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Difference between Turkey and Chicken

Turkey and Chicken both are rich sources of animal protein for the humans. They not only offer nutrition but also taste delicious when cooked. People often confuse turkey with chicken due to their similar appearance. Let us study these animals more closely to better understand how they differ from each other!

Turkey:

Turkey is a large bird that belongs to the family Phasianidae under the order Galliformes. They are closely related to pheasants, quails and chickens. A turkey is quite popular as a delicious meal throughout the western world and is commonly eaten on large family occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The characteristic features of turkeys include dark coloured plumage, featherless neck and head, caruncles, snood, and wattle. They can be found in wild and domestic environments and can measure 3.3 to 4.1 feet in length, weigh around 24 pounds and their average life span is around 10 years. A male turkey is called tom or stag, whereas the female turkey is known as a hen which lays around 60 to 120 eggs in a year, depending on the species. The turkey?s eggs hatch after an incubation period of 28 days.

Turkeys are omnivorous as they can feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, berries, insects and other small reptiles and amphibians. They are intelligent animals with sharp vision and a good sense of hearing. They communicate with each other by producing different noises, e.g. male turkeys make a gobbling sound, whereas the female turkeys make clucking sounds to communicate.

Chicken:

A chicken, which is a smaller bird than turkey, belongs to the family Phasianidae under the order Galliformes. It is believed to be originated from the red jungle fowl and the grey jungle fowl. There are around 25 billion chickens throughout the world. Chickens are domesticated for both meat and eggs. A male chicken is known as cock, female chicken is known as hen and their young ones are called chicks.

A chicken can measure upto 27 inches in length, weighs around 5.5 pounds and its average life span ranges from 5 to 10 years. A female chicken lays around 300 eggs in a year. The eggs hatch after an incubation period of around 21 days. They make different types of sounds to communicate with each other. The male makes loud, shrill sound called crowing to declare its territory. The chickens are omnivorous as they feed on both plants and small insects and animals such as lizards and mice. Their natural predators include cats, dogs, raccoons, foxes etc.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between Turkey and chicken are as follows:

Turkey Chicken
It is larger than a chicken. It is comparatively smaller than a turkey.
It can measure from 3.3 to 4.1 feet in length. A chicken can measure upto 2.3 feet in length.
A turkey weighs around 24 pounds. A chicken weighs around 5.5 pounds.
A female turkey lays 60- 120 eggs in a year. A female chicken lays around 300 eggs in a year.
The eggs hatch after an incubation period of 28 days. The incubation period is around 21 days.
The male turkeys make a gobbling sound. The male chicken makes a loud, shrill sound called crowing.
A male turkey is called tom or stag. A male chicken is known as a cock.
Its average life span is around 10 years, depending on the species. Its average life span is around 5 to 10 years, depending on the species.
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