Turkey is a big bird found in both a wild and also domesticated state. Many turkey spend is domesticated.

You are watching: What is the average weight of a turkey

Turkey breeds

In America, the primary turkey breed is the American copper (aka Broadbreasted White), i m sorry was emerged in the 1950s because that size and weight. 99% that the turkeys marketed are Broadbreasted White. These tamed birds room so awkward that they can not fly or run: they can not breed by themselves, and also have to be artificially inseminated. There is no man roughly to help, over there wouldn’t it is in a next generation the them. They are usually brought to sector within 3 months of hatching, at an average weight of 27 pounds (12 kg.)When very first hatched, turkeys space not fed for the first day or so, together they room still digesting yolk the is in their stomachs.

Both male and female turkeys room sold. The females tend to it is in smaller, but the trend is towards marketing smaller sized birds, anyway. Turkey marketing plank want united state to think that turkeys as an ext than just a holiday bird. The 25 lb (11 kg) birds are fine as soon as 20 members that the household have to be roped in to help eat it, but it’s a little much for a family of 4. For normal usage such as this, smaller, 10-pound birds are reaching the market.

Most turkeys in the UK room reared in Norfolk. English turkey breeds space the Fawn Turkey, the White Turkey, the bronze Turkey (aka Cambridge), and the black color Turkey (aka Norfolk.) The bronze Turkey is the largest.

There space 4 heritage turkey each other in America: American traditional Bronze, Bourbon Red, Jersey Buff and also the Narragansett. Heritage breeds price 3 come 5 times the price (2005 prices) the the standard Broadbreasted White, since they need around 8 months prior to they are ready for market. The weight arrays from 7 come 20 pounds.

French turkey breeds tend to be lot smaller compared to British and American breeds.

When to buy a turkey, the dominance of thumb is 1 pound (450 g) per human for a bird that is as much as 10 pounds / 2.5 kg. For a bird that is over the weight, enable 1/2 pound / 225 g per person.

Black spots on turkey skin

Black clues on turkey skin room a organic occurrence. It is pigment from the feathers. It method it to be a dark-feathered turkey. The very same residue may be there in the skin on turkeys the were white-feathered, however you do not an alert it because it looks clear.

“Feather color doesn’t issue much throughout a advertisement turkey’s life, particularly if the bird is being increased in a barn or outdoor pen wherein camouflage coloration is that no use. But the benefits of white feathers become noticeable as the bird heads down the processing line. That’s because, when dark-plumed turkeys are processed, colors from their feathers extrudes into the skin, transforming the meat blue, said Ken Krueger, president of Diamond K research and also consulting service, a turkey research concern in Marshville, N.C. “Customers carry out not want to check out pigment in your turkey skin,” Krueger said, speaking through a candid understatement typical of countless turkey experts. Those more, the added, the small “pin feathers” periodically left behind ~ plucking are almost invisible on white feathered turkeys, eliminating the unsavory appearance of dark “whiskers” ~ above the birds.” <1>Weiss, Rick. Techo Turkeys. In: Washington Post. Washington, DC. 12 November 1997.

Supermarket, mass-produced turkeys are much less likely to have actually these dark feather spots because the birds elevated will now typically be the commodities of selective breeding, which has led to white-feathered turkeys. This is to avoid alarming consumer worried about the otherwise naturally-occurring dark spots:

If you buy heritage-breed turkeys, girlfriend are an ext likely to encounter the black color spots in the skin:

“Why does my Heritage black Turkey have spots top top its skin? as soon as your Heritage black Turkey arrives, girlfriend may an alert blue or black color spots top top the skin. Unlike a commercially bred white turkey, ours turkey is dark-plumed. Once processed, the pigment from the feathers have the right to extrude right into the skin. This does not influence the turkey’s flavor, only it’s appearance, and it’s a characteristics of an old-world heritage breed.” <3>Heritage black Turkey. Joyce Farms. 1 October 2018. Accessed December 2020 at https://joyce-farms.com/blogs/news/heritage-black-turkey-faqs

Turkey Thawing / food preparation / Serving dimension Chart

Frozen turkeys s in the refrigerator will certainly take between 20 and 48 hours to thaw. So, don’t wait it spins Christmas eve to begin thawing, or there will be tears every round the following morning.

# of human being to it is in servedWeightCold WaterThaw *(hrs)FridgeThaw(hrs)CookingTime(hrs)
4 come 65 pounds(2.25 kg)10201 1/2
6 come 88 pounds(3.6 kg)16202 1/2
8 to 1010 to 13 pounds(4.5 come 6 kg)1922 to 243 come 3 1/2
10 come 1215 pounds(6.75 kg)3024 come 284 1/2
12 to 1520 pounds(9 kg)3940 come 486

In calculating food preparation time by weight, incorporate the load of the stuffing in your calculations.

In calculating offer time, nothing forget to around about 1/2 hour of relaxing time top top the end of food preparation time prior to carving and also serving. More time is well too.

Turkey sirloin Cold Water Thaw

To do a rush thaw and shot to conserve the day, leaving the turkey in that plastic wrapping, unstuffed. Placed it in a huge dishpan or miscellaneous big, and also cover the bird v cold water completely. Adjust the water every 30 minutes; allow 30 minutes per .5 kg (pound). With this method, because that example, a 4.5 kg (10 pound) bird will certainly take 5 hours to thaw, as opposed come 19 hours or much more without an altering the water.

