During Thanksgiving, it has been a norm and tradition to have something on the table and Americans have been filling their thanksgiving day with turkey for years now, but one study with usual and not-so-new findings dished out second helpings.
A study from the Brown University researchers presented that domesticated turkeys bred for their meat weigh up to three times more than their wild counterparts. This said the study was funded with $1.7 million in federal grants.
The study added that while the birds have increased muscle mass and breast meat, there’s little change in the length of their bones and limbs, leading to a slower-moving turkey that waddles.
It noted that “The increase in body mass, relatively short hindlimb bones and altered distribution of muscle mass in today’s domestic turkeys may make maintaining equivalent gait dynamics difficult.”
Wild turkeys have been observed running a six-minute mile — a speed that puts novice runners to shame — but their captive brothers and sisters are far slower.
According to the Journal Biologists:
Domestication has altered turkey morphology by artificially selecting for increased muscle mass and breast meat. Artificial selection has resulted in birds that weigh up to 3 times more than their wild counterparts, with relatively little change in the length of their bones and limbs. Considering these structural changes, it seems probable that domestic turkey locomotor kinematics and kinetics would also be altered.
However, this is no longer new data as it shows that information like this was already been reported from other studies nearly decade ago.
This made the $1.7 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation is taxpayer money wasted, Sen. Joni Ernst pointed out in giving NIH and NSF the November 2021 Squeal Award for this study.
“With our national debt approaching $30 trillion and higher prices making it difficult for families to put food on the table, we cannot afford to continue wasting taxpayer dollars funding fowl projects … and folks, this one is a real turkey!” Ernst said in her announcement of the award.