How Many Feathers Does a Mature Turkey Have? [Turkeys Secret]


how many feathers does a mature turkey have

Have you ever observed turkeys flying in the skies? If yes, you might be curious to count the feathers of the turkeys. Can you do it or not?

We’re here to help out. It’s not an easy task to count each feather one by one as the whole body of this fowl is covered with small, big, or medium size wings. Let’s know how many feathers are actually there in total.

So, read on how many feathers does a mature turkey have? There are 5000 to 6000 feathers on the body of a mature turkey. While the tail has 18 feathers and wings have 10 stiff feathers. Turkey feathers are used as ornaments. In spring, tom turkeys spread their wings called puffing up to allure hen turkeys.

Oh no, you missed your chance to eat a turkey egg meal on Thanksgiving?  Worry not, you can have its bite in June because that is National Turkey Lovers’ month. Hurray! But before eating, know more about this amazing bird through this article!

Facts About Adult Turkey

Do you think turkey bird came first or turkey country? Well, turkey birds were named after the country. The area named Turkey where turkeys were found was controlled by Turks so they named this bird as turkey. 

  • Turkeys produce different sounds like gobble, yelps, purrs, and kee-kees. But to attract hen turkeys, tom turkeys make gobble sound. This is the reason why you can call a male turkey Gobble.
  • If you want to know the gender of a turkey, one way to determine that is by examining its poop. Yes, you got it right! A hen turkey’s poop is like a letter while tom turkey’s poop is in a spiral shape.
  • Unbelievable, yet turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour and can run up to 25 miles per hour.
  • Male turkeys form a group to court hen turkeys and out of the group just one turkey gets to mate.
  • A mother turkey lays 10 to 12 eggs on average and one egg each day. The incubation period for turkey eggs is 28 days just like ducks.

How Many Feathers Do Average Turkeys Have

Usually, on average the body of a turkey that we find around us, there are 5000 to 6000 feathers in total.

On the other hand, the turkey tail has 18 large feathers and each wing will have 10 feathers that are stiff and secondary feathers are 18 to 19.

Secondary feathers are not so important for the flight of a bird but primary feathers are necessary for a bird to fly. 

Feathers cover their bodies following a pattern which is commonly known as feather tracts. 

How Many Feathers Do Most Adult Turkeys Have

Actually an adult turkey has 5000 to 6000 feathers on its body but one thing is for sure that each adult healthy turkey must have at least 3500 feathers on the body. 

Mostly, the feathers on turkey’s wings and tail are long. The majority of the male turkeys are black and darker in color but the females are lighter in color.

In about 10 to 20 percent of female turkeys, there is a long beard-like bundle of feathers. Believe it or not but turkeys have an average lifespan of 10 years. Not too long!

At What Age Turkeys Grow Feathers

Interestingly, feathers are even present in the feather follicles in an unhatched baby turkey which becomes visible to serve the turkey for a lifetime on the tenth day of incubation.

Proper baby feathers develop on the eleventh day of incubation and these feathers contain keratin that is responsible for the coloring and shading of the turkeys.

The hen turkeys mature faster than the male turkeys. Hen turkeys mature in 16 weeks and weigh 3.6 to 7.2 kgs. The tom turkey matures in 19 weeks and weighs about 7.2 to 10.8 kgs. I tell you what though, larger boy turkeys can also sometimes weigh 18.1 kg. 

 

Are Turkey Feathers Strong Enough

Turkey feathers are not strong enough to help a large-size turkey. Commonly, farm-raised turkeys are fat and this is why they can’t fly. You must have seen turkey feathers as ornaments without realizing that they belong to a turkey. Turkey feathers were also used to decorate dresses and to stabilize arrows.

Some people associate turkey feathers with fertility, abundance, and pride. In some countries, it is illegal to have the feathers of certain animals but almost all the countries allow people to have turkey feathers just as easily as we can keep chicken feathers.

mature-turkeys-feathers

Wild vs Domestic Turkey

Picture this, you are so fast that you can’t fly as your fellows. The same goes for domestic turkeys, as they are raised for meat purposes so they have been fed a lot of weight gaining food and so their flying ability is sacrificed. But wild turkeys can still fly because they are less in weight.

Domestic turkeys are less likely to survive in the wild because they are not used to it but wild turkeys thrive in the wild.

Let’s find out major differences in both: 

Wild TurkeysDomestic Turkeys
They can run fastBred to have short legs so can't run fast
Don't cluck a lot to avoid dangerConstantly cluck
Can flyCan't fly due to weight
Dark and brown in colorWhite in color
Can survive in the wildCan't survive in the wild
Good eyesightNot so good eyesight
Fear humansDon't fear humans

Do Wild Turkey Fly With Feathers

The same feathers on each turkey pass through 5 phases of feather replacement throughout the lifetime. These phases are named natal, juvenile, first basic, alternate that happens in the first winter and basic which is the adult plumage. So don’t get scared when you notice your turkey is having a hair loss problem. Watch them fly below.

Do Domestic Turkeys Have Feathers

Well, yes. Domestic turkeys do have feathers but the color is white. Due to white-colored feathers, domestic turkeys can’t survive in the wild because they can easily be found because of white feathers. On the other hand, wild turkeys have dark and brownish feathers that help them hide in the wild and receive the predator.

Do Chicks Grow Feathers

For sure, when baby turkeys reach three weeks juvenile which is a phase of their feather growing process, they get on their feathers alongside flight feathers. Once this phase is reached, you should know that your turkey has been through a major part of its life and the next vital stage will come when your turkey is eight weeks old. 

Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

How Many Feathers Does an Average Turkey Have?

An average turkey is known to have 5000 to 6000 feathers on the body. While the tail has 18 long feathers.

How High Can Turkey Fly?

Turkeys usually fly close to the ground and the distance they cover is about 400 m which means a quarter-mile.

How Fast Can Wild Turkeys Run?

Wild turkeys run at the speed of 25 miles per hour while the speed of domestic turkey may vary.

What is a Female Turkey Called?

Well, a female turkey is called a hen but when she is young then she can be called Jenny.

Why Do Turkeys Puff Up?

They usually puff up in spring and this puffing up of body and tail feathers help them to attract hen turkeys.

Final Verdict

By now, you are sure about how many feathers does mature turkey has. On the body of a turkey, there is a minimum of 3500 feathers. The domestic turkeys have white feathers and wild turkeys are more active than domestic turkeys and have dark feathers that help them hide from the predators.

It is almost impossible to catch a wild turkey because they run fast and in a cross-path style which makes it difficult for predators to know which turkey it was chasing.

Roland Carroll

Hi, This is Roland. I love Hunting and it's my hobby. I love to share my hunting experience in this blog. Keep reading all the articles here and let me know what do you think about this site.

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