Talk:Domesticated turkey

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Turkey Slaughter Methods[edit]

Today I saw the Sarah Palin interview in which turkeys were being slaughtered in the background. Is what I saw the typical method of turkey slaughter? I found a government publication on turkey slaughter[1] that described the process but it did not resemble what I saw in the video very well. Could someone who has information on this subject please add it to this article or link to an article with this information? The animal slaughter and slaughterhouse articles did not have much information regarding the slaughter of fowl. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Another article with UK bias[edit]

There is no language in the statement that turkey is used in cold cuts on "Boxing Day" that indicates that this is a UK tradition/use only. First, what the hell is "Boxing Day?" Do you mean St. Stephen's Day perhaps? Second, if we are going to list turkey tradition by country, shouldn't it's use in the US for Thanksgiving be given pride of place as that is the most representative and iconic use of turkey?

What the hell is "St Stephen's day"?!

What's the evidence for domestics being descended from ocellated turkeys?

I don't know the history, but I got to say from appearences, domestics surely are more related to, if not directly descended from, wild turkeys than ocellateds. Wild turkeys have the same plumage pattern found in domestic turkeys(look up 'bronze' in domestics). --Kaalnek

I think you are right, so does Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse by Madge and McGowan, ISBN 0-7136-3966-0 - jimfbleak 16:28, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Is there any validity to the wive's tale that a domestic farm turkey will eat itself to death? I've never seen a turkey do it. 01:02, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Whats up with the traditional turkey dinner in the UK picture? Not the whole world eats turkey like that, I sure as hell don't!

Stuff that needs to be added[edit]

There is a lot of content missing that can be worked into the article fairly easy. For starters, stuff like the cool facts here:

The above page also seems to imply that domesticated turkeys are considered a separate species from the other two, rather than just being a part of the Wild Turkey species. This would certainly make things easier in terms of classifying the Turkey articles - if you can find a definative source for this, please make the changes or write it here.

Also, there seems to still be some duplicitous content here and in the Turkey (bird) article, notably on the domestication stuff. I'm about done with my edits for now, but hopefully I got the ball rolling. Scott Ritchie 22:08, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

The Butchering section[edit]

Wikipedia is not a how-to guide (see Wikipedia:No Instruction, a proposed policy) and I am at a loss for what other material can really fill in. I know it's unwiki to wholesale delete material, but wouldn't this article be better without it? Bunchofgrapes 01:36, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

I see what you mean. I initially had a similar thought when I read that section (though I didn't know about the proposed policy you mention). Having said that, though, I must say that I personally found it interesting and rather liked having it in there. It's a nice example of the fascinating surprises that keep me coming back to Wikipedia. CKA3KA (Skazka) 02:04, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Bunchofgrapes. This should be in Wikibooks, not Wikipedia.Rob 13:21, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
I think its relevant for this section to be here as it provides information that some readers may find useful, but it certainly needs a bit of editing to make it look more encyclopedic. --Fizan 08:22, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I also think that it should be rewritten for tone. The information there is useful to an encyclopedia, as I feel the butchering process does deserve to be described, but it sohuldn't be worded as a how-to. Errick 12:22, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
You are right about the how-to guide wording, but to me it seems having this section reworded, rather than deleted, strengthens the article significantly... I would favor rewording over deletion, and in fact would like to see a little more information about industrial practices. -Corey
I think this section needs to removed, primarily because it reads like a copyright violation - I would be surprised if this was not a direct transcribe from some other place. The other arguments are also true: Butchering technique doesn't really belong in an encyclopedia entry, the section itself is written in an unencyclopedic style, it's completely uncited, and it doesn't have a lot to do with turkeys specifically (I've butchered a number of poultry species and it's pretty much the same for all of them). I'm going to give it a couple days to see if anyone re-writes it with citations, encyclopedic style, and a turkey-specific orientation. If not, I think it should come out. CredoFromStart 15:39, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, no one seemed to have an opinion on it, so I pulled it out. If you disagree, feel free to revert and drop me a line on my Talk Page CredoFromStart 17:38, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Excuse me, if you want to take out the butchering section because it doesn't fit the rules or isn't cited or whatever, that's your prerogative, but it is *not* a copyright violation, and frankly I'm rather insulted at being accused of that. I learned how to butcher a turkey from a friend, came home and wrote it up so that I would remember how to do it, and decided to share it. But just for the record, it is all my own words, thank you very much. 00:19, 9 May 2007 (UTC)slfisher


I removed the link to as it is rather more a polemic against American civilization than an informative piece on the wild turkey. I have replaced it with a link to a kids page I found using "all about turkeys" as a Google search. Paul Mitchell 20:19, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Turkey (Food)[edit]

