Americans consume approximately 46 million turkeys around Thanksgiving and consumed around five billion pounds of turkey in all of 2019. That’s 16 pounds per person that year! Come closer to home and you’ll discover that Minnesota has the largest number of independent turkey farmers in the nation with over 600 turkey farms and stakeholders making Minnesota the turkey capital of the U.S. According to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Minnesota turkey farmers raise between 40 and 42 million birds every year and the industry generates over $1 billion dollars in economic activity and provides more than 26,000 jobs in the state.
Also, did you know?
- Only tom turkeys gobble.
- A female turkey is called a hen.
- Hens take 14 weeks to reach maturity and weigh about 15 pounds.
- The most common breed of turkey we eat today is the Broad Breasted White.
- Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had foil food packets containing roasted turkey and all the trimmings while dining on the moon.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the official United States bird.
- Surprisingly, November is not National Turkey Lovers Month. It’s June!
- Turkeys have approximately 3,500 feathers at maturity.
- The costume worn by Big Bird on Sesame Street is rumored to have been made of turkey feathers.
- Turkey is lean, protein packed and is rich in vitamin B3 and B12, selenium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.