Turkey Facts

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  • Benjamin Franklin proposed that the American wild turkey be the national bird.
  • 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving
  • The wild turkey is native to northern Mexico and the eastern United States.
  • The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and taken to Spain in the 1500's, where it was selectively bred with European turkeys.
  • Commercial and heritage turkey breeds all resulted from crossing European breeds with American wild turkeys.
  • Only about 30,000 heritage turkeys were raised in all of 2013, compared to the estimated 240 million commercial birds.

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