50 Fascinating Turkey Facts for Kids

Published June 27, 2022
Girl looking at turkey on a farm

Turkeys are interesting wild birds that love to eat berries and bugs. Interested in learning more about turkeys? Get all the fun facts about where turkeys live, what they look like, how many breeds there are, and so much more. You'll surprise everyone with your turkey trivia knowledge.

Fun & Interesting Turkey Facts for Kids

Turkeys are much more than just Thanksgiving dinner. They are fun birds with a few curious quirks. Learn what you call a boy or girl turkey and why turkeys are linked to Benjamin Franklin. Enjoy these fantastic turkey facts for kids.

  • Turkeys are large birds that can fly for short distances, like 100 yards.
  • Wild turkeys have some major leg strength and can run at speeds of about 20 miles per hour.
  • Boy turkeys are called toms or gobblers, and girl turkeys are called hens.
  • Scientists can tell the difference between turkeys by studying their poop.
  • During mating season, turkeys will dance and strut around each other. Maybe that's where the turkey trot came from.
  • There is a myth that Ben Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey. However, he just thought the first eagle design looked like a turkey.
  • Turkeys have excellent eyesight during the day and a 270-degree field of vision. They also have great hearing and a horrible sense of smell.
  • Turkeys can blush when they are scared or mad.
  • Turkeys also have two stomachs. One is the true stomach, and the other is the gizzard for breaking down food since they don't have teeth.
  • Turkeys actually got their name from the country Turkey.
  • The red warty stuff on a turkey's head and neck are called a caruncles.
  • Domesticated turkeys can't fly. This is why most people think turkeys are flightless birds.
  • Turkeys are connected with Thanksgiving feasts and decorations.

Terrific Turkey Facts About Their Looks and Behavior

When it comes to facts about turkeys that kiddos will love, there are a lot of them. Turkeys have a unique look to them and several exciting features you don't see on other birds. Find out about turkey warts and their growing beard.

  • Turkeys have a red thing on their neck called a wattle.
  • Turkeys have multiple feature colors, from green to gold.
  • Female turkeys will purr when they are happy, just like a cat.
  • Male turkeys are the only ones that make the gobble sound.
  • Turkeys have a giant plume like a peacock and over 5,000 feathers.
  • Female and male turkeys have warts on their heads, but males have more.
  • The beard on a turkey grows longer every year.
  • Male turkeys can weigh up to 40 pounds, and females weigh up to only around 15 pounds.
  • Turkeys have doubled in size over the last few decades.
  • There are several types of turkeys, including the Eastern, Merriam, Rio Grande, and Osceola.

Facts About Baby Turkeys for Kids

Just like other birds, turkeys lay eggs. But they are unique in how and why they lay their eggs. Turkeys are also fearless parents. Fly into a few more fun facts about baby turkeys.

Older and younger turkey
  • A mother hen only lays 10-12 eggs.
  • It takes 28 days for a baby turkey to hatch.
  • Baby and young turkeys can't fly like the adults. They have to wait until they get older to be able to soar.
  • A baby turkey is a chick or poult, just like a chicken.
  • After five weeks, a young bird is called a Jake or a Jenny.
  • Wild baby turkeys are omnivores and eat nuts, insects, and berries.
  • Baby turkeys typically stay with their parents in the flock, a group of turkeys.
  • Turkey moms are responsible creatures and don't leave their eggs unattended. They want to make sure predators can't get them.
  • Father turkeys will watch for predators, too, especially raccoons.
  • Since turkey babies don't have teeth, a mother mashes their food.

Cool Facts About Turkey Habitats

Did you know turkeys are found all over the U.S.? They also like to roost in trees when they are napping. Learn more interesting and unique facts about where turkeys live.

  • They are raised on farms and found in the wild.
  • Turkeys like to live in wooded and forest areas.
  • Turkeys are native to the United States and Canada.
  • The ocellated turkey is native to Mexico.
  • Turkeys sleep in flocks in trees.
  • They nest in areas with good cover to keep their babies safe.
  • You can find wild turkeys in 49 states of the U.S. But they aren't hip on Alaska.
  • Turkeys do not migrate long distances during the winter. They roost in trees instead.
  • Other countries like New Zealand are introducing wild turkeys.
  • Turkeys can live in grasslands but prefer hardwood forests.

Facts About Turkey Food

You've probably had a little turkey at some point in your life, from a turkey sandwich to a turkey dinner. Turkey is a common food eaten in America. However, Americans aren't the ones who eat the most turkey. Find out who does, and a few other turkey food facts you might not know.

Unrecognizable man and child pulling wishbone on Thanksgiving dinner
  • Turkey is one of the top dishes served on Christmas and Thanksgiving.
  • Turkey is high in protein and has fewer calories than beef.
  • Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan that's linked with sleepiness; which is why people get tired after eating Thanksgiving dinner.
  • June is National Turkey Lover's Month.
  • Israelis eat the most turkey per year.
  • Turkey meat is used in pet food.
  • Turkeys are made up of white and dark meat.
  • Many states have wild turkey hunting seasons.

Tremendous Facts About Turkeys for Kids

Maybe you've created a paper bag turkey at Thanksgiving time or read a book about a turkey named Tom. But now you have all the fun facts on turkeys to wow your friends. Do you think turkeys are interesting? Learn more about reindeer and polar bears too!

50 Fascinating Turkey Facts for Kids