Happy Thanksgiving. Here's a list of turkey facts, you might find of interest.
• Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.
• In 2000, the average American ate 17.75 pounds of turkey.
• The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
• A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
• The male turkey is called a tom.
• The female turkey is called a hen.
• The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th century.
• Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.
• Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.
• Turkeys' heads change colors when they become excited.
• Most of the turkeys raised for commercial production are White Hollands.
• It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.
• A domesticated male turkey can reach a weight of 30 pounds within 18 weeks after hatching.
• Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.
• Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.
• Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.
• Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.
• Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
• The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, stew or soup, salad, casserole and stir-fry.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
If you'd like to see more odd Turkey facts - visit the University of Illinois Urban Extension's Web site at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.