General Question

lilikoi's avatar

Why doesn't anyone ever talk about turkey eggs?

Asked by lilikoi (10079points) May 29th, 2010

I’ve never seen a turkey egg despite the fact that turkeys are commercially farmed. Anyone ever try it? Why are they so hard to find?

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10 Answers

bongo's avatar

ive heard that turkeys dont have a very high breeding rate like chickens do so most of the eggs go on for growing christmas dinner for the next year. You can get them but they are apparently quite expensive due to the slower breeding rate and just not really as good as a chicken or duck egg.

lilikoi's avatar

Interesting, thanks!

lilikoi's avatar

I love the Straight Dope! Thanks!

Otto_King's avatar

As I heard, the turkey egg is not even close as tasty as the hen egg. That’s why is not so popular. Besides, if you eat duck or goose egg, then you have much higher chance to get salmonella, then from the regular egg. That’s why in some countries they are forbidden to eat!

marinelife's avatar

I hated the duck eggs I tried so I am just as glad not to have to try a turkey egg!

gailcalled's avatar

Read the chapter (or leitmotif) in B Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

She discusses the bizarre and “good-humored…discoveries about turkey sex life.”

(pp. 90, 302, 319, 322, 340, 347 for the prurient.)

Buttonstc's avatar

As I understand it, modern day turkeys are bred to gain weight very quickly and with freakishly disproportionate white (breast, meat.

This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to breed naturally. They are manually inseminated by humans. Very labor intensive=very expensive.

And, as previously mentioned, they want to turn those eggs into more freakishly large turkeys for the dinner table.

It’s also not too common knowledge that over the years, the turkeys recieving the much publicized Presidential Pardon aren’t really spared much.

They end up at a petting zoo/ farm and are fortunate if they last a year. Most don’t because with their disproportionately large size, they can barely walk and their lungs can barely function due to all that extra weight pushing on them. So they basically die from gradual asphyxiation. Obviously this doesn’t get much publicity :)

Altho I haven’t read it yet, I would assume much of that is covered in the book which Gail referenced.

Ahhh, the joys of factory farming ~~

lilikoi's avatar

@gailcalled Thank you very much for the book reference. I hunted it down at the library and am excited to read it!

@Buttonstc All very good points. I’ve heard the same in reference to chickens.

lilikoi's avatar

@gailcalled I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle now, and I love it. It took me a few chapters to warm up to this story as my first impression was that this was a Michael Pollan clone, but not so. While they convey a lot of the same information, I especially like her ordinary-people-can-feed-themselves angle, the chapter about Italy, her daughter’s articles regarding nutrition, Lily’s egg business, her comprehensive argument regarding vegetarianism, and yes, the part about turkeys!!! I had no idea most all turkeys are artificially inseminated and that they’re basically all slaughtered before they ever reach reproductive maturity. Even The Straight Dope didn’t explain it as well as Kingsolver does in this book. Probably because, as Kingsolver remarks, au naturel turkey breeding has become antiquated with the onslaught of factory farming and the literature has gone with it. I’d give you +10 GAs or more if I could for the excellent book reference.

@Buttonstc Indeed. As expected, Kingsolver says factory farms basically all farm the same type of turkey. But there are many other types of turkeys still in existence that aren’t bred for the freakish disproportionate weight gain. Here’s to hoping we realize the error of our ways before they (and the rest of the flora and fauna in a similar situation) all go extinct.

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