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Turkey vs. Chicken: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 10, 2024
Turkey is a larger bird, native to North America, distinct in flavor and size. Chicken is smaller bird, widely domesticated, versatile in cooking.
Turkey vs. Chicken

Key Differences

Turkey is a large bird, native to North America, often associated with celebrations like Thanksgiving. It has a distinct, stronger flavor compared to chicken, which is a smaller, globally domesticated bird known for its mild taste and versatility in various cuisines.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024
In terms of nutrition, turkey generally has lower fat content and is rich in protein, making it a healthier option for many. Conversely, chicken is universally popular, available in various cuts like breast, thigh, and wings, offering a range of culinary uses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024
Culturally, turkey holds significant importance in American and Canadian traditions, especially during festive occasions. In contrast, chicken is a staple in many cultures worldwide, essential in dishes from fried chicken in the U.S. to curries in Asia.
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Turkey meat is often considered a seasonal delicacy, with whole turkeys primarily cooked for special occasions. Chicken, on the other hand, is a daily dietary component for many, known for its quick cooking time and suitability in various recipes.
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Jan 10, 2024
Regarding farming and production, turkey requires more space and resources to raise, contributing to its higher cost. Chicken is more economically viable to farm, making it a more affordable protein source globally.
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Jan 10, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Size

Larger, heavier birds.
Smaller, lighter birds.
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Flavor

Stronger, gamey flavor.
Mild, versatile flavor.
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Jan 10, 2024

Cultural Significance

Important in North American traditions.
Globally integral, diverse culinary use.
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Nutrition

Lower in fat, high in protein.
Varied fat content, universally consumed.
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Cost

Generally more expensive.
More affordable and widely available.
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Turkey and Chicken Definitions

Turkey

Informal term for a foolish or inept person.
He's such a turkey, always getting things wrong.
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Dec 20, 2023

Chicken

A domesticated fowl, widely used for its meat and eggs.
The farmer raises chickens in the backyard.
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Dec 20, 2023

Turkey

A large North American bird.
The turkey gobbled loudly on the farm.
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Dec 20, 2023

Chicken

Cowardly or fearful.
He was too chicken to watch the horror movie.
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Dec 20, 2023

Turkey

A country straddling Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
Istanbul in Turkey is known for its rich history.
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Dec 20, 2023
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Chicken

A game in which players dare each other to undertake risky actions.
They played chicken, driving fast towards each other.
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Turkey

A large North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that has brownish plumage and a bare wattled head and neck and is widely domesticated for food.
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Chicken

A term of endearment, especially for a young child.
Come here, my little chicken, and give me a hug.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Turkey

The flesh of this bird, used as food.
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A common domesticated fowl (Gallus domesticus) widely raised for meat and eggs and believed to be descended from the jungle fowl G. gallus.
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Turkey

A related bird (Meleagris ocellata syn. Agriocharis ocellata) of Mexico and Central America, brilliantly colored and having eyelike spots on its tail.
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Chicken

Any of various similar or related birds.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A person considered inept or undesirable.
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

The flesh of the chicken, used as food.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A failure, especially a failed theatrical production or movie.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Chicken

(Slang) A coward.
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Turkey

(Sports) Three consecutive strikes in bowling.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

Any of various foolhardy competitions in which the participants persist in a dangerous course of action until one loses nerve and stops.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

The guinea fowl (family Numididae).
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

Vulgar Slang A young gay male, especially as sought by an older man.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

(countable) A bird in the genus Meleagris with a fan-shaped tail and wattled neck, especially the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo, now domesticated).
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

Afraid; cowardly.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

(uncountable) The flesh or meat of this bird eaten as food.
All week after Thanksgiving, I had turkey sandwiches for lunch.
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

To act in a cowardly manner; lose one's nerve
Chickened out at the last moment.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

(countable) With a distinguishing word: a bird resembling the Meleagris gallopavo (for example, the brush turkey or bush turkey (Alectura lathami), and the water turkey (Anhinga anhinga)).
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

(countable) A domesticated species of junglefowl (usually, Gallus gallus; sometimes, Gallus gallus domesticus or Gallus domesticus), especially so-called when young.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

An act of throwing three strikes in a row.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

(uncountable) The meat from this bird eaten as food.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A patient feigning symptoms; a person faking illness or injury; a malingerer.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

(archaic) The young of any bird; a chick.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A pack carried by a lumberman; a bindle; also, a large travel bag, a suitcase.
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A coward.
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Turkey

