Domestic turkey

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The domestic turkey is a domesticated bird kept as poultry. The naming of turkeys is a little bit confusing because it is one of the rare instances where using a biological name is not enough to clarify the animal of which we are speaking. The species name for the domestic turkey is Meleagris gallopavo, but this is also the biological name of the wild bird from which it was developed, the wild turkey. To further complicate matters, another species, the ocellated turkey, Meleagris ocellata, was also domesticated, but decendants of these birds are no longer used as poultry.!--> (I don't think).-->

Domestic turkeys are a staple of the turkey dinner, which is a standard celebratory or feast in the West for such holidays as Christmas and also, in the US, Thanksgiving.

Material moved from roast turkey

This is being placed here for ease of reference pending inclusion in mainspace.

Facts need to be checked and better referenced. For instance the first one, which I have deleted, said that Henry VIII made eating turkey popular at Christmastime in England. Not very likely, since we know that goose was popular in Victorian England.

Turkey Factoids

  • King Henry VIII was the first British king to eat turkey. [1]
  • English turkeys were herded to market and wore booties to protect their feet. In the United States turkeys were walked to market too. It is unclear if the American turkeys wore booties.[1]
  • Wild turkeys spend their nights in trees while domestic turkeys can not fly.[1]
  • Since 1947 the United States president has received two turkeys from the National Turkey Federation. The turkeys are never eaten as they receive a presidential pardon.
  • Israelis eat the most turkeys as they consume 28 pounds of turkey per person per year.[1]
  • Ben Franklin wrote the turkey should be the national USA bird.[1]
  • Thanksgiving is when most turkeys are eaten. The National Turkey Federation (NTF) estimates that approximately 45 million turkeys are gobbled up at Thanksgiving followed by 22 million at Christmas, and 19 million at Easter.[2]
  • June is National Turkey Lovers Month.[2]
  • Tom turkeys gobble while hen turkeys cluck. The tom is the male and the hen is the female.[2]
  • President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving Day forward one week.[2]
  • Food Network chef Alton Brown says stuffing is what goes inside the turkey while dressing is what's baked in a casserole dish. He also recommends preparing the dressing.[3]
  • 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Turkey for the Holidays. Retrieved on 2010-10-14.
  • 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Learn More About Turkey. Retrieved on 2010-10-14.
  • Alton Brown Says No to Stuffing the Turkey. Retrieved on 2010-10-14.