Turkey Facts

Turkey Facts
Turkey is large type of poultry and a descendant of a wild turkey. Domestication of turkey took place 2.000 years ago in Mesoamerica. While ancestor of domestic turkey still roams through the woodlands of North America, domestic turkey can be found only on the farms (mostly in areas with temperate climate). There are 8 breeds and numerous varieties of domestic turkey that represent valuable source of meat and eggs for humans (turkey is inevitable part of Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner in the USA).
Interesting Turkey Facts:
Turkey can reach 3.3 to 4.1 feet in length and up to 86 pounds of weight. Males are much larger than females.
Turkey is covered with 5000 to 6000 feathers. Fan-shaped tail of males consists of 18 long feathers. Domestic turkeys are less colorful than wild birds. They are usually white, brown, reddish, grey or black-colored.
Turkey has fleshy growth on the head and throat (called caruncles), long flap of skin on the forehead (known as snood) and fleshy dewlap under the chin (better known as wattle).
Turkey has good eyesight and sense of hearing.
Turkey is an omnivore. Its diet in captivity is mostly based on different types of leaves, weeds, nuts, grass, fruit and vegetables. Turkey swallows small rocks to facilitate grinding of food in the stomach.
Turkey is intelligent animal that can easily memorize all parts of its territory (wild turkey lives on a territory of around 1000 acres).
Young, light-weight turkeys are able to fly short distances, while adult birds cannot fly due to huge weight. Even though they are not able to fly, turkeys like to climb and roost on various objects above the ground.
Turkeys are social creatures that build strong bonds with other members of the group. Domestic turkeys easily identify "strangers", turkeys that are recently introduced into the group, and often act aggressively toward them.
Turkeys use various sounds for communication. Males are best known by gobbling sounds, while females communicate via clucking sounds.
Turkey is affectionate bird that likes to follow its owners wherever they go. It is also excellent guardian that loudly announces strangers at the doors.
Male is known as tom or stag, and female as hen. Male mates with more than one female in the captivity.
Intensely blue and red-colored skin on the head and neck of males, widely spread wings and tail, and loud gobbling noise are part of mating ritual that is designed to seduce the females.
Female lays 60 to 120 eggs per year (depending on the breed). Eggs hatch after incubation period of 28 days. Chicks are known as poults.
Turkey's dropping mixed with bedding material is used as a fuel in some electric power plants in the USA.
Turkey has an average lifespan of 10 years.

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