What Is A Group Of Turkeys Called? Your Complete Guide

What is a group of turkeys called, or rather, what are the expressions used to refer to a group of turkeys?

Some people call them a rafter of turkeys, others, a gaggle, a crop, a mob, and the list goes on. But which one is right? Surprisingly, they all are. A group of turkeys is known by about 17 different expressions. Let’s find out all about them.

What Is A Group Of Turkeys Called? 17 Expressions


A group of turkeys is known by the following expressions:

1. A crop
2. A brood
3. A dole
4. A death row
5. A dule
6. A gang
7. A mob
8. A herd
9. A posse
10. A muster
11. A raft
12. A raffle
13. A thanksgiving of turkeys
14. A school of turkeys
15. A bachelor group of (wild male) turkeys
16. A run of (wild) turkeys
17. A posse of (wild male) turkeys

While referring to a group of turkeys by any of these names is right, many may not understand as a few expressions are more commonly known while others, barely heard of.

Some of the most commonly used expressions for a group of turkeys are:

1. Rafter

It is a very unusual name and makes you immediately think, “Why?” How does it relate? Is there a backstory? Well, there is.

Turkeys like to stay in high places. So, at night, they’d fly up into the trees and spend the night there. They would come down once the sun was up.

So, when buildings were getting constructed, people found turkeys high up on the rafters of their building structures and barns. It was a great place for turkeys to spend the night, away from the predator and escaping harsh environmental conditions.

According to a different theory, the word “rafter,” derived from Greek, meant “stick together” in medieval English. It was modified to refer to turkeys because they almost always congregate in groups and stick together.

Well, we do not know which one is the true source, as both are somehow contributing. But what we do know is that if you see two or more turkeys, you just saw a rafter.

2. Death Row Of Turkeys

If you haven’t guessed already, it is because of the millions of turkeys that are eaten on Christmas and Thanksgiving alone. According to the University of Illinois, 16 million turkeys are eaten on Easter, 22 million on Christmas, and 46 million on Thanksgiving. Astounding numbers! And that’s why it’s called “a death row of turkeys.”

3. Gaggle

Gaggle is one of the three most popular names used for a group of turkeys. The other two are rafter and flock. They are called gaggles because they make gaggling noises.

Turkeys are very vocal. They can produce a host of gobbling and gaggling sounds. With an average of 28 different call sounds across all subspecies, they can be very noisy.

4. Flock

Flock is a common word used for a group of birds as well as animals. However, more commonly, it is used for a group of birds foraging, flying together, roosting, or perching together.

5. Gang

Gang as in “gangster”? Yes, because they travel as a gang. Moving about, undeterred by humans, a group of turkeys is a gang.

Also, the word is often specifically used for a group of juvenile (Jakes) turkeys because they are known to form groups, gangs, or mobs against adult male turkeys (Toms).

13 Fun Facts On Turkeys

Fun Facts

It is amazing how a group of a single species can be referred to by so many names. However, that is not the only interesting fact about turkeys, here are some more.

1. Males use their snoods to attract females. The longer the snood, the higher the probability of mating.
2. Turkeys are intelligent and social birds. They develop strong bonds with one another and show affection for one another.
3. Turkeys can fly. Their appearance and size make people doubt their flying capacity; however, they are good flyers and can reach a maximum speed of 55 mph.
4. Their legs are very strong, which helps turkeys have a running speed of 25 mph.
5. Wild turkeys are among the top 5 largest birds in the world.
6. They have a very superior vision, around three times as sharp as that of humans. They can also detect UV light. However, once the sun sets, they lose their vision. Hence, they are very cautious and fly up to high places to protect themselves from predators.
7. Turkeys are known to eat stones. It may look like a fault on their part, but it is not. As turkeys do not have teeth, they need something to grind the food they ingest. This is where the stones will help them. Stones grind up their food molecules and aid in digestion.
8. A turkey can be heard from miles away. It helps stranded turkeys find their way to the rafter.
9. Just hatched turkeys leave their nest within the next 24 hours. They are born with feathers and quickly become independent.
10. The bird nearly went extinct in the 1930s. This was because of deforestation and overhunting. However, immediate action was taken and, today, the bird’s population is more than 7 million.
11. June is the turkey lover’s month. Turkey lovers are encouraged to eat the delicious bird during this off-season month.
12. An average American eats around 18 pounds of turkey every year.
13. Turkeys are the most hunted game in America.

Diane McGee

Diane enjoys cooking, reading, and writing at her desk. She loves to let her words captivate the world and writes regularly for online publications. Diane also enjoys teaching kids during her free time.

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