Gobble Up This Turkey Trivia


Last updated 11/21/2022 at 1:03pm

Roughly 45 million turkeys are sold and cooked for Thanksgiving meals every year in the United States. As families dig into that delicious meal, some may wonder more about the delicious bird before them. Here are some known and lesser-known facts about Tom Turkey.

• The taste of turkeys has to do with their age. An older male is preferable to a younger male, because the young “tom” is stringy. Conversely, younger female hens are preferred to older ones.

• A turkey less than 16 weeks old is called a fryer. An older turkey between 5 and 7 months of age is known as a roaster. • Turkeys are a type of pheasant. They are the only breed of poultry native to the Western Hemisphere.

• Wild turkeys are able to fly for short durations and up to 55 mph. However, domesticated turkeys raised on farms for food are bred to be fat and meaty, which prevents their ability to get airborne.

• The turkey is no exception to other birds. Sometimes it likes to spend the night in trees.

• Benjamin Franklin was one person who argued vehemently on behalf of the turkey being the national symbol of America. However, as most know, the bald eagle won out.

• The first turkeys to domesticated were from Mexico and Central America. In Mexico, the turkey was a sacrificial bird.

• Male turkeys make the commonly known “gobble” sound, particularly during breeding seasons to attract a mate. Females, however, cluck.

• A mature turkey will have about 3,500 feathers. That’s a lot of plucking to do before the bird can be eaten.

• Minnesota and North Carolina produce the most turkeys for sale annually.

• The skin that hangs from a turkey’s neck is known as a wattle. The fleshy growth on the base of the beak is known as the snood.

• Every year 90 percent of Americans enjoy a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, compared to 50 percent on Christmas.

• America doesn’t consume the most turkey per capita; Israel does.


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