I think Turkey (Food) should be it's own article and obviously link back to the domesticated turkey (and probably the wild turkey) article. A person looking for info on Turkey as a food, may not be all that interested in breeding, slaughtering ect. Turkey as a food item could include more indepth information on nutritional value, inclusing or exclusion in certain diets, ect. as well as the existing information listed under "Turkey as a food"

I agree... I came here looking for information about turkey as food. This article doesn't mention the chemical in turkey meat that makes you sleepy at all. (Drn8 (talk) 17:22, 19 June 2009 (UTC))
Not only is tryptophan not mentioned, but the various forms of preparation, including the common pressed "cold cuts", are missing. I wish I had time to do the research, but I don't. David Spector (talk) 13:51, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


The reference for the June 5 revision by doesn't really say if this dish is the official or unofficial national dish. I don't think that either of them improve the article, so I'd say that it could just red "widely regarded as the national dish" without anything about how official this might be.Bob98133 19:36, 5 June 2007 (UTC


There are multiple reasons for a unified Turkey article, not just disambiguation. One thing, mentioned above, is Food. Originally, it was obviously wild turkeys, not domesticated ones, that were food -- including the celebrations. The suggestion in this article that domesticated turkeys were what "appeared" in England and were used as Christmas food has almost got to be wrong, and its wording makes it sound like perhaps later they were eaten in America is bizarre. Turkeys are from America! Not mentioned anywhere is that the turkey was also the original candidate for the national bird in the United States. I think that would have been the wild turkey, but not sure. Both birds are common in the United States today, and there wasn't some singularity event where they were differentiated - so what's the continuity there? Inquiring minds want to know. For such an important bird, the turkey articles on Wikipedia are astoundingly uninformative. (talk) 01:02, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The text should be clarified accordingly re: the introduction of wild rather than domesticated turkey at that early date in England. If it is the domesticated variety, then there is a glaring omission of the Mexican origin, probaby via the Spanish. Tmangray (talk) 23:25, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

lead image[edit]

I replaced the lead image, as few good articles dealing with an animal utilize one that only shows the head profile of that animal. VanTucky (talk) 00:36, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The lead image also appears on the Wild Turkey page labeled "Male mating display." It should be removed from one of these articles, depending on which type of turkey it actually is. I'm not a turkey expert so I don't know. El Mariachi (talk) 03:03, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Taxobox problem[edit]

The taxobox for this page seems to be for the genus, not the species, it lists two subspecies, both of which are wild. I think there must be a domesticus subspecies of Wild Turkey that should be the basis for this page, not the entire genus. Are any of the other species domesticated?--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:32, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if this was what Doug was suggesting when he pointed out the problem by creating this discussion page section, but I don't think this page is supposed to have a taxobox. It's not a taxon. The taxobox goes on the wild turkey page. In this case apparently the experts have not seen fit to create a separate taxon for the domestic turkey.
I will wait a little for response, but sooner or later, if no one else does, I'm removing the taxobox from this page. Chrisrus (talk) 14:24, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Availability and commercial production[edit]

If your going to mention that in the UK Bernard Matthews is the best known turkey brand, then shouldnt you mention that Butterball is the best know in north america? Or, dont mention either in the interest of not being commercial. Also, the section about turkeys being intelligent doesnt sound like it meets criteria for neutrality, its just opinion. Any references for proof of intelligence in turkeys? (talk) 09:26, 22 November 2007 (UTC) Sandy

External link to Cornell[edit]

The external link "More information on turkeys from Cornell" gives information on wild, not domestic, turkeys. Unfree (talk) 10:04, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

How big?[edit]

I was told by a man from Arkansas who was familiar with the poultry industry that the two largest poultry producers were in that state. One, I believe, was Perdue. He also said that turkeys weighing well over 100 pounds were raised there, though not sold in stores, and that they were kept in cramped conditions so they could never straighten their legs, in order to make their muscles bigger. Is it true? Unfree (talk) 10:25, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


The history section claims it was the Aztecs who domesticated the bird, however the article Domestication claims it took place around about 600 BCE; wheras, as the article History of the Aztecs notes, the Nahua only established themselves in Mexico in the 13th century CE. I'm assuming "Aztec" is being used as an ignorant catch-all term for any ancient Mexicans, so I'm going to go ahead and change it. -- (talk) 15:02, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

10 years average lifespan? come off it![edit]

The average lifespan for a domesticated turkey is 10 years.

