5 Fun Facts: Turkeys, Radford, and Good Eats

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, but do you know the animal behind the meal? If not, these facts are for you.

Two turkeys

Photo Credit: (Sterling Lanier) 2 male turkeys talking.

By McKenzie Lewis | mlewis99@radford.edu

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, millions of Americans will be preparing a turkey for their meals, but do you know the animal behind the meal? If not, these facts – and Radford University events – are for you.

Turkey Names

Turkeys are called different names, depending on their age.

According to Heifer International, adult males are gobblers while adult females are hens, and young males are jakes while young females are jennies.

Now you can appropriately name turkeys from here on out.

Three turkeys
Photo Credit: (Ruth Caron) Photogenic turkeys in a fence.

Turkey Poop

Did you know you can tell the gender of a turkey by looking at its poop? The genders have differently shaped droppings.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, “A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings–males produce spiral-shaped poop and females’ poop is shaped like the letter J.”

That’s weird if you ask me, but if you ever need to know the gender of a turkey, you now know how. Maybe the J shaped dropping is for the name “Jennies” in female turkeys.

Cousins to the T-Rex

Do you think the wishbone is just a fun thing to do with your family every year? Well, I have news for you: the wishbone is a possible link between turkeys and the t-rex.

“Paleontologists now tell us that the bone dates back more than 150 million years to two-legged, meat-eating dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor,” according to LiveScience.

That would be an exciting family reunion.

Photo Credit: (Fran Hogan) Gobbler turkey looking for a challenge.

The Turkey’s Tracking Ability

Apparently, turkeys are a lot smarter than humans typically give them credit. Their tracking abilities seem to be superior to that of a human without technology.

“Turkeys have the ability to learn the precise details of an area over 1,000 acres in size,” according to One Kind Planet.

They’re like a living GPS.

Radford University’s Thanksgiving Events

An additional fact for those craving a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal early, Thursday, Nov. 12, will be your favorite day. Dalton Dining Hall will be offering a full Thanksgiving meal for lunch with all the fixin’s including turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and more. Head to Dalton from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for the early festive feast.

In addition to the full Thanksgiving feast, Dalton is hosting a Pie Party during the same lunch hours. 

If you are a lover of pie and all things comfort food, these events are for you.