These American birds are well-known for their meat, but here are some other facts about turkeys you may not know.
On Thanksgiving, turkey forms the main part of the dinner, in fact, it is the center of attraction, and hence, it becomes very necessary to know Turkey facts. Here are some of the interesting Turkey Facts and trivia for you to understand and know:
- Turkey was first believed to have brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshiremam William Strickland. He acquired six birds from American Indian traders on his travels and sold them for tuppence each in Bristol.
- 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.
- Minnesota led the United States in turkey production in 2001. Forty-three million turkeys were produced.
- According to the 2002 census, there were 8,436 turkey farms in the United States.
- 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 farm.
- June is National Turkey Lover’s Month.
- 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.
- Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.
- 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.
- Illinois produced 2.9 million turkeys in 2003 and ranked 15th in turkey production in the United States.
- Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can also see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult. However, turkeys have a poor sense of smell (what’s cooking?), but an excellent sense of taste.
- Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of 25 miles per hour on the ground.