What? By far the majority of domesticated turkeys won't reach 1 year as they're slaughtered for meat, this is unreferenced and frankly untrue unless somewhere there are turkeys living for thousands of years to buck the average. If it means the bird's natural lifespan in domestic conditions then it should say that with a reference —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Possible connection[edit]

"Despite the name, turkeys have no relation to the country of Turkey and are native to North America". I have somewhere heard that there is a connection, that they reached Britain from merchants trading with Turkey. Certainly John Aubrey's Brief Lives quotes a verse going something like "something something, Turkey birds and beer/reached England all in one year". I have also somewhere heard that a Turkey's red wattle and head movements suggested a Turk in a fez praying, but that can't be true since the name goes back to when Turks wore turbans. PMLawrence (talk) 04:57, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

If you have a strong reliable, published source (hopefully multiple ones) to verify that fact, then by all means add it. Steven Walling (talk) 05:07, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
As I don't have the material to hand and can't recall where I came across it, I thought the proper course was to raise it on the talk page as an open question so anyone who came across it might have their memory jogged. PMLawrence (talk) 09:39, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Photo Caption NPOV[edit]

This is a fairly minor point, I understand, but should the caption above the main image really say genetically modified? Some may understand this to mean that the domestic turkey is the result of centuries of selective breeding and care by farmers, but that makes it a synonym to the definition of domesticated, as opposed to the "genetically modified" which many readers will interpret as genetically [i]engineered[/i].

While many larger commercial turkey farms use injections to "fatten" up the turkey or add certain chemicals to the feed, that still does not meet the criteria for the more inflammatory term since obviously, it applies to almost every domesticated animal people consume. I'm not modifying the caption since it will doubtless cause a flame war, but I thought I'd just pose the question. - (talk) 05:46, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Two articles, not one?[edit]

Shouldn't there be one article about the species M. gallopavo? At the moment, there's this article and, also, the article, wild turkey. Thoughts? ask123 (talk) 04:27, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Taxonomically, there is a separate name for the domestic turkey, so that justifies it on a scientific basis. On a purely practical note, a combined article that comprehensively covered both would be ridiculously long. There's a lot that belongs in a domestic article that doesn't in a wild one, and vice-versa. Steven Walling (talk) 04:38, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
What's that separate name? I agree, there should be one turkey article, just like dog or cat. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:12, October 10, 2014 (UTC)
All sources I can find refer to both as Meleagris gallopavo, i.e; [2]. JTdale Talk 11:27, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I am not a taxonomist in the slightest and I could be shot down in flames for this. A similar situation exists for the domestic hen which is termed Gallus gallus domesticus and the Red Jungle fowl (from which it is derived) is Gallus gallus. Perhaps the domestic turkey is Meleagris gallopavo domesticus.__DrChrissy (talk) 16:32, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Again with reservations about my taxonomy knowledge, I believe the site you linked to above is incorrect. By referring to the domestic chicken as Gallus domesticus in the binomial scientific name, I believe they are incorrect. I believe it should be Gallus gallus and then if the trinomial is to be used, it should be Gallus gallus domesticus.__DrChrissy (talk) 16:52, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
quite possibly correct. I checked a few links, and I did find there are four subspecies of Meleagris gallopavo generally recognised ([3] and [4]); Meleagris gallopavo silvestris (Eastern wild turkey), Meleagris gallopavo merriami (Merriam's Turkey), Meleagris gallopavo mexicana (Gould's Wild Turkey) and Meleagris gallopavo intermedia (Rio Grande wild turkey). The article Wild Turkey has a thing, unreferenced, about Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo as being the domestic turkey's extinct ancestor, which I did find listed with no further information on the Integrated Taxonomix Information system; [5]. This article goes into more length. Can't find anything but sketchy information about domestic turkey however. At the very least they have to belong to one of the above, so they can't simply be Meleagris gallopavo? JTdale Talk 17:30, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
They can. Not everything is a subspecies, and doesn't have a trinomial name. Most subspecies exist mostly (or sometimes only) because a zoologist wanted their name on something, but it was far too similar for his peers to recongnize a new species. If you catch an Eastern wild turkey and put him on a farm, or see him somewhere else, he magically becomes a regular M. gallopavo again. Magic like that is why modern scientists increasingly consider clades, not taxa. They also no longer dress like Linnaeus. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:54, October 12, 2014 (UTC)

On the other hand, if you take a Beltsville Small White and put him in a wood, he most definitely does not become a Wild Turkey again (more likely to become a fox's dinner). The distinction between wild and domestic animals is a traditional and quite useful one. I suggest maintaining it here. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:20, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

