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Turkey

Fact of the Day: turkey

Domestication of the common turkey was probably begun by the Indians of Pre-Columbian Mexico. The birds were first taken to Spain about 1519, and from Spain they spread throughout Europe, reaching England in 1541. When the bird became popular in England, the name turkey-cock, formerly used for the guinea fowl of Islamic (or "Turkish") lands, was transferred to it. English colonists then introduced European-bred strains of the turkey to eastern North America in the 17th century. Turkeys were mainly bred for their beautifully colored plumage until about 1935, after which the breeding emphasis changed to their meat qualities.

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