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Turkey vs. Chicken: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 25, 2023
A turkey is a larger bird often associated with American holidays, while a chicken is a smaller bird commonly consumed worldwide.

Key Differences

Turkey and chicken are both domesticated birds that are popular sources of meat. Turkeys are generally larger, with mature males, known as toms, weighing considerably more than female chickens, known as hens. Chickens, on the other hand, are more universally consumed, and their meat is a staple in various cuisines worldwide.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
Turkeys have a distinctive fan-shaped tail and a fleshy protuberance called a snood that hangs from the beak. Their meat is often the centerpiece of traditional American celebrations like Thanksgiving. Chickens are versatile in culinary applications, with various parts like the breast, thighs, and wings being used in different dishes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
While turkeys are primarily native to the Americas, they have been introduced elsewhere for farming. Wild turkeys can fly and roost in trees at night. In contrast, chickens, which have been domesticated for longer, have several breeds, some of which have lost their ability to fly long distances.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
The behavior of turkeys is different from chickens. Turkeys can be more aggressive, especially the males during the breeding season. Chickens, especially hens, are often kept not just for meat but also for their ability to lay eggs, a staple in many diets.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023
Raising turkeys usually requires more space due to their size, and they have specific nutritional needs. Chickens, because of their smaller size and adaptability, are easier to rear in backyard settings, making them more accessible for small-scale farming and hobbyists.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Size

Generally larger.
Smaller in comparison.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Native Region

Americas.
Southeast Asia.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Culinary Use

Often whole-roasted for holidays.
Versatile; various parts used in many dishes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Domestication

More recent compared to chicken.
Ancient; many breeds available.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Economic Importance

Meat production primarily.
Meat and egg production.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023
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Turkey and Chicken Definitions

Turkey

A person or thing that is deemed a failure or disappointment.
The movie was a complete turkey at the box office.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

Chicken

A domesticated fowl kept for its eggs or meat.
The farmer has a coop filled with chickens.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 25, 2023

Turkey

The meat of this bird used as food.
She prepared a delicious turkey roast for the family.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Chicken

A person who is considered cowardly.
He was called a chicken for not accepting the challenge.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023

Turkey

An act of throwing three strikes in a row in bowling.
He celebrated his first turkey during the bowling championship.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Chicken

The meat of this bird used as food.
She ordered a chicken sandwich for lunch.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Turkey

A large bird native to North America.
The turkey is often the centerpiece at Thanksgiving dinners.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 25, 2023

Chicken

A game in which two drivers drive towards each other to see who swerves first.
The teenagers were warned about the dangers of playing chicken.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

Turkey

A country located between Europe and Asia.
Istanbul is a famous city in Turkey known for its rich history.
Harlon Moss
Oct 25, 2023

Chicken

A small or petty sum of money.
For a billionaire, that amount is chicken feed.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

Turkey

A large North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that has brownish plumage and a bare wattled head and neck and is widely domesticated for food.
Sumera Saeed
May 14, 2020

Chicken

A common domesticated fowl (Gallus domesticus) widely raised for meat and eggs and believed to be descended from the jungle fowl G. gallus.
Sumera Saeed
May 14, 2020

FAQs

How is chicken commonly consumed?

Chicken is consumed in various forms worldwide, including roasted, fried, and grilled.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 25, 2023

Are chickens good layers of eggs?

Yes, especially specific breeds optimized for egg-laying.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Do turkeys make good pets?

Some people keep them as pets, but they require space and care.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Is turkey meat healthier than chicken?

Both have health benefits, but turkey is leaner, while chicken provides more vitamins and minerals.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Why are chickens more widespread than turkeys?

Chickens are smaller, easier to rear, and have been domesticated longer than turkeys.
Harlon Moss
Oct 25, 2023

Do turkeys fly?

Wild turkeys can fly, but domesticated ones are generally too heavy.
Harlon Moss
Oct 25, 2023

Which bird is easier to raise at home?

Chickens, due to their size and adaptability.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

How long does it take to cook a chicken vs. a turkey?

Chickens cook faster due to their smaller size.
Janet White
Oct 25, 2023

Why is turkey called "turkey"?

It's believed that when Europeans first encountered them, they mistakenly thought the bird came from Turkey, the country.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Is chicken or turkey more popular worldwide?

Chicken is more universally consumed than turkey.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

What is a "turkey" in bowling?

It refers to three consecutive strikes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Can you eat turkey eggs?

Yes, but they are less commonly available than chicken eggs.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

What is a "chicken" in terms of bravery?

Calling someone a "chicken" implies they are cowardly.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Where did turkeys originate?

They are native to the Americas.
Sara Rehman
Oct 25, 2023

What is a turkey?

A turkey is a large bird native to North America, often consumed during festive occasions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

What's the significance of turkeys in American culture?

Turkeys are traditionally eaten during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 25, 2023

Where were chickens first domesticated?

Chickens were first domesticated in Southeast Asia.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

What is the "snood" on a turkey?

It's the fleshy protuberance that hangs from a turkey's beak.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Do chickens have a similar feature to the snood?

No, chickens don't have snoods.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023

Can both turkey and chicken be raised organically?

Yes, both birds can be raised under organic conditions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 25, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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