A failure.
That film was a turkey.
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A young or inexperienced person.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A foolish or inept person.
The turkey cut in front of me and then berated me for running into him.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A young, attractive, slim man, usually having little body hair; compare chickenhawk.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A country in the southeast of Europe and southwest of Asia.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Chicken

The game of dare.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Turkey

Any large American gallinaceous bird belonging to the genus Meleagris, especially the North American wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), and the domestic turkey, which was probably derived from the Mexican wild turkey, but had been domesticated by the Indians long before the discovery of America.
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Chicken

A confrontational game in which the participants move toward each other at high speed (usually in automobiles); the player who turns first to avoid colliding into the other is the chicken (that is, the loser).
Don't play chicken with a freight train; you're guaranteed to lose.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

Large gallinaceous bird with fan-shaped tail; widely domesticated for food
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A simple dance in which the movements of a chicken are imitated.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A Eurasian republic in Asia Minor and the Balkans; achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1923
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

 A kilogram of cocaine.
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A person who does something thoughtless or annoying;
Some joker is blocking the driveway
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

Plural of chick
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Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

Flesh of large domesticated fowl usually roasted
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

(informal) Cowardly.
Why do you refuse to fight? Huh, I guess you're just too chicken.
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Turkey

An event that fails badly or is totally ineffectual;
The first experiment was a real turkey
The meeting was a dud as far as new business was concerned
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

(intransitive) To avoid a situation one is afraid of.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

Wild turkey of Central America and northern South America
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A young bird or fowl, esp. a young barnyard fowl.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

The flesh of the turkey bird, used as food.
We had roasted turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Chicken

A young person; a child; esp. a young woman; a maiden; same as spring chicken.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Turkey

A failure, especially in theatrical terms.
The new play was a turkey and closed after two nights.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Chicken

The flesh of a chicken used for food
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A domestic fowl bred for flesh or eggs; believed to have been developed from the red jungle fowl
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A person who lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishy-washy
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Dec 13, 2023

Chicken

A foolhardy competition; a dangerous activity that is continued until one competitor becomes afraid and stops
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Chicken

Easily frightened
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Dec 13, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Why is turkey associated with Thanksgiving?

Turkey has been a traditional Thanksgiving dish in North America since the 19th century.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

What is the typical size of a turkey compared to a chicken?

Turkeys are significantly larger and heavier than chickens.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Is turkey healthier than chicken?

Turkey is often leaner, making it a slightly healthier option.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Can turkey and chicken be used interchangeably in recipes?

While they can sometimes be substituted, their flavors and textures are distinct.
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Jan 10, 2024

Which bird is more common in global cuisine, turkey or chicken?

Chicken is more common globally due to its versatility and widespread domestication.
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Jan 10, 2024

What part of the world is the turkey native to?

The turkey is native to North America.
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Jan 10, 2024

Are there any cultural taboos associated with eating turkey or chicken?

Cultural taboos are more prevalent with chicken in some vegetarian and vegan cultures.
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Jan 10, 2024

Are there different breeds of turkeys and chickens?

Yes, both have various breeds with differing characteristics.
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Jan 10, 2024

What is the lifespan of a turkey compared to a chicken?

Turkeys generally live longer than chickens.
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Jan 10, 2024

Can both turkey and chicken be raised in a backyard setting?

Yes, but turkeys require more space and resources.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Is white meat more common in turkey or chicken?

Both have white meat, but it's more predominant in turkey breasts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

How do industrial farming practices differ for turkeys and chickens?

Turkey farming generally requires more space and is less intensive than chicken farming.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

What are the most popular dishes made with chicken?

Dishes like fried chicken, chicken curry, and chicken soup are globally popular.
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Jan 10, 2024

What are the environmental impacts of raising turkeys vs. chickens?

Turkey farming generally has a higher environmental footprint due to larger resource needs.
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Jan 10, 2024

What is the significance of the turkey in Native American culture?

The turkey is often seen as a symbol of abundance and fertility in Native American culture.
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Jan 10, 2024

How has the consumption of turkey and chicken changed over time?

Chicken consumption has increased globally, while turkey remains more seasonal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 10, 2024

Are turkeys smarter than chickens?

Intelligence varies, but turkeys are generally considered to have more complex social structures.
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Jan 10, 2024

How do turkeys communicate compared to chickens?

Turkeys gobble, whereas chickens cluck.
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Jan 10, 2024

Can turkeys fly like chickens?

Wild turkeys can fly short distances, unlike most domesticated chickens.
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Jan 10, 2024

What is the growth rate of a turkey compared to a chicken?

Turkeys grow slower and reach maturity later than chickens.
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Jan 10, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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