Turkey FactsAbout the animals at Clark's Elioak Petting Farm
The turkeys at our farm are Billy Bob and Tillie.
Billie Bob is our male turkey, called a tom.
Tillie is our female turkey.
Over the years, we have had a number of rare turkey breeds at the farm including Narragansett, Bourbon Red, Migit White and Royal Palm.
FUN FACTS ABOUT TURKEYS
The turkey was first discovered in the Americas. It is native to Mexico and the Eastern United States. The turkey was first domesticated by the Aztecs in Mexico about 500 years ago. There were taken to Europe in the Early 16th Century.
Male turkeys have beautiful feathers, which they fan out when courting a female or to show aggression towards an enemy. Males have more colorful feathers than females.
Turkeys are omnivores. That means they eat meat (bugs) and plants (vegetables, corn, wheat and seeds).
Turkeys have several unusual body parts: The snood is the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey's beak. It turns bright red during courtship or when the turkey is upset. The wattle is the flap of skin under the turkey's chin. It turns bright red during courtship or when the turkey is upset.
A turkey's wishbone — the one you and your sister pull from opposite ends to see who gets the middle nodule — is formed by the fusion of the bird's two collarbones. Also called a furcular, the bone serves as the connecting point for muscles and a brace for the wings. During the bird's flapping (yes, turkeys can fly at a clip of 50 mph in short bursts), the wishbone acts as a spring to store and release energy. This elasticity is also the reason snapping a wishbone before it dries is so tough. Turns out, the wishbone is more than a fun game for Turkey Day; it also serves as a reminder that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs. Researchers have found that the wishbone dates back more than 150 million years to a group of meat-eating dinosaurs that includes T. rex and Velociraptor.
Male turkeys are called gobblers, because they are the only ones that can make that adorable gobbling sound. Each male turkey has his own unique gobbling "technique," which he combines with strutting to attract potential mates. Female turkeys communicate through clucks and small, chirp-like noises.
Wild turkeys can fly for short bursts at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour and may do that to escape predators.
A hen lays 9 to 18 eggs in a clutch.
The Narragansett turkey is named for Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, where the variety was developed. It descends from the domestic turkeys (probably Norfolk Blacks) brought to America by English and European colonists beginning in the 1600's.
Some facts from the website: www.livescience.com