Chickens vs Turkey What’s the Difference Anyway

Chicken vs Turkey What's the Difference


Besides dogs and cats, we probably are more familiar with chickens and turkeys than any other animal. However, while most people would often tend to confuse one for the other, there are some critical differences between a chicken and turkey, even though they both belong to the same bird family.

And that’s why today, after doing some personal researches on these two birds, will be sharing with you the main differences between chicken and turkey based on their attributes.

Modern Poultry Farming Chicken / Turkeys

Americas Poultry Industry

Characteristics of CHICKENS

Chicken Eggs

Chickens are among the type of birds that reproduce by laying eggs of many colors. For instance, the white and brown chicken eggs naturally come in green and blueish color. Plus, the breed of the chicken determines what hue their eggs will be. They come in a variety of colors , even to shades of Green and Blue.

Chicken Eggs are smaller in size than their cousins the turkeys. Chickens can have 8 – 12 egges in their nest.

Chicken’s Size and Weight

Chickens often stand less than 70 cm (27.6 inches) and weigh about 5.7lbs on average. The biggest chicken, known as Brahma, weighs around 8.2lbs. 

Physical Attributes


A male chicken, which is often known as rooster, has a comb, central tail feather, saddle, cape, hackle, lesser sickle feathers, ear lobes sickle feather, ear lobes, wattles, beak, fluff, hock joint shank, wing bow, wing front, spur, claws, and toes.


While the female chicken known as a hen, have all these physical attributes too except, wattles, beak, and are generally smaller in size.

T-rex Ancestor to the Chicken

Chickens are the closest living relatives of the t-rex. One team of researchers strapped a big dinosaur tail onto a chicken, to get an idea about how the killer dinosaur walked through this earth.

Birth Control

Chickens have natural built-in birth control. This is why during mating, a hen will take many roosters to mate with, and choose which one will be the proud father. The females can eject the sperm they don’t want.


Chickens have feathers that start developing when they are about three months old, thus providing clues about the makeup of the flock. nce a chicks feathers develope you can determine the chicks, sex around 10 days of age.

Chickens Express Empathy

Although most people aren’t aware of this fact, chickens are capable of empathy. This was discovered in an experiment where the moms were monitored, while their chicks were hit with an uncomfortable puff of air. It was observed that the grown-ups watching exhibited the same stressed responses as their offspring.

Chickens have an Unique language 

Chickens have a unique spoken language that they use in communicating with one another.  With at least twenty-four specific vocalizations, each of them carries a different message that only they can understand.

Chickens have a Sharp Memory

Chickens can tell who’s in the coop, differentiate individuals within their flock, and also recognize human faces they’ve seen in the past. They surprisingly have a very sharp memory.

Communicate with Chicks in Eggs

Hens talk to their unborn chicks, while the little ones are still growing inside the shell. The mothers begin to call to them once they’ve developed enough. And to respond, the chicks join in the conversation. Just like a human baby knows the voice of its mother, so does the newborn chick.

Multiple Chicks

A chicken’s eggs can contain another egg (many chicks). Although it rarely happens, sometimes, doubles do occur. And this is often as a result of regular contractions that send an already developing egg back to the ovary. As soon as it’s back at the starting point, another shell forms around it.

Double Yolks – Tradition / Legend

There is often a double yolk in chickens, which does predict a marriage. Nevertheless, that’s according to an

Old wive’s tale that says when there are two sunshine centers, a friend’s nuptials will soon be celebrated

A certain woman in New Zealand cracked open an egg with eight yolks, but it’s unknown if four weddings followed. That’s a mystery we’re yet to solve.

Egg Formation

Chicken eggs fully form in 26 hours. And given that a single chicken can produce over 250 of them annually, the record-holding chicken, however, laid over 370 of them in 12 months.

Now, let’s have a look at the turkeys.

Showing Chicken and Turkey Size Difference


Faster in Speed and Flight – 55MPH

In terms of speed, turkeys are way faster than chickens. And this is an interesting fact because, despite their heavy build, turkeys can run at a rate of 25 miles an hour ( Chickens 9 MPH) and fly at a speed of about 55 miles an hour.

Turkeys have a lifespan of 3 – 5 Years in the wild. If they are not invited to thanksgiving?????

They lay about same amount of eggs, just larger. 10 – 12 every 2 weeks.

