Five Fun Turkey Facts

Wild male turkey

In celebration of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, here are a few fun facts about turkeys.

1. Did you know a group of turkeys is called a rafter?  You could also call a group of turkeys a gang.

2. Wild turkeys can trot 12 miles per hour (19 km/h), and when frightened, they can reach speeds as fast as 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).

3. Although wild turkeys’ preferred method of locomotion is walking or trotting, they can also fly (ungracefully) and swim!

4. Turkeys have a very wide range of vision. Without moving their heads, they have nearly a full circle of sight (320°)!

and last, but not least, the strangest fact about turkeys…

5. It is possible for a turkey hen to lay a fertilized egg without mating. This process, called parthenogenesis, also occurs in some invertebrates, fish, and lizards.  For turkeys, this process always produces male chicks. These male turkeys are no different from male turkeys hatched from mating.