Turkeys make their annual trek by truck

| 11/21/2001

Here's a Thanksgiving tale truckers can tell your children. When Americans sit down to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast this week they will consume a whopping 45 million turkeys, thanks in part to truckdrivers.

Each year, 80,000 truck loads of turkeys are responsible for ensuring this Thanksgiving tradition continues, according to a survey by the Minnesota Trucking Association. If you parked those trucks end-to-end you would create a "gobbler convoy" over 1,200 miles long - or roughly the distance from Duluth, MN, to Austin, TX, via Interstate 35.

Turkeys get a short taste of life on the road before they make their ultimate sacrifice for the good of holiday feasters. On average, each turkey takes three big rig rides in its life. As soon as young turkeys leave the shell, they are trucked from the hatchery to the farm. A short 14 or so weeks later another truck loads the plump birds to be sent to the processing plant to be prepared for Thanksgiving dinner. Bagged and ready to cook, the succulent birds take a refrigerated ride to your local grocery store.

Truckers also play a vital role in the growth of turkeys, transporting the 15.5 million bushels of soybeans and 27.5 million bushels of corn it takes to raise and prepare these turkeys for holiday feasts. Luckily, truckers will also be there to haul all the dietary foods needed to work off the feast following the holiday season.