Turbo Turkeys?

Turbo Turkeys?

And other fascinating facts about America's favorite bird.
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Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph, and can fly—for a short distance—as fast as 55 mph!

Weird science!
We dare you to use this line in your next casual conversation: "Betcha didn't know the scientific name for the common turkey is Meleagris gallopavo. So there." (Pretty impressive, huh?)

Strut that stuffing!
What's a guy turkey gotta do to attract a little turkette? According to Encyclopaedia Brittanica, he "spreads his tail, droops his wings and shakes the quills audibly, retracts his head, struts about, and utters rapid gobbling sounds." (OK, OK, we hear some of you girls saying, "Hey, that's the guy I went out with last week! Never again!")

Dumb & dumber!
Turkeys are supposedly the least intelligent of all domesticated creatures. Farmers actually have to teach baby gobblers how to eat by putting marbles in their food! The little ones peck at the marbles, and their bills slide into the grub, getting just enough—by accident!--to stay alive. (Fortunately, they don't eat the marbles!)

Chain gang!
In Grangeville, Idaho, it's illegal to lead your turkey by a chain along the city streets. (Really, it's in the books!)

What a bird brain!
Benjamin Franklin thought that the turkey, NOT the eagle, should have been chosen as our national symbol.
(If Ben's idea had worked, would we be eating eagles for Thanksgiving instead?)

Dog gone!
A couple years ago, a woman called the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-323-4848) with a minor emergency: Her chihuahua had jumped into the bird's cavity (you know, where the stuffing goes) and couldn't get out! The woman tried pulling the dog and shaking the bird, but nothing worked—until the Talk-Line adviser suggested carefully cutting the opening a bit wider. It worked, and Fido was freed! (By the way, the Talk-Line gets about 200,000 calls a year from people seeking advice on how to roast their gobblers.)

Gobble, gobble!
On Thanksgiving Day, Americans eat 535 million pounds of turkey!

Ouch!
About 3,500feathers gotta be plucked before that turkey hits the table.

What IS that thing?
Turkey Anatomy 101: The fleshy growth on the base of the beak that's very long on male turkeys is called the snood, while the red-pink fleshy covering of the throat and neck is called the wattle. (Now, don't you feel more intelligent?)


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