Bizarre Turkey Facts


  • Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
  • Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.
  • Tom turkeys have beards.  This is black, hair-like feathers on their breast.
  • Hens sometimes have beards, too.
  • Turkeys' heads change colors when they become excited.
  • Turkeys can see movement almost a hundred yards away.
  • Gobbling turkeys can be heard a mile away on a quiet day.
  • Turkeys don't really have ears like ours, but they have very good hearing.
  • Turkeys can have heart attacks.  The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier.  Nearby turkeys dropped dead from heart attacks.
  • Turkeys will drown in a heavy rain.  Instead of going inside out of the rain, they look up at the sky with open mouths and simply drown.
  • Wild turkeys spend the night in trees.  They especially like oak trees.
  • In England, 200 years ago, turkeys were walked to market in herds.  They wore booties to protect their feet.
  • Turkeys have a long, red, fleshy area called a snood that grows from the forehead over the bill.