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Why must talking turkey always it is in the topic du jour only in November

Talk of turkey is commonly relegated to the month of November when we stuff ourselves with eating yams and also cranberry jelly, and watch college football. And the misperception that Ben Franklin had actually once proposed the wild turkey together our national bird, is normally not much behind.

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Wild Turkey Toms. Picture Maslowski NWTF

But the reality remains, unless you hunt turkey, you more than likely don’t think around them as much in the springtime. But this is a an essential time the year for new Hampshire’s 40,000 turkeys. After adjustment in April and incubating egg in May, turkeys are now hatching chicks and also rearing broods that young poults in June.

Synchronous Hatching

A turkey hen lays one clutch that eggs every year, these clutches have the right to as tiny as four to as large as 17 egg per nest (that"s a big clutch and also that"s cool truth #1)! The hen lays only one egg every day, so if she lays 14 egg it take away two full weeks to lay the whole clutch. So even though egg 14 arrived 2 weeks after ~ egg number one, they will certainly al hatch at the same time, regularly within an hour of one another; it’s dubbed “synchronous hatching” (cool fact #2)!

The hen no incubate the eggs (sitting on them to store them warm) till she’s laid them all. Hens travel in a females-only flock, yet they become an ext solitary and secretive in may when it concerns nesting. She’ll hang out with the flock and feed until she demands to place an egg. Climate she can hop over a nearby rock wall or move to part such remote location where she’s concealed her clutch ~ above the ground. She lays the next egg, then gets up and also returns come the flock.


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Altricial v Precocial

But what walks the end of those eggs aren’t chicks. Recently hatched turkeys are dubbed poults, and also here’s the difference. “Chicks” are hatchlings that space not however mobile. Most birds, prefer songbirds and raptors, swarm in trees. As soon as their eggs hatch, the chicks are “altricial.” They room featherless and also blind, squawking because that food and also warmth.

Poults, at the same time are “precocial,” prepared to operation (cool reality #3). Turkeys and other ground nesters hatch-out v fuzzy feathers, open eyes and they soon deserve to run. This is useful because turkey apricot often cover a lot of ground in a job while foraging, and also the poults have to keep up with mom hen together she leads them thorough her territory in search of food and also while avoiding predators.

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Where room all the masculine turkeys during every one of this? after the adjustment season, “Toms” and also younger “Jakes” retreat come a separate males-only flock, wandering approximately separate native the hens. By late summer females with totally grown poults feeding in open areas on crickets, grasshoppers, ticks and also weed seeds.

In autumn during acorn and beechnut crop years, combined flocks of males and also females combine while feeding in woodlands as they fatten because that the winter months. In winter, apricot roost in tall white pines or in thick hemlocks and also fly down to scratch in snow to reach buried seeds or visit backyard birdfeeders. By so late March, Toms begin to strut and also gobble to attract female hens once more.