How is the turkey?
Turkey is a gallinaceous, as is the pheasant, cock, partridge or quail, but large. In fact the bird
farm is larger (if we ignore the ostriches are bred in captivity for food).
The turkey can weigh up to 20 kg in the larger breeds, but there are breeds of turkey much
smaller. The smaller turkeys do not exceed 10 kg.
The wild turkey is usually smaller, and usually does not exceed 11 kg in weight.
The females are always much smaller than the imposing male.
Turkey is polygamous and polygynous bird, like other fowls and other animals like the cat or
mouse). This means that a male mates with several females. These birds live in small groups
of one male and several females.
Domestic turkeys are very difficult to fly and are content to move along the ground,
however, wild turkeys are good flyers that reach high speeds in flight.
Not only that, domesticated turkeys have also lost the ability to survive in nature. The same
turkeys years ago lived in the wild and released today are unable to withstand changing
environmental conditions of the environment.
It is very characteristic of turkeys, its long tail that display for the female to lure or to ward
off enemies when they feel threatened. The head and neck of this bird is rather bare. The
turkey, therefore, has no feathers on these parts to make them more visible in the folds of
brightly colored, red or blue, around the neck and the head of these animals, called wattles.
Origin of the domestic turkey
The turkey is now breeding on farms around the world to provide meat to humans is about
In southern Canada, the United States and northern Mexico, still live the wild ancestors of
the domestic turkey, but today have far fewer of these animals long ago. Hunting and
increased rural and urban areas are responsible for this situation.
The Spanish conquistadors introduced the animal to Europe in the early sixteenth century,
though in their homelands and was domesticated by man in ancient times. In fact, the
Aztecs already had domestic turkeys for over 5 centuries.
Utility of the domestic turkey
The turkey is bred for food, but compared with other animals, like pigs, its use is very poor.
Compared to the pig that is intended for human consumption the meat, hair, blood, his guts,
and, ultimately, almost everything except the milk, turkey only get the meat.
Ass, though it may seem strange, yes that takes advantage of this untapped food resource in
the pig and, in fact, donkey milk is highly valued in some European countries like France.
Most of the turkey meat is intended for the production of meat products. From the breast
and thigh (turkey ham) are obtained various kinds of cold cuts.
Artificial selection, genetic manipulation (breeding) and the use of antibiotics has led to
much turkey meat. In fact, turkeys are raised on farms that can weigh twice as much as their
U.S. first, followed by France are the 2 countries of the world's producers of turkey. Only two
of them now represent almost 70% of world production of turkey meat.
The consumption of such meat is increasing recently because it is considered a very healthy
meat. Turkey meat is credited with being a very light food, low fat and cholesterol, and
therefore little heavy and easy to digest.
However, as some organizations fighting for animal rights, leaving aside the issue of animal
welfare, meat turkey is not as healthy as we do believe because of conditions that are raised
most of these animals.
In any case, the breast part of the animal is leaner, while in the skin (it is advisable to
remove it before cooking the product) and the thigh is where most of fat.
France is the European country with the main difference in the production of duck.
What eat the turkey?
The turkey when you can eat at will feed on seeds, leaves, buds, fruits, grass, worms,
caterpillars and other insects. The turkey spends half of his life eating, so that food is an
important daily activity for this animal.
This bird is omnivorous, although their food plants are the majority, also eats insects.
However, in captivity are fed turkey based on a mixture of grains, especially corn and
The organic food passes turkey feed with alfalfa, other cereals (barley, oats, sorghum, corn,
soy, etc..), Vegetables and wheat bran.
As appropriate vegetables to feed the turkeys, are very useful onions and nettles, as its
strong flavor is not unpleasant to the turkeys, however, do have a very beneficial effect on
health. These two foods are both good natural antibiotic and antiparasitic.
The turkey prefers wet food to those given dry.
During the development of the wattles, but in winter it is especially important to check the
power of these birds, since it is the point in their lives where they are most vulnerable to
diseases and environmental conditions.
In fact, turkey is an animal very strong and resistant to cold and moisture and virtually only
displays delicate and prone to illness in December while he was forming the caruncles in
what is known as the Crisis of red.
Reproduction of turkey
Turkey is one of the few birds that use their long tail feathers made up to win a mate. Like
the peacock, the male domestic turkey opens the queue in front of a female of their species
to impress. Pigeons do something similar, display the queue but also along the ground.
