Friday, 21 December 2012
TURKEYS ARE FOR LIFE NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
Our Turkey’s at the Park are for life ~ not just for Christmas!!
I was looking at our three Turkeys today…. strutting around the Wallaby Paddock, chattering away to one another and thought if only they knew how lucky they are! Lots and lots of space, a nice shed bedded down with straw and food on tap! One of them has been a little ‘ fiesty’ lately chasing and biting the Keepers when we let them out in the mornings – we all laugh that they have a good spirit and look so funny running after us !
Some Turkey Facts:
Did you know the UK consumes around 10 million turkeys at Christmas.
Turkey's scientific name is Meleagris gallopava (mel-e-AY-gris-low-PAY-voe) from Latin gallus, meaning cock, and pavo, meaning chickenlike. Meleagris is the Roman name for guineafowl, suggestive of the early confusion of the turkey with guineafowl.
It is by no means clear how the turkey gained its name - one colourful theory claims a certain resemblance between the turkey stag's head and the helmet of a soldier of the Turkish Empire.
Another suggestion is from the wild turkey's call which sounds like turk-turk-turk. Another likely explanation is that in the 16th century, merchants trading along the seaboards of the Mediterranean were known as Turkes. They probably included the birds in their merchandise and they became known as turkey fowls.
One theory is that Columbus thought the new world was connected to India and that turkeys were really peacocks, so he named them "Tuka" which is peacock in the Tamil language of India.
In Spain, the turkey was often referred to as Indian fowl, an allusion which is repeated in the French ‘dindon’ formed with d'Inde which means ‘from India’.
Turkeys have been around for 10 million years - there are fossils to prove it.
The American Indians hunted wild turkey for its sweet, juicy meat as early as 1000AD. Turkey feathers were used to stabilise arrows and adorn ceremonial dress, and the spurs on the legs of wild tom turkeys were used as projectiles on arrowheads.
Turkeys are believed to have first been brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshireman William Strickland - he acquired six birds from American Indian traders on his travels and sold them for tuppence each in Bristol.
Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy turkey, although Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas.
Enjoy your Turkeys this Christmas – Our three just don’t know how lucky they really are !!!!