SCIENCE

Here's Why Turkeys Have Become So Friggin' Humongous

Gobble up the gargantuan reality in new video.

Humans aren't the only Americans who have gotten bigger over the years.

Just take a gander at your Thanksgiving turkey. It's probably huge.

In the video above, Vox examines the incredible transformation of the turkey. Turns out that selective breeding of turkeys through artificial insemination has fueled the growth, according to the clip.

The Atlantic reported that 2013 marked the first time the average weight of an American turkey passed 30 pounds. In 1929, the average turkey weighed a relatively scrawny 13.2 pounds at slaughter, the clip notes. That number began climbing steadily when farmers took control of breeding to create larger turkey breasts after the USDA released a how-to on artificial insemination in 1939.

"You can spread the one tom around better," John Anderson, a breeder at Ohio State University, explained to the Atlantic. "It adds a whole new level of efficiency. You can spread him over more hens. It takes the lid off how big the bird can be."

But now the males are so big they "can no longer manage to transfer semen to hens," Mother Jones wrote. So, no natural nookie.

And turkeys are not the only super-sizing fowl. Chickens have also blown up because they, too, have been bred to be bigger, according to reports.

At least this bird is still dancing.

 

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