Turkey Facts for Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a list of turkey facts, you might find of interest:

  • Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.
  • The average American eats 16 pounds of turkey.
  • 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving, 22 million on Christmas and 19 million turkeys on Easter..
  • The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
  • A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
  • The male turkey is called a tom.
  • Tom turkeys have beards.
  • The female turkey is called a hen.
  • The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th century.
  • Turkeys lived almost ten million years ago.
  •  In 1920, U.S. turkey growers produced one turkey for every 29 persons in the U.S. Today
  • Growers produce nearly one turkey for every person in the country.
  • Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.
  • Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 mph and can run 20 mph.
  • Turkeys are believed to have been brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshire man William Strickland. He acquired six turkeys from American Indian traders and sold them for a tuppence in Bristol.
  • Henry VIII was the first English King to enjoy turkey and Edward VII made turkey eating fashionable at Christmas.
  • The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey are in a sandwich, stew, chili or soup, casseroles, and as a burger.