Q:

Are the turkeys we eat male or female?

A:

Quick Answer

The turkeys that are purchased from the store, whether whole, in parts or as ingredients in other products, may be either male or female. Producers have no preference for one gender over the other.

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Are the turkeys we eat male or female?
Credit: terren in Virginia CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

While the ground turkey or turkey breast purchased to cook a favorite meal can come from birds of either sex, those that are sold whole often have a label that notes each bird's gender. Though there is no difference between the females, known as hens, and the males, referred to as toms, in terms of tenderness, the gender of the bird may affect its size. The toms tend to be bigger.

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