Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for so much that I don’t know where I would begin to list it here. So, because I have a mind swimming in useless trivia, and because I am so thankful for y’all, here are 5 interesting turkey facts to kick off your Thanksgiving:
1. Domesticated turkeys (farm raised) cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances at up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys are also fast on the ground, running at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
And yet they take their sweet old time when I am stopped and waiting for them to cross the road. No fear of motor vehicles, at all.
2. The fleshy growth under a turkey’s throat is called a wattle. Turkeys also have a long, red, fleshy area that grows from the forehead over the bill called a snood.
3. Mature turkeys have 3,500 or so feathers. The Apache Indians considered the turkey timid and wouldn’t eat it or use its feathers on their arrows.
I think turkeys are kind of smart–they high-tail it out of Dodge the moment they feel threatened.
4. Benjamin Franklin disapproved of the selection of the Bald Eagle as our national bird, calling it “a Bird of bad moral Character.” He much preferred the Wild Turkey, saying, “For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
That Ben Franklin sure was a feisty one!
5. Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds. This one makes me giggle. I have no idea why.
6. Some say that Columbus called the turkey “turka”, the Tamil word for peacock. Seeing as he thought he was in India at the time, not the New World, it’s possible. Although, the Native American word for turkey is “firkee.”
Now, you’ll be a “ringer” for any turkey trivia that pops up during your next rousing game of Trivial Pursuit.
Have a very Blessed Thanksgiving!