I picked up two turkeys today. One was a frozen 23-pounder from Publix, and the other was roosted nicely on BigUniverse.com.
I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for the first one, but I got to consume the other in one short sitting. The big guy will take hours to roast, but should suffice when it’s time to feed my 22 Thanksgiving dinner guests. The other one is a year-round treat – a particularly tasty morsel for the younger set just learning to read.
“Turkeys” is a Bellwether beauty, written and illustrated for K-2nd Graders (F&P GR: G ATOS: 1.5 AR Points: 0.5.) It’s a Level 1 Blastoff! Reader with particularly crisp and colorful photographs, a handful of good vocabulary stretchers and an online reading quiz (AR Quiz: 118106). I think I will share it with a niece and nephew, whom I get to meet for the first time this Thanksgiving! Family time and reading go together like mashed potatoes and gravy.
For the older kid in all of us, I put together a turkey trivia quiz, plus a list of turkey-themed activity links. If those don’t get your gobble on, there’s always turkey bowling….frozen of course.
Turkey Trivia Quiz
1.) What do you call a grownup male turkey?
- A Tom Turkey
- A Coattail Turkey
- A Turkey Cob
Answer: No tricks here! A male turkey is called a “Tom Turkey.”
2.) What is a baby turkey called?
- A pullet
- A poult
- A turklet
Answer: Juvenile male turkeys are sometimes called “jakes,” and juvenile females turkeys are sometimes referred to as “jennies,” but very young baby turkeys are called “poults,” so the answer is B.
3.) Male tom turkeys have these anatomical features:
- Spurs, beard and horn
- Beard, wattle and crest
- Snood, caruncles, spurs
Answer: Male turkeys have lots of interesting features, especially their beautiful tail plumage. They also have spike-like spurs on their heels, a beard of skinny feathers dangling from their chests, a flap of skin called a “snood,” hanging over their beaks; “caruncles” – very bumpy wart-like skin – on their “bald” heads; and floppy skin under their necks, called “wattles” or “dewlaps.” So, the best answer is C.
4.) How many turkeys were raised in the United States in 2011?
- 32 million
- 248 million
- 152 million
Answer: Turkey production was up 2 percent this year compared to the 2010 season. In 2011, 248 million turkeys were raised, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). So, the answer is B.
5.) Which state produces the most turkeys?
- New York
Answer: The top turkey producer in the United States is Minnesota – with 46.5 million gobblers raised this year, says the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The five other top turkey-farming states are North Carolina and Arkansas (both with 30 million), Missouri (18 million), Virginia (17.5 million) and Indiana (16 million).
6.) What month is the official Turkey Lovers’ Month?
Answer: Most people would assume that November is Turkey Lovers’ Month, but it’s June. Although 95 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, June is the official month to promote turkey consumption.
7.) How long does a wild hen turkey sit on a clutch of eggs before they hatch?
- 60 days
- 43 days
- 26 days
Answer: The average incubation period is between three and four weeks, or 26 days, but may range from 25-29 days, according to the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game. This depends on the number of eggs in the clutch, how long it took the hen turkey to lay her eggs, and when she decides to abandon her nest after her first eggs hatch.
8.) Which of the following statements is false?
- Wild turkeys are too heavy to fly.
- Wild turkeys can fly as fast as cars on a highway.
- Wild turkeys can fly by the time they are 10 days old.
Answer: Wild turkeys prefer to run when startled, but learn to fly into trees to roost when just over a week old. They are best at gliding downhill, but can fly up to a mile when necessary. So, Answer A is false. Even though some adults reach 25 pounds at their heaviest, they can fly 50-60 miles per hour over short distances. Domestic turkeys, however, no longer have the capacity to fly.
9.) The turkey’s natural eating habits make it a/an:
Answer: The wild turkey loves to eat seeds, insects, acorns, salamanders and grasses, making it an “omnivore,” so Answer 3 is the best choice.
10.) How long does it take to thaw a 12-pound frozen turkey in the refrigerator?
- 3 days
- 6 days
Answer: Your frozen turkey should go in the refrigerator on Monday, three days before it goes in the oven. The Butterball Company recommends that you “allow one day of thawing for each 4 pounds of turkey. (12 divided by 4 is 3.) A thawed turkey may remain in the refrigerator for four days before cooking.” (This means my 23-pound turkey needs to come out of the freezer and go into my refrigerator about six days before Thanksgiving.)
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
- Lined Writing Paper Template for Thanksgiving
- Happy Turkey Day Card Template (coloring/writing)
- Happy Thanksgiving Turkey Card Template (coloring/writing)
- Easy Turkey Pin Craft
- Pine Cone Pipe Cleaner Turkey Craft (video). Cute!
- Clothes Pin Turkey Craft
- Turkey Maze: Counting By 2s
- Turkey Dinner Maze
- Turkey Coloring Sheet
- Colorful Thanksgiving Alphabet (reading)