Posts Tagged ‘Poultry farming’

Thanksgiving 2020

November 17, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

In this pandemic year, many people have decided not to visit Grandma for Thanksgiving, since giving her COVID-19 in exchange for roast turkey and green bean whoopie seems unfair. With smaller holiday gatherings, the market for great big turkeys has collapsed, as farmers see seasonal profits gobbled up by social distancing. Many small pandemic pod parties want smaller turkeys, but growers have not been able to get those big fat birds to lose weight. If you’ve been binge eating during quarantine, maybe you can relate.


“Turkey farmers fear that, this year, they’ve bred too many big birds,” Laura Reiley, Washington Post

“Scaled-back Thanksgiving plans leave turkey farmers in limbo,” Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press

“Fauci says small gatherings driving new Covid outbreaks, worries about Thanksgiving,” Sara G. Miller, NBC News

“Thanksgiving In The Time Of COVID-19: To Grandmother’s House Or No?” April Fulton, NPR

“CDC issues new guidance for Thanksgiving gatherings,” Joseph Choi, The Hill

“Traditional Thanksgivings Off the Table As Coronavirus Surges,” Emma Coleman, Route Fifty

“‘A loaded pistol for Grandma’s head’: Colorado governor asks people not to bring COVID to Thanksgiving table,” Alexander Kirk, Nate Lynn, and Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, Fox West Texas


Turkeys, Wild and Otherwise

November 25, 2014

Turkeys, Wild and Otherwise
There may or may not have been turkey at the first thanksgiving, but there will probably be one on your holiday table. Centuries before Columbus, the Aztecs domesticated wild turkeys, and Spanish conquerors took some birds home to Europe where they became popular, reaching England between 1524 and 1541. That means the New England “pilgrim” Puritans were as familiar with turkeys as their Wampanoag dinner guests, but neither would recognize the over-bred bird you bought this week.

A wild tom turkey usually weighs about 20 pounds and can fly for up to a mile with speed bursts up to 55 miles per hour. It’s dark-feathered, sly, slim, tall and long-legged, and can run like the devil through the brush. It can live up to 10 years if it doesn’t get an infection and can be found in any of the contiguous 48 states.

A domestic tom turkey can weigh up to 40 pounds, has white feathers, stumps around on short legs, and sports a huge breast. Most market turkeys come from Minnesota or North Carolina. A domestic turkey can’t fly or reproduce normally, is treated with antibiotics, and only lives for 2 or 3 months before it gets slaughtered for your dining pleasure. Happy Thanksgiving!


“Head To Head: Wild Vs. Supermarket Turkeys (Infographic),” World Science Festival

“Wild and domestic turkeys: birds of a different feather,” South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

“On This Thanksgiving, Celebrating The Wild Turkey,” Barbara J. King, NPR


“Look How Much Bigger Thanksgiving Turkeys Are Today Than in the 1930s,” Kiera Butler, Mother Jones 

“How Turkeys Got Broad, White Breasts,” Sara Bir, Modern Farmer

“How America’s Thanksgiving turkeys got so huge,” Svati Kirsten Narula, Quartz

“Benjamin Franklin praises the virtues of the turkey,” from a 1784 letter to his daughter via Lapham’s Quarterly

“Get to Know the Turkey Species You Don’t Eat,” Matt Somiak, Mental Floss


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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