|This came up under an image search for "sexy turkey".|
I don't understand, but I'm gonna roll with it because HELLO.
Lady turkeys are called hens, and gentleman turkeys are called - are you ready? - gobblers. I love it. There are two very distinct ways that turkeys mate, depending on whether the turkey is wild and free or for eating. If it's for eating, it's all done via artificial insemination because most eating turkeys have been bred in such a way that makes them delicious, but physically incapable of mating.
|Martha Stewart - masking ugly truths with gorgeousness since 1982|
But nobody wants to hear me go on about unethical breeding practices (or about how the story kids are spoonfed about the first Thanksgiving is a bald-faced lie, because believe me, I could go on for days), especially when there's wild turkey scrumpin' to get to. By the way, as a brief public service announcement - humans should avoid Wild Turkey and scrumpin' at most costs.
|Not like I know or anything...I'm just sayin'...|
Anyhooo...wild turkeys generally get to mating around March or April. Gobblers usually court the hens in groups with their homies - about 4 males to about 20 females. They start strutting around and drumming their wings against their bodies, puffing out their feathers, spitting, and do something called "booming" which is apparently super sexy to turkeys.
|At first you think this could be sexy to a turkey, haha...|
but then you realize how very wrong you are
The mating ritual starts in the turkeys' winter grounds, but then starts out on the road toward springtime pastures. When everyone's moving, the males will find a little covering of trees or bushes or whatever, and will wait for sexy turkey ladies to walk by. When they do, the gobblers puffs out their chests (which are large, but not so large they can't screw) to say "hey turkeygirl, come see what I got for ya". You can see a video of it at the bottom of this page. If a hen is interested, she'll bump her (smaller) chest against his to say "I'm ready, you big hunk of bird you," and then they'll get it on.
After being inseminated, the lady turkeys go and find places to lay their 10-14 eggs, laid about one per day. They'll incubate the eggs for about a month, and the babies leave the nest within just a few days of hatching. Wild turkeys are polygamous, meaning the males will mate with as many females as they can before mating season is over.
|But do THEY get a show on HBO? Nooooooo...|
You can learn more about the Wild Turkey at the National Wild Turkey Federation's website, because, oh, my goodness, there is such a thing!
So a very happy Thanksgiving day, you beautiful people you (or a very happy Thursday to you beautiful non-Americans) - I am hella super thankful for all of you! Be good to each other today, and go ahead and get some in honor of that poor, delicious, virgin bird you will be nomming so hard on tonight. I think he'd totally appreciate it.