Larger in Size

On average, male turkeys weigh about 18 – 37lbs, while the females are often more sluggish and smaller, weighing between 8 to 10lbs. The male turkey can stand at about 4 feet tall, measuring from 117 cm (46 inches) from beak tip, down to the tail tip. On the other hand, they often measure about 94 cm (37 inches).

Turkeys Physical Attributes

Gobbler – Male

Both male and female turkeys are born with very long necks, featherless blue head, sturdy spurred legs, and a fan-shaped tail. The male ones often have a breast tuft, while the female ones do not.

Hen – Female

Gobbler’s Beard Plumage

Males have iridescent red, green, copper, bronze, and gold feathers, which they use to attract females during the breeding season. Females, on the other hand, are drab, usually with brown or gray feathers. The dull plumage helps in camouflaging them when nesting and raising a family. On adult males, these beards average about 9 inches long. However, 10 to 20 percent of hens also grow beards.

Turkey Change Colors

Turkeys grow in different color phases, which include: smokey gray color, phasemelanistic color phase (all black), an erythritic color phase (reddish), and an albino color phase (extremely rare).

Turkey Tails and Legs

Turkeys often have long spurs that can measure up to 2- 2.25 inches in length. These are used for Protection and fighting. The tails, on the other hand, are usually 12 to 15 inches long and are banded at their tips.

Gender / Poop Specific

One can determine the gender of a turkey, just by looking at the shape of its poop. The males have a spiral-shaped poop, while the females have a litter j-shaped poop shape. This can’t be achieved in chickens

Turkey Meat for Energy

It’s been discovered that turkey meat is preferable in regards to energy-giving when compared to the chicken. Chicken Meat has more calories and fat and Cholesterol than Turkeys do. Turkey meat tends to be darker in color and richer in Taste than Chicken.

Reportedly, a roasted turkey was Neil Armstrong’s first meal on the moon in 1969. Also, it seems to be America’s favorite, especially during memorials and other forms of family celebration. On Thanksgiving Holiday each November of every year.

In a nutshell, even though turkey and chicken are both in the same bird family, these two differ not only in their physical attributes but in how they both communicate, mate, and so on. So, next time you hear someone say that they are no apparent differences between these two birds, all you have to do is refer them to this article to look at differences. .

Eating Chicken and Turkey Eggs

Chicken / Poultry Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
US Poultry & Egg AssociationUnited StatesUSPA
American Poultry AssociationCaliforniaAPA
Ohio Poultry AssociationOhioOPA
National Chicken CouncilUnited StatesNCC
British Poultry CouncilUnited KingdomBPCE
Poultry Club of Great BritainUnited KingdomPCGB
Association of Poultry Breeders in EUEuropeAVEC
Australian Chicken Meat Federation IncAustraliaACMF
Australian Poultry HubAustraliaPoultry Hub

FAQ Chickens Vs Turkeys

Are Turkeys Treated Better Than Chickens

Poultry Farming is about the same on Both Birds. They are both raised for meat. Both can be raised for eggs, but Turkey eggs have not got the same market demand for their eggs.
Free Range they are both treated about the same also

Do turkeys Scratch like Chickens

Yes Turkeys scratch and forage for food just like chickens do. Both the males, Roosters and Gobblers have spurs that can be used for defence, protection and fighting.
Both their diets are the same, fruits, grasses , and insects.

Can I Substitute Chicken for Turkey

Yes both Meats are close. Turkeys have more because of their larger size. Most meals they are interchangable. Can be boiled and fried. Many individuals that shy away from red meat – eat alot of chicken and turkey.

Is Chicken More Expensive than Turkey

Turkey is more expensive than Chicken. It averages .20 more per pound. Chicken is used as daily meals, whereas turkey is in more demand arounf holidays. In Last few years, turkey Bacon has become popular. Those wishing to avoid pork, can purchase turkey that has been processed to look and taste like bacon. Just Healthier

Difference Between Turkey and Chicken Meat

Turkey meat tends to have less calories than chicken, Less Chlestrol and less fat. Both have white and dark meat. Turkey is alittle more expensive and you can buy much larger birds, than chickens. Both Birds when raised for meat keep same basic diets.
Turkeys also roam in the wild. Those hunted have a much stronger gamey taste.

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