10 Facts about Turkeys

We are a nation of turkey lovers and nothing says Christmas more than the smell of turkey filling the house on Christmas Day.

As one of our most seasonal foods, it seems while we may know quite a bit about cooking the bird (or visiting Mr Google several times between picking up the turkey and putting it into the oven), how much do you actually know about the animal?

In the five or six years I have been blogging, I have had the pleasure of coming across some lovely farmers who have educated me on their type of farming. While we are all in the industry, if you farm sheep for example, you probably know very little about pigs so even farmers can learn from each other.

I visited a turkey farm myself a couple of years ago to see what happens and I still think this was one of the most interesting trips I have made.

You must know by now how much I champion finding out where food comes from and exploring the field to fork journey. Christmas should therefore be no different. Shop as locally as you can and support family farms.

Even I learnt something researching this blog post. So here are ten facts about turkeys.

1. The colour you see-bronze, white, red etc refers to the colour of the feathers they have.

2. A young turkey is called a poult, a fully grown female a hen and an adult male a stag.

3. The wobbly thing which hangs from a male’s face is called a snood.

4. There are still wild turkeys are wild in America.

5. Most turkeys in the UK are bred by artificial insemination. They have been bred to be too big to mate effectively themselves.

6. According to NFU Countryside, 75 per cent of Brits will tuck in to turkey on December 25.

7. Henry VIII was the first monarch to eat turkey on Christmas Day.

8. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ate turkey on the moon.

9. Farm reared, domestic turkeys are too big to fly but wild ones still do so.

10. While most people believe turkeys to be native to the USA, they actually originated in Mexico and were brought over by the pioneers in the 1500s.

If you enjoyed this, then please check out similar posts I have written:

Christmas in July-Our Visit to Crouchley Hall Farm to meet their turkeys

A return to the turkeys at Crouchley Hall Farm

Roast Turkey with orange and spices

Women in Farming-Jade Stock, Out and About Poultry and

Women in Farming-Rebecca Perry from Ledmacoy turkeys


  1. excellent turkey info here emma – thank you 🙂 I think people imagine we’ve always eaten turkey at christmas – my mum said that everyone ate goose at Christmas in Berkshire countryside in until mid 1960s. I’ve had goose a few times too 🙂 but it’s turkey for us this year. Merry Christmas to you all and lots love Bec 🙂

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