What Do You Call a Group of Turkeys

Nativecompass is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Many people consider turkeys beautiful birds. Because of their large spread of fanned wings, many people would even say these birds are majestic.

There aren’t many sights as captivating as seeing a large group of turkeys with their multiple colors. The females have colorful wings, and the males have unique, bright beards.

Many people aren’t aware of what a group of wild turkeys is called. A small number of turkeys is simply called a flock of turkeys or a gang of turkeys. However, an extremely large collection of turkeys is known as a rafter.

It’s important to note that the term rafter is only used for domesticated turkeys. Farmers use the term rafter to describe large groups of turkeys kept in captivity, and this term isn’t used in the wild.

Alternative Terms

There are a couple of other terms used for turkeys, although they’re not nearly as common. These two terms are a brood of turkeys and a dule of turkeys.

Turkey Production

Turkeys are produced on a large scale, primarily in the United States, and were originally native only to North America. Even in captivity, turkeys tend to position themselves in large groups out of instinct.

This is because of how they are used to moving in the wild. Turkeys normally move in large groups to protect themselves from potential predators.

Despite the rarity of the use of alternative names for groups of turkeys, they are still used. Let’s examine what situations warrant the use of these names.

Different Names for Groups of Turkeys

Normally, the names used for groups of turkeys depend on whether you are referring to wild turkeys or domesticated breeding turkeys. There are only a few specific names for groups of turkeys, which we will examine in detail in the following section.

Gangs

The term gang of turkeys is used to describe wild turkeys. Normally, a gang of turkeys refers to a group of 20 or more of these birds.

Rafter

A rafter of turkeys is one of the more commonly used names to describe groups of these animals. Typically, turkey breeders and farmers use this term to describe certain groups of farmed turkeys.

Rarely will you ever hear someone use the word rafter to refer to turkeys in the wild. The name actually comes from a mix of American and Greek roots that means “to stitch together.”

Using the word rafter, in general, is not new. However, when it comes to describing turkeys, this term is less than a century old.

Flock

Most people would assume that the name of a group of turkeys is a flock. This is because it’s common for people to see a flock of birds in the wild. Normally, flock refers to wild turkeys. 

The term flock is a historically old term used to describe any group of birds, whether they are of the flying or non-flying variety. Although the term flock has been used for centuries to describe birds that eat, fly, and travel together, it’s not exclusive to birds. Sometimes the word flock is used to describe groups of mammals.

·         Flock of sheep

·         Flock of goats

There are many times when incorrect terms are used to describe large groups of turkeys. We’ll examine these terms in the following section.

Incorrect Terms for Groups of Turkeys

There are two common words used to describe groups of these birds. This is mostly because of a lack of knowledge or failure to research. The most commonly used incorrect terms are:

Gaggle/Google

Many people use these terms interchangeably to describe large collections of wild turkeys. Gaggle is a term used to describe large groups of geese, not turkeys. Geese normally make noises that sound like a gargle or gaggle. This is why this term is used to describe these groups of birds.

Google has no meaning when it comes to describing any group of birds. It’s unknown why this term was ever used when it comes to referring to turkeys or any other bird.

The History Behind Turkeys Called Rafters

Many people hear the word rafter and think about beams across a ceiling. This triggers curiosity regarding how this word came to be used to describe groups of birds.

We do know that the term rafter doesn’t indicate any type of sound that comes from a bird or turkey. The word has been in the English dictionary since the 1400s, so it’s far from a new term.

Originally, the term came from Greek origin from the word rhaptein, which means to stitch together. The Arabic word raff may provide another source, which means an enclosure. It’s also very close to the word roof which means sheltering.

Perhaps it’s because when you see turkeys in the wild, they seem to be moving intending to seek shelter. In the distance, it’s also possible that a group of turkeys seems stitched together because of the makeup of their feathers.

Although it’s not known exactly how the term came to be used, this seems to be the most common reason. The terms mentioned above are primarily used to describe groups of adult turkeys. Are there any unique names used to describe baby turkeys?

What Is a Group of Baby Turkeys Called?

Despite the fact that there are few terms used to describe groups of adult turkeys, there is a specific word used for baby turkeys. Baby turkeys are called poults or chicks.

Farmers use the word poults to describe baby turkeys on a farm. In the wild, however, the word chick is used to describe these baby birds.

What Are Exceptionally Large Groups of Turkeys Called?

Turkeys are very social birds that prefer to travel in groups. Domestic turkeys and wild groups of turkeys travel and eat together to avoid predators. Despite the lack of predators in a domesticated environment, turkeys still do this out of instinct.

How Many Turkeys Are In a Group? 

How many turkeys are in a large group? Normally, turkeys form large groups, between 20 and 40 birds. Believe it or not, this happens more commonly in domestic situations than it does in the wild. Because of this, the word rafter is the most commonly used term to describe the largest groups of turkeys.

Wildlife enthusiast James Lipton, known for his bird-watching, first used the term to describe large groups of turkeys in his writing.

What Are Large Groups of Turkeys Called?

There really is no specific term that should be used to describe large groups of these birds. Normally, individuals that watch turkeys in the wild refer to them as a gang or a flock. This is suitable when describing these birds in their natural environment.

If you are describing a group of turkeys on a farm, the word rafter should be used. Alternatively, flock may also be used to describe domesticated turkeys. It’s a matter of personal preference more than anything and lacks the specifics that other groups of animals have.

The most expressive term you can use is a gang, and the most technical term is rafter. Let’s examine one more time the list of technical terms that can be used to describe these birds:

·         Brood of turkeys

·         Dule of turkeys

·         Flock of turkeys

·         Raffle of turkeys

·         Rafter of turkeys

The Behavior of Turkeys

None of these names are used in reference to the behavior of turkeys. However, these birds do have unique personality traits.

Turkeys are instinctively active birds and can often have aggressive personalities. Male turkeys will move toward food in groups, while females tend to the babies. Regardless of the setting, adult male turkeys usually retrieve the food. This is for the nourishment of hatched wild turkeys. A wild turkey hunts the same way as domestic birds. 

In the wild, these birds will find food. On a farm, they often eat vegetable scraps. 

Females normally stick with a group of turkeys roosting. They prepare and hatch their eggs and spend time raising chicks.

What Are Individual Turkeys Called?

What is a female turkey called? A female is called a hen. What is a male turkey called? A male turkey is referred to as a gobbler. A baby turkey or groups of baby turkeys are called jakes. This is used for juvenile males. Juvenile females are known as bettys.

Can Turkeys Fly? 

Many bird lovers ask if turkeys can fly. Domesticated turkeys can’t fly. However, turkeys in the wild can fly for short distances. 

Despite what you call them, these birds are amazing creatures that are incredible to observe. The most important thing to remember is to observe these birds from a distance since they can become aggressive. The last thing you want is a male turkey making you his target because he doesn’t fear humans!

Share on facebook
Share
Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on pinterest
Pin

Related Posts​

Noah James

Noah James

Outdoor adventurer and curious soul, I decided to create this Native Compass to talk about the great outdoors. Welcome!
Scroll to Top
native compass logo

Get the latest gear news, product reviews, editor-curated deals and more.

All in your inbox.