Move over bald eagle, the title of our great nation’s official bird was almost bestowed upon the wild turkey. Instead, unfortunately for the turkey, this great fowl became an American tradition in another way — served up each Thanksgiving on a silver platter.
But before turkeys and Thanksgiving became synonymous, these wild fowl roamed free in more than 39 states, wattles, snoods, and all. Farming, domestication, and demand caused a dip in the wild turkey population, with only 29 states reporting a thriving wild turkey population today.
Now, roughly 200 million turkeys are consumed each year in the U.S., with a large proportion of them winding up on the menus for Turkey Day. Aside from what stuffing, dressing, or gravy is best to accompany your bird, how much do you know about these large, tasty fowl?
This year, when the conversation reaches a lull at your Thanksgiving feast, you will have 10 turkey facts to impress your dinner companions.