By Karen Treharne
Since this is the month when many of us turn our thoughts to "turkey" as a traditional family meal, it occurred to me that it might be fun to learn a bit about these feathered friends. Did you know …
Turkeys can drown if they look up while it is raining, so they don't.
They can suffer from heart attacks, which makes one wonder about their diet.
Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears; internal ear wax is not a problem.
Turkeys see in color and have a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult.
They have a poor sense of smell, but an excellent sense of taste.
The flap of skin that hangs over the turkey's beak is called a "caruncle" or a "snood". It turns bright red when the turkey is annoyed or showing off.
A "wattle" is the flap of skin under the turkey's chin. Not "waddle" like a duck.
The male turkey, or Tom, has a "beard," which is the course, black hair growing from his chest.
If you are in the presence of a live turkey, remember that your fingers look like food to him. Act appropriately.
Domestic turkeys are usually too heavy to fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly short distances at speeds up to 55 MPH. They also can reach speeds of 25 MPH on the ground.
There are as many varieties of turkeys as there are people. Turkey varieties include the Black, the Slate, the Blue, and more. The most likely one you will use for your Thanksgiving dinner is the Broad-Breasted White selection.
As you sit down to enjoy your next turkey meal, stop to reflect a moment on these tasty birds and their speedy, colorful and friendly disposition. Friendly, that is, if they aren't tempted with a "hand out"!
Karen Treharne lives in the state of Washington, which is one of the six states in the US where over 80% the Country's apples are grown. She lives with her husband, Ken, and father-in-law, Ed. Karen is a published writer, and she grew up when "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" was a common saying. Now scientists have proved it true.
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