I spoke with an expert poultry taxonomist last night. He confirmed the domestic chicken is Gallus gallus domesticus but he says that the domesticus sub-species for the turkey has not been recognised. So, as an editor suggested above, the domestic turkey is usally only recognised by its binomial name M. gallopavo. I know this is "personal research", but it might help a more stringent search. The chap I spoke to really does know his stuff.__DrChrissy (talk) 10:58, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the information IncredibleHulk and DrChrissy. I really do not have enough information to make any conclusion as I'm a noob in this subject, but hopefully experts can say more. I do think it seems bizarre to seperate the two. At the very least, domestic Chickens are a recognized subspecies. But that said, we have a similar issue with the Guinea Fowl article of artificial splitting. JTdale Talk 05:29, 13 October 2014 (UTC)j

Hunting by American colonists[edit]

Removed this sentence (which has been in the article since June 2005, when the article had no references), since it apparently refers to wild turkeys and not domestic: "Turkey was one of the many game species hunted by early American colonists, and is thought to have been served at the first Thanksgiving, although there is little evidence to support this claim." Seems like an example of Wiki cruft.--Larrybob (talk) 15:16, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Poult picture[edit]

In the main Turkey (bird) article talk page, an image of a turkey poult has been contested as a chicken picture and removed. Is that picture the same as the one in this article? UNIT A4B1 (talk) 19:09, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


Under the intelligence section, it says that turkies are actually just as smart as ie chickens. However, this is purely OR, but I got several baby chickens and two baby turkies, and the chickens gobbled up their grain, but the turkies didn't eat any of it and stared dumbly at it even when my father sprinkled it on the ground (which would make chickens go after it) until both of them died. UNIT A4B1 (talk) 19:15, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

No, what's OR is making conclusions about intelligence based your personal experience with a small sample of birds. Steven Walling 22:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


No turkeys fly. Even in the wild, they flap their wings and hover for a second or two before they come crashing down. So 'heritage' turkeys can not fly, only hover. Any avid turkey hunter knows this fact, and any turkey hunting site can verify it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:55, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

The Wild Turkey article also doesn't mention if those are flightless birds, either. (How odd!) Moreover, As God is my witness, I thought I would find an "In Popular Culture" section here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:53, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

what does "single breasted" mean exactly?[edit]

The Standard Bronze is described as "single breasted", but the article on the Bronze varieties doesn't mention single- vs. double-breastedness among the traits that might differentiate the Standard and Broad Breasted varieties. Do double-breasted turkeys actually have two of something that ordinary birds have one of, or does "double" just mean "bigger"? --Allen (talk) 19:30, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

File:White Holland turkeys.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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The image I posted is from a site which offers the image as free wallpaper for computers. The page (I supplied the URL) has a statement at the bottom saying that if someone has copyright, they should contact the company offering the image. I therefore concluded that there is no copyright on the image. If this is incorrect, then maybe the image should be deleted. DrChrissy (talk) 11:22, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Intelligence revisited[edit]

The subsection on intelligence perpetuates the myth that turkeys drown by looking into the sky when it rains, and says they are as intelligent as 'comparable animals' (unreferenced). What are 'comparable animals'? This sub-section is not in my opinion encyclopaedic and I propose this entire sub-section is deleted. DrChrissy (talk) 11:32, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Is latest photo beneficial to this article?[edit]

The latest photo added to this article, in my opinion, adds little to the article. It is simply another photo of cooked turkey and appears to be advertising a restaurant chain in a place called New Jersey (what is the relevance of that?). I suggest this photo be deleted. DrChrissy (talk) 20:15, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The section within this article is about turkey as food. This is a picture of turkey served as a dish -- that is, turkey as food. QED, relevant. The picture does not advertise a restaurant; people looking for restaurants are not going to visit Wikipedia's section on domesticated turkey. And, is New Jersey relevant? Hey: I live in it. Further, I ate that food on that plate. It was good. In addition, I have seen wild turkeys on a lawn near my house (in New Jersey). Now, did I post the picture of wild turkeys? Nope, since this article is about domesticated turkeys. QED. :) In short, if you'd like to delete the picture, be my guest. :) However, you may develop a hunkering for a hot open turkey sandwich (my favorite food).--Tomwsulcer (talk) 22:56, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Tom. Thanks for helping on this article, as the photo selection isn't perfect by far. However, I agree with DrChrissy that the photo in question wasn't super educational. I've removed it for now. Steven Walling • talk 06:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Domestic vs Domesticated[edit]

We are presently having a discussion at WikiProject Poultry Talk Page on a standard usage of domestic vs domesticated in poultry article names. If you would like to contribute to this discussion please visit the link. JTdale Talk 07:05, 30 July 2014 (UTC)