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Turkey Eggs

Turkey_Hen

Ever wonder why you don’t see turkey eggs on the menu? Truth is, turkeys simply don’t lay that many eggs, and most people who breed turkeys collect the eggs and hatch them to produce more turkeys.

The average egg-laying chicken lays about 260 eggs per year, while the average turkey produces less than half of that, or about 100 eggs per year – give or take a dozen eggs or so. Also, chickens come into production at 19 to 20 weeks of age, but turkeys don’t start laying until around 32 weeks of age. And, because of their larger size, turkeys would require much more nesting room than chickens, which would make commercial coops less cost-efficient.

Image credit: http://penandfork.com

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, turkeys are far more maternal than chickens. Generations of domestication have made chicken hens rather indifferent about their offspring, they lay eggs and show little concern about their outcome. Turkeys, on the other hand go “broody” easily and want to sit on their eggs to protect and incubate them.

So while we may eat turkeys at Thanksgiving, we rarely eat turkey eggs due to their rarity and to the greater economic value of the bird over the egg.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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