Thanksgiving turkey lore and history

    The following information came from the U of I Extension website Turkey for the Holidays at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/turkey/history.cfm.
    In England, during the 1700s, turkeys were walked to market in large herds. Turkey farmers often covered the birds’ feet with little booties to protect them on the long journey to the London market.
    The head and neck of turkeys have no feathers; rather it is covered with red, fleshy skin. A soft floppy growth on the front of the head, which dangles downward over the beak, is called the snood or dewbill. The turkey also has a pouchlike area at the front of his throat which is called a wattle. The head, neck, snood and wattle are all reddish colored until the male turkey begins to do his “strut,” or mating dance, at which time the entire area turns brilliantly bright red.

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