10 Fun Thanksgiving Facts About Turkey

The day is finally here! We want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all, and we hope you enjoy spending the day off with family and friends. Eating turkey today? You’re in good company, as 88% of Americans will indulge in the traditional fare this year as well. Here are ten fun facts about the star of the show today:

  • The average American consumes over 15 pounds of turkey yearly. That’s a whole lotta sandwiches!
  • There is a reason behind the name Turkey Tom (yes, Jimmy John’s most infamous sandwich). Male turkeys are called Toms! Females are called Hens…and most experts think they make a better choice on Thanksgiving (and we’re not surprised that the females win).
  • One of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, actually wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird. Luckily for the eagle, everyone else disagreed with him.
  • The rumors are (partially) true: Turkeys do contain tryptophan (a natural sedative), which calms you and can make you sleepy. However, it’s not all the turkey’s fault! The combination of tryptophan and a carb-rich meal is what truly makes Thanksgiving a lethal combination.
  • Betcha didn’t know that there are over 6.4 million wild Turkeys roaming about – and you can find one in every single U.S. State.
  • Mature turkeys have up to 3,500 feathers. No wonder Native Americans chose to use the abundant decorations in their headdresses.
  • Turkey was the first meal eaten on the moon! It was enjoyed by space pioneers Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin as a celebration of their truly epic voyage.
  • A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer, and five to seven month old turkeys are called young roasters. Seems a little cynical to us!
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog – just imagine how many people that whopper could have fed on Thanksgiving!
  • The ballroom dance known as the Turkey Trot emulates the short, jerky steps a turkey makes. For a full visual, see this informative video clip:

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