wiped out in the early 1900's. Today there are
wild turkeys in every state except Alaska.
- In England, 200 years ago, turkeys were walked to market in herds. They
wore booties to protect their feet. Turkeys were also walked to market in the
- Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the
turkeys fall over.
- June is National Turkey Lover’s Month.
- Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and
two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live
turkey. He "pardons" it and allows it to live out its days on a historical
- The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, stew
or soup, salad, casserole and stir-fry.
- Eating turkey does not cause you to feel sleepy after your Thanksgiving
dinner. Carbohydrates in your Thanksgiving dinner are the likely cause of your
- According to the 1997 census, there were 6,031 turkey farms in the United
- Turkey is low in fat and high in protein.
- White meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat.
- For their first meal on the moon, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin
Aldrin ate roast turkey in foil packets.
- Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
- Turkeys have been bred to have white feathers. White feathers have no
spots under the skin when plucked.
- Most turkey feathers are composted.
- Turkey skins are tanned and used to make cowboy boots and belts.
- The costume that "Big Bird" wears on Sesame Street is rumored to be made
of turkey feathers.
- Israelis eat the most turkeys.....28 pounds per person.
- The caruncle is a red-pink fleshy growth on the head and upper neck of the
- Turkeys have a long, red, fleshy area called a snood that grows from the
forehead over the bill.
- The fleshy growth under a turkey’s throat is called a wattle.
- Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days.
- Minnesota led the United States in turkey production in 2001. Forty-three
million turkeys were produced.
- Two hundred seventy six million turkeys were raised in the United States
- The American Indians hunted wild turkey for its sweet, juicy meat as early
as 1000 A.D. Turkey feathers were used to stabilize arrows and adorn
ceremonial dress, and the spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used as
projectiles on arrowheads.
- Turkeys are believed to have first been brought to Britain in 1526 by
Yorkshireman William Strickland. He acquired six birds from American Indian
traders on his travels and sold them for tuppence each in Bristol.