Alternatively, you have the right to thaw in your microwave follow to accuse in your microwave manual. Eliminate all wrapping very first and cook immediately afterward (do not refrigerate after microwave thawing.)

Cooking Tips


Wild turkey. Judy Gallagher / flickr/ 2008 / CC by 2.0

Turkeys are native to main Mexico. They to be domesticated before the europeans arrived, and also spread throughout the area consisting of the Caribbean. Europeans in reality encountered turkey first in the Honduras.

European explorers to the americas brought ago turkeys v them; by the end of the 1500s, turkeys were being increased in England, France and also Italy (pace Brillat-Savarin, below, who put it in the 1600s.) tamed turkeys were introduced into the American nests from Europe. Europeans all set them in the same methods as they already did various other fowl: e.g. Stuffing, roasting, etc. The very first recipe in publish for turkey is in Francois Pierre de la Varenne’s book, “Le Cuisinier François”, released 1651:

“24. Dindonneaux: Estans plumez chaudement, laissez les mortifier habillez-les en suite, faites blanchir sur le feu, picquez & faites rostir, puis servez.” — Francois Pierre de la Varenne. Le Cuisinier François. “Recipe #24. Dindonneaux.” 1651. Web page 72.

When the American Pilgrims had actually their Thanksgiving Dinner in 1621, castle would already have known about turkeys, and maybe even have had actually it already earlier in England.

Wild turkeys survived just along the sheet of the negotiation line in America, until the populaces along the line were eliminated. Wild turkeys have now been re-introduced in countless areas.

Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to it is in America’s national symbol, instead of the fully eagle.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed a holiday in November in America in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln. Canadians adopted the holiday as well.

The an initial meal on the moon, took pleasure in by Neil Armstrong and also Edwin Aldrin, to be turkey.

Turkey to be not well-known for Christmas in the UK until the so late 1800s, and remained a luxury in the UK up until the 1950s.

Literature & Lore

It’s a myth that turkeys will certainly stand in the rain and also drown. What can happen is the young chicks, having actually only down and also no feather yet for protection, will acquire wet, cold and die the exposure.

In Italy, turkeys are frequently slaughtered and eaten on Martinmas job (11 November).

In 1825, Brillat-Savarin, the French gastronome, wrote:

“The turkey is absolutely one the the most glorious gift made through the new world come the old.

Those people who constantly wish come know more than others, say the the turkey was well-known to the ancients, and was served up at the wedding feast of Charlemagne. They speak it is one error come attribute the income to the Jesuits. To this paradoxes however two things deserve to be opposed:

1st. The surname of the bird proves that is origin, for at one time America was called the West Indies.2d. The kind of the bird is completely foreign.

A well educated man can not be mistaken around it.

Though currently perfectly satisfied, i made lot deep research in the matter. I will not inflict my research studies on mine readers, yet will only give them the results:

1. The turkey appeared in Europe around the finish of the ten century.

2. The it was imported by the Jesuits who sent out a big number particularly to a farm yard they had near Bouges.

3. That thence they spread gradually over France, and also in plenty of localities a turkey to today is referred to as a Jesuit.

4. Only in America has the turkey been found in a wild state, (it is unknown in Africa.)

5. That in the farms of north America, where it is really common, it has actually two origins, one of two people from egg which have been found and also hatched or from young turkeys recorded in the woods. The consequence is they space in a state that nature and also preserve practically all their initial plumage….

The same researches (Ed: sic) informed us the the turkey gradually became acclimated in France. Well informed observers have actually told me that around the middle of the last century the twenty young turkeys scarcely ten lived, while now fourteen out of every twenty mature. The spring rains are most unfortunate come them; the huge drops of rain to mark on your tender heads destroy them.” — Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in The Physiology of Taste, section IV. THE Turkey, job Gutenberg, Apr 2004. First published Dec 1825.

“The piece de resistance the the Christmas dinner which bears the Government’s seal that approval is the nationwide bird of America, the turkey. Uncle Sam’s food preparation experts state the a an excellent sized bird have to be selected – one in between eight and twenty pounds – and also care have to be exercised that the bird is not more than a year old. After the turkey is very closely cleaned, stuff it through a mixture of stale bread, chestnuts, only leaves, a dash of cayenne, part fresh (not cooked) celery and a trace of onion… In food preparation the bird, care should it is in taken that it does not continue to be too lengthy in the oven, for this will certainly render the meat dry and also tasteless. The organic juices the the fowl are what render its meat so delicious, and super-roasting will dry these up. The turkey have to be cooking in a moderately rapid oven until the skin is a beautiful well-off brown. Constant basting will do much toward preventing the meat from dry up.” — U.S. Expert suggests Ideal Christmas Dinner: miss Caroline L. Hunt, of bureau of Home business economics of department of Agriculture, likewise Gives reason Why She has Selected item on her Menu. New York Times. 19 December 1915.

Language Notes

Wild Turkey is “meleagris ocellata”.

See more: Meet Me At The Hotel Motel Holiday Inn, Meet Me At The Hotel Room Lyrics


Sibun, Jonathan. Jeff Halliwell interview: A ‘bootiful’ time the year because that Bernard Matthews boss. London: everyday Telegraph. 20 December 2009.

Let’s talk Turkey—A customer Guide come Safely Roasting a Turkey. USDA Food Safety and Inspection company Fact Sheets. 12 January 2011. Re-cover April 2012 from http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Lets_Talk_Turkey/index.asp