“Everything You Need to Know About Wild Turkeys”

Wondering what the average weight of a turkey is?

Knowing the weight averages when planning your kitchen is key!

This will ensure you end up with a juicy and tender turkey!

Working on timings and portion sizes will make your cooking day easier

Today we are going to look at the middleweights

So get ready to plan your day to cook a turkey!

What is the average weight of a whole turkey? How many turkeys do you need per person? Does the breed of turkey make a difference? Does the sex of the turkey make a difference in weight? Will a frozen turkey affect the weight compared to fresh meat? What additives or ingredients will affect the weight? Sodium SolutionStuffed or Dressed TurkeysWhat are the different types of turkey meat? Time based on weight Will a cooked turkey weigh less than an uncooked turkey?

What is the average weight of a whole turkey?

The weight of a turkey can range from 7 pounds to the largest turkeys of 30 pounds!

The average of this range is usually around the 18 to 20 pound mark

However, smoking such a large turkey is not recommended, as it will spend too much time in the danger zone

It is better to cook two turkeys at once

Below you will find the different types of turkey and the size of turkey you should choose for smoking

How many turkeys do you need per person?

The average portion of cooked turkey per person is 1/2 lb to 1 lb

It depends if you want leftover turkey, what sides you serve, and how hungry you are!

Does the breed of turkey make a difference?

Turkey breeds have different genetics

This affects the size of the turkey

Heritage Turkeys

Turkeys share their DNA with wild native flocks of North and South America

Heritage turkey breeds will be lean and smaller because of their freedom in the wild

The meat has a deep gamey flavor from the natural turkey diet

Production turkeys

Production turkeys are breeds that have undergone artificial insemination and genome splicing

Production turkeys are bigger for higher meat yield and profits

Meat tends to have a higher fat content due to strict dieting and overeating

Turkey production in these large-scale farms can have poor conditions

All this has an impact on weight

The average weight of commercial turkeys

Commercial meat production is large-scale and for-profit by large corporations

These are classified as production turkeys

The average flock weight of commercial turkeys is 20 pounds

The average weight of domestic turkeys

Smaller-scale domestic turkeys are produced locally in the United States

These tend to be a bit smaller than commercially raised turkeys

This includes types of turkey that are wild or organically raised on small agricultural fields

These fresh turkeys are lean and produced without additives

These are classed as heritage turkeys

The average weight of a wild or organic domestic turkey is 15 pounds

Does the age of the birds make a difference?

The lifespan of a turkey can be 10 years if left alone to thrive

But turkey bread for consumption is slaughtered between 14 and 18 weeks

Heritage and production turkeys are slaughtered at approximately the same time

Age therefore does not affect the average weight very much

Does Turkey’s Sex Make a Difference to Weight?

A female turkey (hens) and a male turkey (toms) are eaten

On average, they are similar in size

Thus, male turkeys tend to be around 3 pounds larger

Will a frozen turkey affect weight versus freshness?

Water frozen in turkey meat protein will increase weight

When defrosting a turkey, it will drop about 1-2 pounds on average

Check the package for the weight before it is frozen

What additives or ingredients will affect the weight?

We know that turkeys are produced on a large scale

Individual poultry pre-brined and seasoned or fresh with offal

Below are 2 types of extras with your turkey that can affect weight

An added brine or sodium solution is popular for cooking turkey

Salt creates osmosis within the proteins and gives juicy meat!

Many commercial turkeys are sold with added water and salt

Check the ingredients for the percentage of water in the meat

Stuffed or dressed turkeys

A turkey that has been dressed or stuffed with other ingredients will affect its weight

Look at the ingredients for the gross weight of the turkey

There are two different types of meat in a turkey

There are two different types of meat in a turkey

White of the turkey breast meat and black of the thigh or thighs

White meat has a lighter taste and dense texture

Darker meat tastes like game because it is closer to the bone

How to Calculate Cooking Time Based on Weight

Knowing the weight of your turkey and the cooking temperature is essential for estimating cooking time

The turkey cooks for 10 to 15 minutes per pound at 375°F

The turkey cooks for 10 to 15 minutes per pound at 375°F

The turkey cooks for 10 to 15 minutes per pound at 375°F

Will a cooked turkey weigh less than an uncooked turkey?

Yes it is and it applies to anything you cook

Author: Charlie ReevesHi, my name is Charlie, I’m the Head Taste Tester at Simply Meat Smoking!

I love grilling, smoking, and hanging out in the yard with the kids!

I can’t wait to share all of my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can find out more on our About Us page

Smoked Turkey Breast on a Traeger

Smoked Venison on a Traeger (Seared Upside Down)

Traeger Smoke Cartridges

Learn more

Learn more

Learn more

Learn more

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo): A highland land bird native to North America

There are five subspecies of North American wild turkeys: Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam, and Gould

Height and weight :

The wild turkey is the heaviest member of the order Galliformes

The male usually weighs between 11 and 24 pounds and stands between 39 and 49 inches

The female, significantly smaller than the male, weighs 5 to 12 pounds and is only 30 to 37 inches long

Despite their large size, wild turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 mph and fly at up to 55 mph

The male has a featherless red head and throat and a body covered in iridescent red, bronze and gold feathers

When trying to attract a mate, the male displays himself, puffs out his body feathers, spreads his tail feathers, and drags his wings as he struts around

The male usually has a “beard”, a patch of course feathers growing from the center of his chest

Each wild turkey has about 5000 to 6000 feathers

Spurs: Bony spurs on the back of each of the turkey’s lower legs

Wattle: A flap of skin under the turkey’s chin

Caruncles: fleshy bumps that grow on the head and throat of the turkey

While both male and female have spurs, wattles, wattles, and snoods, they are much smaller and less distinctive in the female

The wild turkey is an omnivore

Wild turkeys can be found in open forests, savannah, grasslands, and swamps

The wild turkey is native to North America and is found primarily in the eastern and central regions of the United States

Male wild turkeys are polygamous and mate with multiple female hens each breeding season

In the spring, a male gives an engulfing cry to attract females

To attract a female, the male displays by fluffing his feathers, raising and spreading his tail and dragging his wings

After breeding, the female usually lays around 10–15, sometimes 4–18, over a two-week period, although larger clutches of eggs have been observed

The female will incubate her eggs for about 28 days

The newly hatched chicks follow the female, who feeds them for a few days until they learn to find food on their own

Male wild turkeys breed with multiple females and form all-male flocks outside of the breeding season

During this time, adult females lead the rearing of chicks

Chicks travel in family groups with their mothers, often combining with other family groups to form large flocks of young turkeys accompanied by two or more adult females

Each gender has an independent pecking order, with a stable female hierarchy and an ever-changing male hierarchy

Although they primarily walk around, wild turkeys can also run and fly

When threatened, females tend to fly while males tend to run

At sunset, turkeys fly into the lower branches of trees and move upwards from branch to branch to a high resting place

Wild turkeys have several natural predators, including coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, cougars, golden eagles, and great horned owls

Wild turkeys are popular among hunters

In the early 20th century, wild turkey populations were declining due to hunting and habitat loss

But from the 1940s, efforts to save the species allowed populations to rebound dramatically

The current number of wild turkeys is estimated at 7 million

The wild turkey is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN

The wild turkey is listed as “Least Concern” and populations are increasing, thanks to help from conservation efforts

In the early 20th century, unsuccessful efforts were made to use farmed turkeys to restore wild populations

In the late 1940s, they began successfully transplanting wild-caught turkeys into suitable habitats

Scroll to Top