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Fun turkey facts!

Staff reports

Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.

In 1999, the average American ate 17.95 pounds of turkey.

The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

The wild turkey is native to Northern Mexico and the Eastern United States.

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 century.

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.

Most of the turkeys raised for commercial production are White Hollands.

Turkey eggs are the size of two chicken eggs.

It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.

Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.

Six hundred seventy-five million pounds of turkey are consumed in the United States 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.

North Carolina, Minnesota, Arkansas, Virginia and Missouri are the leading producers of turkey in 2000.

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.

Turkeys do not see well at night.

2.74 billion pounds of turkey were processed in the United States in 1994.

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 attacks.

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 United States.

Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over.

June is National Turkey Lover’s Month.

The National Turkey Federation presents a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President each year. The

President does not eat the live turkey. He “pardons” it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

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 sleepiness.

According to the 1997 census, there were 6,031 turkey farms in the United States.

Turkey is low in fat and high in protein.

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.

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 waddle.

Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days.

North Carolina leads the United States in turkey production.

Two hundred seventy six million turkeys will be raised in the United States in 2000.


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