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Turkey Trivia

Posted Tuesday, November 25, 2008, at 7:57 AM

(Photo)
Thanksgiving Dinner In Iraq - DoD Photo
My recollection of military Thanksgiving dinners all included turkey. The US Air Force probably has a regulation that turkey will be served on Thanksgiving, and to be honest, if we had turkey at any other meal during my years in the service, I don't recall any.

Those of us that have served overseas likely remember those Thanksgiving feasts with "traditional" bird and fixin's as being filled with fond memories of home, and more food than we should have probably eaten... just like now. Not that other folks away from home don't have the same thoughts, it's just that military people have no choice for the most part where they will spend the holiday. I hope you will join me this year saying a special prayer for our troops that are away from home helping preserve our liberty and freedom.

Last year I brought up "turkey day" with some history about the holiday, so this year, I'd thought I'd follow it up with some trivia about the bird that is most often prepared for Thanksgiving.

Courtesy of the North Dakota Turkey Federation and the ND Department of Agriculture...

Q. How long does it take to raise a turkey?

A. The hen usually takes 14 weeks and the tom up to 22 weeks to grow to market weight.

Q. How long does it take a turkey egg to hatch?

A. The incubation period is 28 days for a turkey.

Q. What is a baby turkey called?

A. A baby turkey is called a poult.

Q. When does the poult arrive at the farm?

A. In most cases poults are placed on the farm within 24 hours.

Q. What do turkeys eat?

A. Much is known about the nutrition and turkeys are fed a balances diet of corn and soybean meal mixed with a supplement of vitamins and minerals. Fresh water is always available.

Q. What are some typical diseases affecting turkeys?

A. Turkeys catch colds much like humans and this condition is call avian influenza. Turkeys also get enteric diseases which cause diarrhea. Most diseases can be treated with medication, which is discontinues when the disease is eliminated.

Q. Why is the commercial turkey white?

A. The wild turkey, the bronze turkey and other breeds have colored feathers. The knowledge of genetics has led scientist to breed the color out of the turkey feather. when a colored feather is plucked a small amount of fluid pigment may run from the quill and leak under the skin. this skin of a dressed bronze turkey often looks spotty and unattractive. The development of a white feather eliminated the pigment from the feather, so when it is plucked it leaved a clear skin. This clear looking skin has more consumer appeal, so the white feather is clearly a consumer preference.

Q. Do all turkeys gobble?

A. Only toms gobble; hens make a clicking noise.

Q. When was Thanksgiving make a national holiday?

A. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

Q. Can turkeys fly?

A. Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances of up to 55 mph and can run at 25 mph.

Q. What are the nutrient properties of turkey meat?

A. Turkey meat has the smallest amount of fat and saturated fats of any meat commercially available, which means it is also low in calories. It has the highest percentage of protein calories of these meats -- eighty-one percent of the calories in a serving of roast turkey breast is derived from protein. Turkey is an excellent source of iron, riboflavin, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12

If you are traveling this holiday, be careful out there, and to all... Happy Thanksgiving!



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