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Talking turkey

A group of turkeys crosses a yard in Brainerd in early November. 1 / 2
A group of at least seven wild turkeys roam through a Brainerd residential neighborhood this month walking in single file. Photo by Michelle Ray2 / 2

When a group of wild turkeys roamed through her yard early in early November, Brainerd resident Michelle Ray thought it was a perfect start for the month.

"Welcome to November, turkeys have arrived," Ray wrote in an email. "I loved it, made me smile for days."

At least seven turkeys were captured in one photo walking in a single line across the snow-dusted grass. Such a group is actually called a rafter of turkeys. And for Thanksgiving trivia, here are other turkey tidbits to test the noggin.

• Minnesota leads the nation in turkey production with 44 million turkeys. North Carolina comes in second with 33 million turkeys. Other top states are Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and Virginia. By comparison, North Dakota produces 1.2 million turkeys.

• And 52 million turkeys are consumed in the United States on Thanksgiving.

• The total value of turkeys produced in the U.S. yearly is $4.85 billion.

• Heaviest turkey ever weighed a whopping 86 pound turkey and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. The average turkey weighs, on average, 15 pounds.

• The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for a family of 10 is $59.18, including a 16-pound bird, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, break and dessert.

• About 200 cranberries make one can of cranberry sauce. There are 7.6 million barrels of cranberries produced annually.

• If green bean casseroles are on the table, rest assured it's going to be a common sight as 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving. There are 659,340 tons of green beans produced annually.

• The big meal packs on 229 grams of fat. A 3 ounce serving of chicken contains 240 calories while a serving of turkey contains 190 calories.

• The first Thanksgiving in 1621 was a three-day feast .

• Writer and editor Sara Joseph Hale convinced President Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She also wrote, "Mary had a Little Lamb."

• In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving the third Thursday instead of the fourth.

• The tradition of Thanksgiving Day turkey began in the 1940s. It was not until 1989 when President George H.W. Bush pardoned the first turkey in which it remained alive and lived its life out on a farm.

Source: Forum News Service.