Thursday, July 17, 2008

Turkey Trivia and other Useful Facts

Turkeys on path

So, I'm on this rant about Turkeys and came up with this cool list of Turkey Trivia and other useful (or not) information. Did you know?
  • The wild turkey is native to Northern Mexico and the Eastern United States.

  • Turkeys lived in North America almost ten million years ago .

  • The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th century.

  • The American Indians hunted wild turkey for its meat as early as 1000 A.D. They made turkey "callers" out of turkey wing bones. The feathers were used to decorate ceremonial clothing. The spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used on arrowheads and the feathers were used to stablize the arrows.

  • Adult turkeys can have 3,500 feathers. Most turkey feathers are composted. Feathers are spread out on fields, then plowed under in the spring. The feathers decompose and fertilize the soil.

  • After the female turkey mates, she prepares a nest under a bush in the woods and lays her tan and speckled brown eggs. She incubates as many as 18 eggs at a time. It takes about a month for the chicks to hatch. The average turkey hen will lay 110 to 115 eggs during a 28-30 week period.

  • When the babies (known as poults) hatch they flock with their mother all year (even through the winter). For the first two weeks the poults are unable to fly. The mother roosts on the ground with them during this time.

  • Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days. A baby turkey is called a "poult".

  • Turkey eggs are light tan with brown specks and are larger than chicken eggs. A turkey egg weighs from 80 grams to 100 grams (3 to 4 ounces).

  • Wild turkeys spend the night in trees. They roost (perch) on the branches.

  • Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day.

  • Turkeys don’t really have ears like ours, but they have very good hearing.

  • A large group of turkeys is called a flock.

  • Turkeys are related to pheasants.

  • As male turkeys gets older they fight a lot. They may even attack people.

  • Turkeys can see movement almost a hundred yards away.

  • Turkeys do not see well at night.

  • The turkey has an unusual looking bare head with a beak, caruncle, snood and wattle. Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited.

  • The male turkey is called a tom or gobbler. The female turkey is called a hen. Baby turkeys are called poults.

  • A turkey has 157 bones!

  • According to the Guinness Book of Records the largest turkey raised was 39.09 kilograms (86 pounds) -- about the size of a large dog.

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