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Let's Talk Turkey

Americans will cook and eat over 675 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving Day. However, the turkey we consume does not look like the wild turkey the American Indians hunted as far back as 1000 A.D.

Wild turkeys live in the woods spending their days foraging for acorns, seeds, small insects and wild berries. They have slim, sleek bodies and are able to fly. At night, the wild turkey will roost up in a tree safe from his predators. Domestic or tame turkeys are raised on farms. Most often a farm turkey grows to twice the weight of a wild turkey making them too plump and heavy to fly but making them perfect for a holiday dinner table!

Did you know?

  • Turkeys have 157 bones and an estimated 3,500 feathers
  • The Turkey Trot dance was named for the short, jerky steps a turkey makes
  • Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey, not the bald eagle, should be our national symbol
  • Big Bird’s costume is made from 4000 white turkey feathers dyed yellow


Turkey-rific Reads

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey
Cowley, Joy
Trouble ensues when Papa gets Miguel a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving and Miguel develops an attachment to it.
This Is the Turkey
Levine, Abby
Describes in rhyme the activities of a young boy and his extended family as they share a special Thanksgiving.
Nate the Great Talks Turkey
Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman
Nate the Great and his cousin Olivia are on the case of a runaway turkey, but unfortunately the clues appear to contradict each other.
The Great Turkey Walk
Karr, Kathleen
In 1860, a somewhat simple-minded fifteen-year-old boy attempts to herd one thousand turkeys from Missouri to Denver, Colorado, in hopes of selling them at a profit.
All about Turkeys
Arnosky, Jim
Discusses turkeys, what they eat, where they sleep, and how they survive.
Wild Turkeys
Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw
Describes the physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and life cycle of wild turkeys.
Turkey Riddles
Hall, Katy
A collection of nearly three dozen riddles featuring turkeys, such as "What happened when Tom Turkey stepped up to the plate? He hit a fowl ball."


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