Individual Turkey

Name: Turkey (male) turkey hen (female)
Size: Body length approx. 100-125cm, tail length approx. 40-50cm
Weight: 8-11 kg 
Age: 10-15 years
Offspring: Turkey hens lay up to 60 eggs per year, about 8-15 per clutch. The young hatch after 28 days and then spend the first 6 weeks with their mother. The hens join together with their chicks to form large groups where the chicks are protected by their mothers for several months.
Mating behaviour: Turkeys court the females with a courtship dance in which the skin flaps on the head and neck become discolored and swollen. In addition, the male taps the ground with his feathers and makes luring noises.
Social behaviour: In nature, turkeys live together in complex social structures. During the cold season, they form associations of several hundred animals with a fixed ranking
Food: Fruit and seeds, but also worms, snails and insects are part of their diet. They prefer to move on foot, especially since they find their food mainly on the ground. Up to 50 per cent of their daily activity is spent foraging and eating in wild turkeys. Over the course of the day they cover an average distance of 10 to 13 kilometres. 
Higyiene: Turkeys devote a lot of time to the care of their plumage. They use their beaks and claws for this purpose.

In Freedom

In the animal industry

Name: Turkey (male) turkey hen (female)
Size: Body length approx. 100-125cm, tail length approx. 40-50cm
Weight: Up to 24Kg due to fattening
Age: 15-17 weeks (female) 19-22 weeks (male)
Offspring: The chicks are artificially hatched and grow up without mothers.
Mating behaviour: Due to their unnaturally high body weight and oversized breast muscles, turkeys cannot reproduce naturally and are therefore artificially inseminated.
Social behaviour: The conditions lead to almost permanent stress and competitive behaviour. Especially the males threaten and impress, spreading their wings and ruffle their feathers. In the crowd this quickly turns into aggression
Food: The food intake of the heavy "fattening turkeys" takes up just 8 to 9 percent of their daily activity. The pelleted feed is provided to them and can also be absorbed more quickly. However, the animals are not employed elsewhere for this reason. A frequent consequence is boredom and aggression, which is manifested among other things by feather pecking.
Hygiene: Fattening turkeys can only clean their plumage to a limited extent. The oversized chest muscles prevent them from cleaning themselves undisturbed. The frequency of plumage grooming decreases significantly, as the birds lie exclusively in their excrements.

List of references

Further sources of information

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