Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble, Gobble – Things You Might not Know About Turkeys


As we all go about our daily activities preparing for that big feast tomorrow, here are some things you might enjoy knowing about your guest of honor.

Yes, that guest; the turkey!

Turkeys came from the forests in North and Central America in grassy areas with hardwood trees. These trees make a great place for the turkeys to roost to at night.

They feed early in the morning and then later on in the mid-afternoon. They can be seen first thing in the morning, but do not try and sneak up on a turkey. They have excellent hearing and their vision is close to 270 degrees.

If you startle them, they will take off and they can fly 55 miles an hour, which makes it hard to grab one for a feast. They can cover a good 25 miles in an hour at a dead run, so unless you are in good shape, it is pointless to chase one on foot.

Good news is, the domesticated turkey cannot fly, so if you are looking for one that will grace the center of your table on Thanksgiving, it is much easier to catch one of the farm raised ones. Turkeys were the first domesticated birds – sorry chickies. North Carolina is the home of the most farm raised turkeys in the United States.

Benjamin Franklin nominated these noble birds to be our national bird since they were dignified and stately. They might also have provided a mirror profile to Mister Franklin as well. (Turn a turkey sideways and see if I am not right about this).To his dismay, our Bald Eagle was appointed national bird.

The Apache would not use any turkey feathers for their arrows; they felt the turkey was a timid bird and not worthy of being used to decorate arrows or to even eat.

Male turkeys gobble and are called “toms”, while females click and the males only use the gobble to call the females during the spring and fall. The rest of the time, they are quiet. They will gobble from sunrise until midday.

The wishbone is used for good luck. It must be better luck for you than the turkey.

Enjoy your turkey day and over 95% of American households will have turkey right along with you.