The male is always larger than the female. The turkey weighs between 30 and 40% more
than the turkey.
The hen lays about 70 eggs a year which is exclusively reproductive utility. In contrast, eggs
of chicken or duck, turkey eggs are not normally intended for human consumption.
The young turkey or turkeys follow the mother while they are small and she, in turn,
monitors and protects them.
At 2 years, the turkey can be devoted to reproduction, but this bird has developed very
slowly and only reaches adulthood after 3 years.
Domestic turkeys, plus it can not fly as wild turkeys, are unable to reproduce naturally and
this requires artificial insemination.
Especially in this bird is very beneficial rearing in large open spaces, as the turkey more than
other birds need large spaces to feed naturally and be so very strong and healthy.
However, the organic farm of turkeys in open ground has a very important drawback.
Turkeys have a disease often called black head (or blackhead) when infected with a worm
parasite (Histomonas meleagridis) by eating worms infected with this parasite. The disease,
which attacks the digestive system of the bird (the cecum and liver) usually kills the animal,
but if it means economic losses for the farmer because the animal infected with worms eat
less and is thinner.
You can reduce the incidence of this disease by keeping the animals in soils with bars, but
this means having them locked up.
If we consider the problem of disease in turkeys, some hangers and a roof to protect the
birds from the elements is enough to give them shelter at night.
Breeds of turkeys
Of the various breeds of turkeys, the most important are the Tanning American, White
Holland, the Belstville White, White Giant, Slate, the Narragansett, Black and Bourbon Red.
Different breeds of turkeys are characterized by the coloration of its plumage and the weight
they reach adulthood. Turkeys are white, black or red and can weigh up to 20 kg larger
breeds and half smaller.
Race Belstville Belstville white or White is a breed of small size (about 7 kg adults) and quite
resistant to enfermadades making it very suitable for family consumption.
The Bourbon Red is much larger than the Belstville white, with more than 15 kg for male and
about 10 kg in females.
The American Tanning turkey is a majestic black plumage and bright red tones in the head,
neck, chest and belly. American Tanning is the race that has an appearance more like the
wild turkey, but is much larger, weighing much like Bourbon Red.
However, the biggest turkey race of all is the White Giant, weighing nearly 20 kg.
Despite the considerable variety of breeds of turkeys that still exist, most of turkeys that are
destined for human consumption are commercial hybrids descended from the White
Holland. Commercial hybrids are completely white turkeys to be found normally in the
Some traditional breeds were obtained by crossing domestic turkey specimens of wild
turkeys, this is the case of American Tan, but most are derived from artificial selection.
Facts about turkeys
In the United States or Canada, this bird is very important, so much so that the turkey is the
traditional dish of the Thanksgiving Day (Thanksgiving) and Christmas (Christmas). However,
the consumption of turkey meat is not only given these days as indicated and increasing the
meat is consumed throughout the year.
The wild turkey is much smaller, and therefore gives less than the domestic turkey meat that
is reared on farms. However, this small disadvantage of the wild turkey is second to quality
of product. That is, the wild turkey or wild, despite being less productive in the sense that for
every animal gets less meat than commercial breeds of domestic turkey, allows for a more
tasty and healthy meat (less fat). So, in some regions of the United States begins to raise the
ancestor of the domestic turkey, the real wild turkey.
The turkey was also called the Indian hen first because their Spanish explorers believed to be
in the Indies, when they had discovered, as is well known, the Americas.
In the French situation is similar. With the name designating this bird Francophones (dinde
dindon female and male) alludes to his fake Indian origin.
In contrast, in English this bird is known by the name of turkey because it was confused in
this country where the real American turkey with birds arriving in Turkey through Africa,
such as painted or goose Guineas. Despite not being the same bird they saw the English in
Turkey that the American turkey retained the adjective to refer it to the point that today
English is still known as turkey turkey.
Moreover, in Mexico originally, and now the entire Spanish-speaking South America, the
turkey is called guajalote.
In Indian culture, turkey is an animal that is worshiped by the figure of the totem pole.
According to Native American shamanism, the peacock is the symbol of Mother Earth and is
revered to bring abundant crops to humans. In addition, the turkey is a totem for the Native
Americans who symbolizes the generosity and human sacrifice for the benefit of others and