The Remarkable Domestic Turkey

Did you know that turkeys are native to North America? Did you also know that the early pilgrims domesticated them and began to breed different types of turkeys, ultimately creating a bird that was much tamer and contained more meat that the wild turkey?

Today, despite hundreds of years of breeding and crossbreeding to create the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, the domestic bird still maintains a remarkable resemblance to its wild cousin.

Below is a picture I took last winter of a wild turkey.

And here is a recent picture of a domestic turkey:

Isn’t it amazing how similar they are in appearance?

Here’s a side by side comparison: (the domestic bird is on the left)

A profile shot of both the domestic and wild turkey also reveals the uncanny similarities between the wild and domestic bird.  (The domestic is on the left below.)

The only difference between the wild turkey and its domestic cousin is that the domestic variety has a much more social nature than the wild turkey who must be viewed in secret from a blind. This domestic turkey however is content to enjoy our hospitality. But like it’s wild relative, it too is shy about having its picture taken and so several enticements must be used to hold its attention while the in-house photographer snaps its portrait.

It enjoys catfood field corn.

Although when first presented with the corn it repeatedly turns its backside toward the cameraman.

The high intelligence of the domestic turkey must not be underrated. Could it be that this bird is using non-verbal communication towards the photographer?

Sour cream ground bird feed is highly palatable to the domestic bird too, fed from a human finger,

but from a dish it is found not to be so attractive.

Could it be that the domestic turkey has become so used to humans that it prefers to eat from the human hand?

Despite its naturally social and gregarious nature, it soon tires of company and must be allowed to rest.

Above, note the turkey’s expression towards the cameraman. It’s just another remarkable example of the domestic turkey’s ability to express itself non-verbally and convey to the cameraman its desire to discontinue the photo shoot.

Below, it employs not just the eyes, but the entire body in conveying its message.

And so we acquiesce and give the domestic turkey its wish to rest in peace.

I meant take a nap, not rest in peace!  Yeah, that’s what I meant. To take 5.  Catch some ZZZZZs!!   You know, slumber. Not the eternal kind of slumber with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls, and pumpkin pie………oh my…….

But it’s ok. We’ve got plenty of hot dogs for Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll be fine.

Really. We will.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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21 Responses

  1. Alica says:

    I can just hear the purring of contentment as the domestic turkey takes it’s well-deserved nap…

  2. Doe of Mi. says:

    Oh Suzanne thats hilarious. My Sam cat would have a fit if I dressed him up like that. But, he does love to lick good stuff off my finger also. Thanks for the laugh. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  3. julie says:

    Good one! 😀 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. Maegan says:

    Haha, thank you for the giggle :). Now I’m imagining my own “domestic turkey” and I’m pretty sure she’d do her best to resemble a brown and serve roll if I put that on her. Silly thing thinks curling up makes her immune to the world.

  5. Kathy says:

    What a great sense of humor you have! I’m reading this at work and laughing out loud. (Have to stop before people think there’s something wrong with me.) Kitty is a special cat to allow you to dress her up like that. Jenny wouldn’t stand for it.

  6. Laura says:

    Poor Kitty! ha Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Pam K. says:

    Your domestic turkey is very patient! My sister tried to put a Christmas cape with bells on it on her domestic turkey last year. The little “turkey” took off like a shot, and we didn’t see her for the next 24 hours. She was hiding in the basement!

  8. Tom Parker says:

    The domestic turkey will undoubtedly pee on your pillow for such shenanigans.

  9. Debbie says:

    LOL! Too funny! I especially love the backside shot, and the last photo! I can’t imagine how you got Kitty to put up with all that! She is pretty patient for a cat!

  10. Paulie says:

    How sweet a comparison. . . Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Lil Red says:

    Oh my gosh, that is toooooo funny!

  12. Becky L. says:

    Funny! I like the domestic turkey better, more huggable than it’s cousin. We had a good day. I made a yummy Paradise Pumpkin Pie that had cream cheese filling on the bottom. I got it from a Country Woman Christmas book I’ve had for years. Why don’t i use it more? Who knows, but I should! Hope you had a nice thanksgiving!

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Becky! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too. We had a quiet one at home, just Harland and me and my MIL for Thanksgiving dinner. And Kitty, the domestic turkey, got to taste the turkey. 🙂

  13. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    Oh, I would have been in shreds had I tried that little trick with my domestic turkey. He was like that.

    Glad you had a good day. We had a good day also at son’s house.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I just love this cat! You should have tried tomato! Wait! They’re out of season 🙁 lol

  15. Jan says:

    Oh, dear. Kitty is so humiliated but willing to do whatever to capture your love. She is thinking, “This can’t be happening to me. This is a nightmare! Stop!”

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