turkey

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 3, 2022

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The domesticated turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a large poultry bird, one of the two species in the genus Meleagris and the same as the wild turkey. It was domesticated by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica at least 2,000 years ago, with the evidence pointing to what are today the central regions of Mexico. Turkey meat is a popular form of poultry, and turkeys are raised throughout temperate parts of the world, partially because industrialized farming has made it very cheap for the amount of meat it produces. Female domesticated turkeys are referred to as hens and the chicks may be called poults or turkeylings. In the United States, the males are referred to as toms, while in Europe, males are stags. The average lifespan for a domesticated turkey is ten years. The great majority of domesticated turkeys are bred to have white feathers because their pin feathers are less visible when the carcass is dressed, although brown or bronze-feathered varieties are also raised. The fleshy protuberance atop the beak is the snood, and the one attached to the underside of the beak is known as a wattle. The English language name for this species is the result of an early misidentification of the bird with an unrelated species which was imported to Europe through the country of Turkey.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.