October 5, 2019
Written By Adam Buckallew
Turkeys have starred as the main attraction of traditional Thanksgiving feasts for hundreds of years and their prominent place on the day’s menu precedes President Abraham Lincoln’s nationalization of the holiday in 1863. The birds have become so closely associated with Thanksgiving that the holiday is sometimes referred to as Turkey Day. Here are 10 facts about the American turkey you can use to impress your friends when you gather to give thanks.
- Today’s domesticated turkeys are descendants of wild turkeys and were tamed by the Aztecs in Mexico around 800 B.C.
- In a letter to his daughter, Ben Franklin once proposed making the turkey the official bird of the United States.
- Americans eat 46 million turkeys every Thanksgiving.
- Turkey is also a popular dish on Christmas and Easter when 22 million and 19 million turkeys are consumed, respectively.
- In 2018, 244 million turkeys were raised in the United States.
- Three states in MFA Oil’s service territory annually rank in the top five in turkey production. Arkansas produces 32 million birds, Indiana produces 21.5 million birds and Missouri produces 19 million birds.
- The most commonly raised commercial turkey breed is the Broad Breasted White.
- The most popular ways to serve leftover turkey are in a sandwich, stew, chili, soup, casserole or burger.
- Male turkeys, known as toms, gobble, while female turkeys, or hens, make a clicking sound.
- Wild turkeys can run up to 20 miles per hour and can fly short distances up to 55 miles per hour.