|Meleagris gallopavo: The Wild Turkey (male). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Turkey|
Most people don’t eat wild turkeys, and for Thanksgiving, your mom probably bought one that was raised on a farm! People have been breeding domesticated turkeys for about three to four hundred years. Breeder farms send the eggs to the hatcheries. The eggs hatch after about 28 days. There, they are categorized into different gender groups and are fed the same thing every day: ground soybean and corn (pretty gross… huh?). The female turkeys are slaughtered at about 14 weeks after hatching, and the males after about 18 weeks (poor turkey!). Some domesticated turkeys are able to lay eggs that are able to hatch without fertilization. This process is called parthenogenesis and is more common in insects than birds or mammals, so the turkey is definitely a unique bird.
We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving (with or without the turkey…)!