Turkey Talk 101

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The subject of Thanksgiving came up recently and fond memories developed. On the farm we usually raised our own turkeys, the pop up devices and and bags did not appear on most Thanksgivings.

We bought baby turkeys called poults usually 25 at a time. They were fun to watch as they changed from baby to adult!

The bumps on the head and neck are called caruncles — both hen and Tom turkeys have them. Then dangling from the chin on both sexes is a wrinkly bumpy mass of red skin called wattles. These release excess heat on hot days! All turkeys also have a fleshy appendage hanging from their beak called a dew bill or a snood. They were fun and interesting to watch the Turkey mannerisms!

I think this has become “Turkey 101”, but I found the information so fun!

To continue:

Broad breasted white turkeys are the most common in the U.S. commercial Turkey production and the most readily available in stores. These birds were developed through genetics and science “to maximize the amount of meat” (white meat mostly) on the birds.

Wild Turkeys were once an endangered species by the 1930’s but today more than 7 million roam across North America.

So I wondered about Turkey eggs and if they lay like chickens. From what I gather the hen Turkey does not lay an egg a day, they usually lay eggs two or three times a week. When it comes to taste I am told they are like chicken eggs but bigger.

As for eating the Tom (male) and hen (female), both are found on dinner tables. The hens are smaller and for a regular sized family, quite adequate. If you plan on feeding a large family the Tom will certainly be the pick!

Yes, turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan, which the human body needs to build certain proteins. The body uses L-tryptophan to make serotonin, which has a tranquilizing effect.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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