What Is A Group Of Turkeys Called?


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Turkeys are hunted in 49 States and three Canadian Provinces. But do you know what a group of turkeys is called? You probably have heard the terms “gang,” “rafter,” or “flock” when referring to a group of turkeys. But what is the correct term? Well, that depends on if you are talking about domestic turkeys or their wild relatives.

Wild Turkeys – A Flock

A Flock of Turkeys

a flock of turkeys

Basically, a flock represents a group of birds traveling together. And it does not matter if it’s flying birds or not. So yes, I would call a group of turkeys a flock.

Turkeys roost in flocks. Male Turkeys form all-male flocks outside of the breeding season. The mothers and their chicks travel in a family group – sometimes forming even larger flocks with other family groups.

A global breeding population of 7.8 million turkeys is estimated. About 89% of those living in the US.

But flock isn’t just for birds. Just think about a flock of sheep, a flock of goats, …

A Gang of Turkeys

a gang of young male turkeys showing off

I believe that this term is not 100% correct. It sounds more like something my daughter would come up with.

On the other hand: I mean, look at a group of young male turkeys (jakes) – they sure look and behave like a gang, right?

What is a Baby Turkey called?

a hen and her turkey poult

A young turkey less than four weeks old is called a poult. It only takes them 24 hours to get out of the nest and start pecking at food – mimicking their mother.

According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, hens lay between 10-12 eggs during a two week period, but only 10 to 40 percent of turkey nests hatch successfully.

https://www.nwtf.org/

What is a Jake?

The name jake is used for a male turkey that is at least one year of age, and up to two years of age.  The name jake was first used by hunters in the 1930’s and is slang terminology.

Most commonly defined as a one-year-old, immature male bird.

What is a Gobbler?

A mature bird (at least 2 years old). Also called Tom. According to merriam-webster.com the first known use of gobbler was circa 1725.

Incorrect Words That are Used for a Group of Turkeys

  • Gooble 
  • Gaggle 

Gooble is a loud and gurgling sound made by male turkeys. Gaggle is a term used for a group of geese. Geese make “gagging” sounds therefore the name. 

What Is The Gobble?

The gobble is one of the most common sounds heard during hunting season. It is used primarily by males to let hens know they are nearby. Gobbling can attract other males to your position or scare off less aggressive birds. Often, it is used late in the evening when trying to get a tom to gobble.

What is a Long Beard?

long beard turkey

Usually, a long beard is an older turkey, a tom. Older and larger long beards are more aggressive than younger, smaller birds. It´s a different story when the jakes team up…

A Tom Turkey beard can be up to 10 inches or more. Whereas jakes have shorter beards (most of the time) of “only” 2-3 inches in length.

read.. “where to shoot a turkey

Domesticated Turkeys – A Rafter

A group of domestic turkeys is called a rafter. The first person who formally coined this term was James Lipton in his book “An Exaltation of Larks.

Lipton was the first to call a group of turkeys a “rafter.” He derived most of his archaic terms from the Book of Hawking and Hunting (printed in England in 1486).

The Free Dictionary by Farlex (click here) refers to a flock of turkeys as a rafter. However, they do not clarify if this term can be used synonymously with “flock.”

How Many Turkeys are in a Rafter

Technically it only needs to be more than one! I mean you probably wouldn´t call two turkeys a rafter – but I think it´s an appropriate term once we´re talking about 11 or more …

Happy to hear your thoughts on this! Let me know in the comments

Where do Turkeys Sleep?

The majority of turkeys sleep in large groups called “flocks”. These flocks may contain hundreds of turkeys. Some turkeys prefer sleeping alone while others prefer to be near a friend.

At night, wild turkeys usually roost in trees. During the evening, they fly into the trees for protection and then return to the ground during the morning. In the daytime, you can find them scratching the ground and foraging for food. 

7 Fun Facts About Turkeys

  1. Turkeys have an excellent daytime vision and can see in color.
  2. It is not uncommon to hear a turkey gobble from a mile away! Males also emit a low-pitched drumming sound, moving air in the air-sac in their chest.
  3. A Tom has fleshy wattles covering its face. It can turn a number of colors depending on their mood, such as white, blue, pink, and red when they’re excited.
  4. Males are polygamous, mating as many hens as possible.
  5. Turkeys are omnivorous! (Beware!)
  6. Within 24 hours of hatching, baby turkeys, or poults, are on the move with the hen. They grow up quickly, dry off and fluff up and leave the nest very soon.
  7. Thanksgiving has more turkey consumed than both Christmas and Easter combined. The average person consumes 18 pounds of turkey a year.

FAQ

What is a Jake?

The name jake is used for a male turkey that is at least one year of age, and up to two years of age. The name jake was first used by hunters in the 1930’s and is slang terminology. Most commonly defined as a one-year-old, immature male bird.

What is a Gobbler?

A mature bird (at least 2 years old). Also called Tom. According to merriam-webster.com the first known use of gobbler was circa 1725.

What is a Long Beard?

Usually, a long beard is an older turkey, a tom. Older and larger long beards are more aggressive than younger, smaller birds. It´s a different story when the jakes team up… A Tom Turkey beard can be up to 10 inches or more. Whereas jakes have shorter beards (most of the time) of “only” 2-3 inches in length.

Q: What is a Rafter?

A: A group of turkeys is called a rafter. The first person who formally coined this term was James Lipton in his book “An Exaltation of Larks.“ Lipton was the first to call a group of turkeys a “rafter.” He derived most of his archaic terms from the Book of Hawking and Hunting (printed in England in 1486).

Q: Where do Turkeys Sleep?

A: The majority of turkeys sleep in large groups called “flocks”. These flocks may contain hundreds of turkeys. At night, wild turkeys usually roost in trees. During the evening, they fly into the trees for protection and then return to the ground during the morning.

Q: Do turkeys fly?

A: Yes, wild turkeys can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. However, they prefer to walk and run on the ground.

Q: How long do turkeys live?

A: The average lifespan of a wild turkey is 4-5 years. However, some have been known to live up to 10 years in captivity.

Q: Can turkeys smell you?

A: No. Turkeys are not able to smell humans. They rely mainly on their sight and hearing to detect danger.

What does finding a turkey feather mean?

A: Some people believe that finding a turkey feather is a sign of good luck. Others believe that it means the person who finds the feather will have a prosperous year ahead. Abundance, pride, and fertility are all associated with turkey feathers.

Do wild turkeys stay in the same area?

A: Yes, wild turkeys typically stay in the same area. However, they may travel to other areas if there is a lack of food or water in their current location.

Do wild turkeys sleep in trees?

A: Yes they do. Wild turkeys typically roost in trees at night. This helps protect them from predators and the elements.

Q: What is the difference between a tom and jake?

A: Toms are usually larger than jakes and have longer tails and beards. The name “Tom” can also be used to refer to any male turkey, regardless of age. Jakes are immature males that are usually smaller than Toms and are max two years old.

Q: What are young female turkeys called?

Young female turkeys are known as Jennys.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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