Thanksgiving Turkey Traditions at the White House
Turkey fact: The average lifespan of domesticated turkeys is 18-24 months. Wild turkeys typically live 3 to 4 years.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Turkey fact: Turkeys are approximately 22 weeks old when they participate in the White House ceremony. There are always two turkeys: one for the ceremony and one as its runner-up.
John F. Kennedy
Turkey fact: Wild turkeys can fly short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. Most domesticated turkeys cannot fly since they typically weigh more than twice the weight of wild turkeys.
Turkey fact: Domesticated turkeys are bred and raised to become fat fast. This often causes joint problems for older turkeys whose bones have trouble supporting the weight.
Turkey fact: The flap of skin over a turkey's beak is called a snood. Snoods on domestic turkeys remain red, but the snoods of wild turkeys change color from red to blue depending on the bird's mood.
Turkey fact: Wild turkeys are the biggest game birds in North America. They can stand almost four feet tall and can run about 25 miles per hour.
George H.W. Bush
Turkey fact: The domesticated turkeys that are brought to Washington, D.C. for the ceremony spend the night before the pardon in the Hotel Washington, where they feast on a scrumptious meal of corn and soybean.
Turkey Fact: During his two terms as president, Clinton met eight turkeys and came to believe that each one had a distinct personality.
George W. Bush
Turkey Fact: Female turkeys are called hens, males are called toms, and babies are called poults.