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Turkey Facts for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for most people in Canada and the United States would simply not be Thanksgiving without a turkey dinner. However, most accounts of the first Thanksgiving celebrations (in the US at least) suggest that Turkey and cranberry sauce was not the main dish on the menu; rather, rabbit, fish, chicken, beans, squash, goat cheese and maple syrup would have made up the Thanksgiving banquet, which, incidentally is said to have lasted for three days!

Nonetheless, turkeys at Thanksgiving are here to stay, whether celebrated on the second Monday in October, as is the case in Canada, or the fourth weekend in November in the US. So, here are some top facts about turkeys that you had no idea you never knew!

  • Stores and farms across the US sell more than 280 million turkeys around the time of Thanksgiving.
  • The average weight of a turkey bought for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
  • The record for the heaviest turkey to date is 86 pounds, around the size of a big dog.
  • On average, a 15 pound turkey will yield 70% light meat and 30% dark meat.
  • Turkey has more protein than beef or chicken.
  • Upon maturity, a turkey will have an average of 3500 feathers.
  • Male and female turkeys sound different. A male turkey makes a gobble sound, while a hen clucks.
  • Commercially raised turkeys are unable to fly.
  • Turkeys cannot see very well at night or in the dark.
  • It takes around 75 pounds of feed to rear a 30 pound turkey.
  • A 16 week old turkey is called a “fryer”, a “roaster” will be between 5 and 7 months old.

Thanks to the following websites for their facts about Thanksgiving