More Than Thanksgiving Food: Interesting Facts About The Turkey

A food lover’s delight, an ecstasy for the taste buds; there’s no denying the fact that the turkey makes for a great dinner – one that all food lovers would look forward too. Every year on Thanksgiving this bird sends the taste buds of 95% of Americans into raptures. Even as we savor the turkey there are interesting facts about this about this bird that we often don’t care to take note of.

Let’s take a look – 1) Research says that the turkey is over 10 million years old and has its origins in North and Central America. However, this ruling bird of Thanksgiving, the turkey, was domesticated in Mexico, where it was a bird of sacrifice. 2) There are two species of turkey – The North American Wild Turkey and The Central American Ocellated Turkey. 3) Farm-raised turkey cannot fly. Only wild turkeys have the ability to fly for short distances and are the fastest runners on ground among all birds. 4) They’re found in all US states except Alaska. Alaska it’s too cold for the turkeys. 5) American Indians were very fond of hunting wild turkeys because of its tasty flesh and for its feathers. The feathers of a turkey were used in arrows and to decorate their ceremonial attire. 6) Turkeys were once used to remove green worms from tobacco plants. 7) Benjamin Franklin had proposed in 1776 that the turkey be made the official symbol of the nation. However ultimately the bald eagle was chosen. Franklin later noted in a letter to his daughter “the turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.” 8) The Thanksgiving turkey is also well-known for its eggs, which are about double the size of the eggs of chicken. 9) A turkey egg takes approximately 28-30 days to hatch. 10) A baby turkey is called a ‘poult’ and is tanned brown in color. 11) A male turkey is called a Tom while a female turkey is called a Hen. Only Toms can gobble. Hens communicate with clicking noises or pseudogobbles. 12) A hen can lay upto 100 eggs. 13) A full-grown turkey has about 3500 feathers approximately. 14) The long, loose piece of skin hanging from a turkey’s neck is known as ‘wattle’. 15) A group of turkey is known as a flock. 16) Turkeys have a great sight, great hearing, great sense of taste, but a very poor sense of smell. 17) The Guinness Book of World Records holds that the largest weight recorded for a turkey (after having been dressed and cooked) is 86 pounds. This turkey-fic record was made on December 12, 1989. 18) The turkey industry is a very popular industry in the US, grossing over $1 billion each year. 19) An average American consumes about 15 pounds of turkey every year. On the day of Thanksgiving, Americans treat themselves to about 675 million pounds of turkey. 20) California consumes more turkey than any other US state.

21) In the historical 1969 voyage to the moon, the food packets of US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had roasted turkey and all other trimmings.