Turkey isn’t just for the holidays.
Eggs aren’t just for breakfast.
Read more fascinating facts below.
Even a birdbrain will love these turkey facts
- Turkeys were domesticated beginning in the 16th century. There were seven varieties of wild turkeys in America when Europeans first arrived and all seven still exist in the wild today.
- Toms and hens are raised separately. A turkey grower will raise one or the other.
- A hen can lay 90-110 eggs in their 25-week production cycle. One tom can father as many as 1,500 poults (newly hatched turkeys) during a 6-month production cycle.
- In a turkey's lifetime, it will consume approximately one bushel of corn and 1/3 bushel of soybeans.
- Hormones are never used to raise turkeys. It is illegal. Hormone use for any turkey production was banned in the 1950s!
- Turkey sandwiches account for 48% of all turkey consumption.
- Turkey barns have wood shavings and or oat hulls on the floors. Turkey manure is naturally deposited into the wood shavings to make an organic, nutrient rich fertilizer that is distributed on farm fields and residential lawns.
- Only male turkeys gobble.
- Turkeys are raised in large, open buildings that keep the turkeys comfortable. This protects the turkeys from predators such as coyotes or hawks, disease and weather extremes while providing them a large area to move and interact with other turkeys.
- Fossils have been found from 10 million years ago...turkeys were around even then!
- It’s estimated that turkeys have approximately 3500 feathers at maturity.
- South Dakota turkeys eat an average of 51,000 tons of soybean meal a year.
- South Dakota raises an average of 5 million turkeys a year.
- Feeling drowsy after eating Thanksgiving dinner? A recent study showed that carbohydrate rich, not turkey-protein rich, meals increase levels of tryptophan in the brain which creates drowsiness.
Become an egghead with these egg facts
- Most chickens lay their eggs between the hours of 7AM and 11AM.
- Egg size and grade are not related to one another. Size is determined by weight per dozen. Grade refers to the quality of the shell, white and yolk and the size of the air cell.
- The average American eats over 200 eggs a year.
- The white part of a large egg contains about 2 tablespoons’ worth of liquid, the yolk is about 1 tablespoon, making an entire egg approximately 3 tablespoons.
- Eggs contain the highest quality food protein known.
- There are approximately 200 breeds of chickens.
- As hens grow older they produce larger eggs.
- An eggs shell color is based on the breed of chicken that laid it. Hens with white feathers mostly lay white eggs and hens with red feathers usually lay brown eggs.
- To tell if an egg is raw or hard-cooked, spin it! If the egg spins easily, it is hard-cooked, if it wobbles, it is raw.
- A hen requires about 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg. After the egg is laid, the hen starts all over again about 30 minutes later.
- You can keep fresh, uncooked eggs in the shell refrigerated in their cartons for at least three weeks after you bring them home.
- Chickens came to the New World with Columbus on his second trip in 1493.
- South Dakota farmers produce almost 700 million eggs a year.
- There are approximately 280 million laying birds in the Untied States.
- An average hen lays 300 to 325 eggs a year.