Can Turkeys Fly? Fun Turkey Facts for Kids

  • There are two different species of turkeys the wild turkey and the ocellated turkey.
  • There are five sub-species of wild turkeys: Eastern Wild Turkey, Osceola (Florida) Wild Turkey, Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Merriam’s Wild Turkey and Gould’s Wild Turkey.
  • Wild Turkeys live across North America.
  • Ocellated Turkeys live in South Eastern Mexico, Northern Belize and Northern Guatemala.
  • It is easy to tell the difference between Wild Turkeys and Ocellated Turkeys.
  • Ocellated Turkeys have a mixture of bronze, green and blue feathers, similar to a peacock.
  • Wild Turkeys have mostly brown feathers.
  • Ocellated Turkeys also weigh less than Wild Turkeys.
  • A male turkey is called a Tom or gobbler.
  • A female turkey is called hen.
  • A baby turkey is called a poult or sometimes a chick.
  • A group of turkeys is called a flock.
  • Male turkeys weigh between 8-24 pounds and are about 4ft long.
  • Female turkeys weigh between 7-16 pounds and are about 3ft long.
  • Hens can lay between 6-18 eggs.  On average they lay 12 eggs.
  • The eggs take about one month to hatch.
  • Baby turkeys cannot fly for two weeks.
  • Adult turkeys have around 3,500 feathers.
  • Turkeys are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and animals.
  • Turkeys eat nuts, seeds, fruits, berries, insects, small reptiles and amphibians.
  • Only wild turkeys can fly.  Domesticated turkeys (turkey’s living on farms) cannot fly because they are usually too heavy.
  • Only male turkeys can gobble.
  • Turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour.
  • The wattle is the flap of skin that hangs from a turkey’s chin.
  • The wattle turns bright red when a turkey anxious or worried and when he is attracting a mate.
  • Wild Turkeys live in open forests.
  • Wild Turkeys sleep in trees.
  • Predators to a turkey are snakes, raccoons, wildcats and humans.
  • Over 90% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
  • Turkey has more protein than beef or chicken.
  • There is no way to prove that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird. However, he was out voted and the eagle became the national bird.