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Facts about Turkeys: What Do They Call a Group of Turkeys?

 plumage. While millions of turkeys are devoured around the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, we should not take these clever and compassionate birds for granted. Turkeys are also gregarious and social birds; thus, what is the term for a group of turkeys?

What is a Group of Turkeys Called?, important facts

A rafter, a gaggle, and a flock are the most often used collective nouns for a bunch of turkeys. While flock is self-explanatory, rafter is the most unique of the three words, believed to stem from the fact that turkeys roost in trees and other high-up locations. Turkeys also produce giggling sounds, which is why flocks of turkeys are sometimes referred to as gaggles.

Turkey groups are known by a variety of other names; continue reading to discover more about this sociable, friendly, and emotionally sensitive bird.

A flock of free-roaming Turkeys

A flock of free-roaming Turkeys

Alternative names for a flock of wild turkeys

A turkey brood

A turkey crop

Turkeys on death row

A turkey dole

A turkey dule

A turkey gang

A turkey herd

A turkey horde

A turkey muster

A turkey posse

A turkey raffle

A flotilla of turkeys

A turkey school

A turkey's Thanksgiving

A flock of (feral) turkeys

A bachelor bunch of turkeys (wild males)

A turkey posse consisting of (wild male) turkeys

A prominent word in this section is "death row of turkeys," and you may have guessed why and when this expression may be used! According to the University of Illinois, Thanksgiving consumes around 46 million turkeys, Christmas consumes approximately 22 million turkeys, and Easter consumes approximately 19 million turkeys.

At the commencement of the mating season, when male turkeys begin congregating with females, these groups are sometimes referred to as bachelors. Juvenile male turkeys (Jakes) commonly form gangs or mobs against adult male turkeys (Toms), which is why turkey groupings are occasionally referred to as gangs or mobs.

A bunch of wild turkeys foraging on grass for insects

A bunch of wild turkeys foraging on grass for insects

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Why is it a turkey rafter?

That is an excellent question, yet one that is difficult to answer!

There is no universal agreement on why a group of turkeys is referred to as a rafter.

Rafters are the eaves of a building's roof, and some suggest that turkeys like to nest and roost in the rafters when possible. Despite their primary habitat on the ground, turkeys prefer to sit on tree branches and roost in the canopy or 'rafters,' where they are secure from predators.

Another idea is that the term rafter was borrowed from the Greek word for'stitch together' in Medieval English and was accidentally used to groups of turkeys in the 15th century.

To put it mildly, the evidence is shaky, and the fact is that determining the origin of the word rafters for a bunch of turkeys is really difficult.

Turkeys roosting on a tree's decaying branches

Turkeys roosting on a tree's decaying branches

Why is there a swarm of turkeys?

A gaggle is a group of loud birds that produce gobbling or gaggling noises. A significant example is geese - "a gaggle of geese" is a fairly well-known collective noun for a flock of geese.

Turkeys are equally boisterous birds, capable of a range of gobbling and gaggling noises. They have around 28 different sounds that are shared by all turkey subspecies.

However, the gurgling sound made by male turkeys is referred to as a gobble. Thus, it would seem more sensible to refer to a bunch of turkeys as a gobble rather than a gaggle!

Why do turkeys congregate in big flocks?

For the most of the year, turkeys congregate in gender-specific groups. Males create discrete flocks, whereas females form unique flocks. Gendered turkey flocks are often close together, ranging in size from 15 to 50 birds.

Turkeys, like many other birds, flock in order to develop a sense of security via numbers. Turkeys use a range of vocal sounds to effectively disperse and rejoin in response to a danger.

Turkey flocks are also necessary for breeding. Male turkeys also benefit from flocks, since a dominant male may mate with up to ten hens. Male turkeys often remain with their sibling groupings, since hens may brood up to ten or twelve babies.

A big flock of wild turkeys

A big flock of wild turkeys

When do turkeys congregate?

Turkeys spend the most of the year in separate groups but congregate ahead to mating season in March and April. After a few weeks, turkeys form smaller mating flocks comprised of males and many females. Females that are nesting become more reclusive and often flee from males.

Turkeys' social behaviors are remarkably sophisticated. Male group dominance rituals are vigorous and continuing, but young males (referred to as jakes) may also attempt to impose control over females until they can join a male flock and compete with other males.

Male turkeys often congregate in sibling groups and are notorious for their intense loyalty to one another.

As fall and winter approaches, male and female turkeys resume their flocking behavior before retiring into their winter roosts.

Three strutting male turkeys

Three strutting male turkeys

What is the average number of turkeys in a flock?

Turkey flocks are normally relatively tiny, ranging between 15 and 50 birds, however this varies greatly depending on the season. At the commencement of the mating season, when male and female flocks converge, flocks might number between 100 and 200 birds. After a few weeks, the turkeys begin to form breeding groups. Males and females then spend the most of their time apart, with females brooding their young until fall and winter, when turkeys begin congregating in preparation for roosting.

What is the proper name for a pair of turkeys?

A pair of turkeys is unnamed. Male turkeys are referred to as gobblers or Toms, while young males are referred to as Jakes, and juvenile females as Jennys. Poults are the infant turkeys.

Turkeys in pairs

Turkeys in pairs

What is the proper name for a flock of baby turkeys?

A bunch of newborn turkeys does not have a special name (poults). Turkey hens lay up to 15 eggs every year and are extremely protective of their offspring. While brooding chickens become fairly reclusive, they often cluster together with other hens throughout the nesting process.

Are turkeys sociable?

Turkeys have a rigid and well-organized dominance structure in the wild, which often culminates in conflict. However, turkeys have been shown to exhibit loving and loyal behaviors.

Turkeys are regarded to be very amiable and good-natured when maintained as pets.

They recognize familiar faces and develop deep attachments to individuals who treat them well. While it's easy to think of turkeys as just meat, an increasing number of people increasingly see them as 'friends, not food,' similar to other domesticated pets.

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