1. Although Thanksgiving is widely considered an American Holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of every November, it is also celebrated in Canada as the second Monday of every October. Other countries that celebrate Thanksgiving include Germany, Japan, Grenada, Liberia, The Netherlands and Norfolk Islands.
2.The first Thanksgiving was observed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 at the Plymouth Plantation where Pilgrims held a three day harvest feast to celebrate a successful growing season.
3. President Abe Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday.
4. Turkeys have poor night vision but the men in my family who have hunted wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner tell me they are very smart critters who can fly up to 55 miles per hour (farm raised domesticated turkeys cannot fly because they are fat and heavier).
5. A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer and a five to seven month old turkey is called a young roster. A group of domesticated turkeys are called a “Rafter”. A group of wild turkeys is called a “Flock”.
6. Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state in the United States with close to 50M annually.
7. Turkeys have 3,500 feathers at maturity and fossils prove turkeys have roamed the earth for over 10M years. Each male turkey has his own unique gobbling “technique,” which he combines with strutting to attract potential mates.
8. Turkeys prefer to sleep perched atop tree branches, where they are safe from predators, which include coyotes, foxes and raccoons. They often sleep in flocks, and upon waking, call out a series of soft yelps before descending to make sure that the rest of their roosting group is okay after a night of not seeing or hearing one another.
9. Male turkeys are called “gobblers or toms”, while juvenile male turkeys are called “jakes”. Female turkeys are called “hens” and communicate through clucks and small, chirp-like noises. Baby turkeys are called “poults” and do a good job of taking care of themselves. A group of turkeys is called a “rafter” or a “flock”.
10. Turkeys are known to exhibit over 20 distinct vocalisations including a distinctive gobble, produced by males, which can be heard a mile away. Individual turkeys have unique voices. This is how turkeys recognize each other.
11. The “snood” is the flap of skin hanging down over a Wild Turkey’s bill. It’s color determines the mood of the turkey.
12. A turkey has excellent vision. Because its eyes are on the sides of its head, the turkey has periscopic vision, which allows it to see objects that are not in its direct line of vision. By rotating its head, the turkey has a 360-degree field of vision.
13. Are they girls or boys? One certain way to find out is by checking their droppings. A male’s poop will be shaped like the letter J, while the female’s is more spiral-shaped.
14. What is the difference between the white meat and dark meat on a turkey? White meat is the result of glycogen, which doesn’t need much oxygen from the blood because the muscles it fuels only require short bursts of energy. Dark meat, however, is found on wings, thighs, and drumsticks—muscles that are used for long periods of time and require more sustainable energy. It’s made dark by the proteins that convert fat into energy.
15. There are four places in the United States named Turkey: Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; Turkey Creek, Arizona; Turkey Creek, Louisiana.
16. There is a Turkey Talk Hotline at 800.288.8372 to talk to a turkey expert about cooking the turkey who could not fly away!
17. Forward this blog to all your friends and family and let them know you are thinking of them today. Make people laugh and smile!
18. Download the complimentary eBook:
There is a funny Tax Turkey Form in the back of the eBook.
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