Weigh the turkey. Male turkeys outweigh females considerably. Whether you're looking to raise a turkey or start an entire turkey farm, learning to tell the gender of a young turkey can be extremely helpful. You may need a magnifying glass and some patience, but knowing their gender can help in the breeding process and in their general healthcare.
Both juvenile and adult male turkeys have leg spurs, but the spurs on a young male will look more like stubs since they are still developing. Immature males will have spurs that are less than 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) long. At the age of two, adult males have spurs between 1/2 and 7/8 inch (1.25 and 2.2 cm).
A jake is a young male wild turkey that can be distinguished from an adult, or tom, by the length of its middle tail feathers. The adult males will have tail feathers that are all the same length, while the younger males will have noticeably longer feathers in the middle.
A young female turkey is called a jenny, while a young male turkey is called a jake. A baby turkey is referred to as a poult or a chick. Chicks hatch from their tan and speckled brown eggs about 28 days after the eggs are laid.
A female turkey is called a hen, and she is quite different from her flamboyant male counterpart in this dimorphic species. Females do the majority of incubation and caring for young chicks, and their plumage is much more camouflaged to help provide better security while on the nest or tending youngsters. Female turkeys lack the large tail and are much less iridescent than males.
Turkeys, famed for their great size and native North American origin, can be easily distinguished by gender when they reach maturity. Females, or hens, are smaller and duller in color, with less prominent body features. Males boast a huge fanning tail, "beard" feathers and prominent appendages.
In terms of turkeys, a "hen" is a mature female and a "jake" is a young male. The immature jake does not exhibit many of the characteristics of a mature male or "tom," but rather resembles a hen, so it's helpful to be able to distinguish between a hen and a jake, especially when hunting wild turkey.
A young male turkey is called a jake and a young female is called a jenny. A group of wild turkeys is called a flock, a group of domesticated turkeys is commonly referred to as a rafter. Turkeys are able to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. However, most wild turkeys are found in hardwood forests with grassy areas.
Identifying female and male turkeys in the spring. To avoid misidentification, use the following features below to accurately determine the turkey’s sex. A small proportion of female turkeys may have a beard and therefore can be legally harvested. However, their loss reduces the reproductive potential of the turkey population.
Most North American kids learn turkey identification early, by tracing outlines of their hands to make Thanksgiving cards. These big, spectacular birds are an increasingly common sight the rest of the year, too, as flocks stride around woods and clearings like miniature dinosaurs. Courting males puff themselves into feathery balls and fill the air with exuberant gobbling.