What Is A Group Of Turkeys Called?

April 21, 2023 // 9 minutes read // 2 Shares

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What Is A Group Of Turkeys Called?

Many of us would love to discover the true names and meanings behind the various ways to describe a group of turkeys. Collective nouns were used to provide a number of different names of turkey groups in various scenarios. I’ll tell you about this topic and more by answering the most pressing related questions about this important topic.

Groups of turkeys are called a number of different names depending on the situation. The most common name of a group of turkeys is a rafter. A flock of turkeys exists amongst turkeys living in the wild. But when it comes to domesticated turkeys, the most common names are a gang, rafter, or gaggle.

Here’s the breakdown:

You undoubtedly found this website because you needed to know the name of a group of turkeys and other bird related information. You may have found the original answer you’ve been looking for, but you’ve undoubtedly uncovered even more questions regarding related topics. We have you covered because this article will cover the following subjects:

  • Additional collective nouns to describe a group of turkeys
  • Why are they named a rafter of turkeys?
  • Why are some fowls described as a gaggle of turkeys?
  • Do turkeys flock together within large groups?
  • When do turkeys decide to flock together?
  • And other valuable information

To learn about these topics and much more, please continue reading the valuable information presented below.

Additional Collective Nouns to Describe a Group of Turkeys

A rafter is considered the most popular collective noun to describe a group of turkeys. It’s definitely not the only noun that fits this description. Other more popular options include the names flock and gaggle, because groups of turkeys definitely fit these descriptors.

Do you know what a rafter is?

The word rafter basically means a beam that forms part of the internal framework of a roof – Oxford Advanced Dictionary.


Where does the term rafter come from? It’s really an unusual way to describe a turkey group when you think about it.

Originally, the name came from the fact that turkeys sleep in places that are high above the ground like trees and… Wait for it… Rafters!

As far as gaggles of turkeys are concerned, a group of turkeys have received this moniker because turkeys tend to make gaggling noises. The group is named after the sound that they make.

Other Collective Nouns

These aren’t the only names or collective nouns to describe small or large turkey groups. Other well-known and popular names include:

  • A herd of turkeys
  • A crop of turkeys
  • A raft of turkeys
  • A school of turkeys
  • A dule of turkeys
  • A raffle of turkeys
  • A mob of turkeys
  • A posse of wild turkeys
  • A brood of turkeys
  • A death row of turkeys
  • A posse of turkeys
  • A bachelor group of (wild male) turkeys
  • A gang of turkeys
  • A thanksgiving of turkeys
  • A muster of turkeys
  • A run of (wild) turkeys
  • A dole of turkeys

One name on this list that really stands out is a death row of turkeys. How did they get this devastating name?

46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving, 22 million on Christmas and 19 million turkeys on Easter.

University of Illinois

Wow! When you read the numbers provided by the University of Illinois, it isn’t surprising that many people believe that turkeys are living on borrowed time and they are really on death row waiting for the holidays to return.

Have you ever wondered about wild turkey facts or general info on these creatures?

The question here is…

How much do you know about turkeys? Click the button to learn more about these creatures!

Some Names of Male Turkeys

Male turkey groups are known as bachelors or a bachelor group during the beginning of mating season. This is the time of year when they start reconnecting with females. 

Juvenile male turkeys, otherwise called Jakes, gang up on Toms, adult male turkeys, which is why turkeys are sometimes known as mobs or gangs. With such aggressive birds, it’s almost surprising to learn that they’re an emotionally sensitive bird.

Why Are They Named a Rafter of Turkeys?

Pair of Turkeys
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The name rafter was given to groups of turkeys many years ago. You might want to know why they receive this particular group moniker. Some potential reasons could include:

  1. Turkeys prefer to roost and nest in the eaves of building roofs, which are otherwise known as rafters.
  2. These ground dwelling birds prefer roosting at the top of tree branches, or canopies, which are also sometimes called rafters. They roost here to hide from potential predators.
  3. The Greek meaning of the word rafter is to stitch together. The English language, during medieval times, adopted this definition and began calling turkey groups by the name rafters of turkeys at some point during the 15th century.

Why Are Some Fowl Described As a Gaggle of Turkeys?

Members of the turkey family are very loud and noisy birds. The sounds that they make sound like they are gaggle in or gobbling, which is why it is referenced as a gaggle.

For example, groups of geese are known as a gaggle of geese. This is a well-established collective noun for this particular group. Since turkeys also possess this capability to make lots of gagging and gobbling sounds, they’ve also been given the same moniker.

Turkey Calls

Guess what? Turkeys possess the ability to make 28 distinctive calls. These calls are very similar no matter the turkey subspecies, so all turkeys understand them.

A male turkey makes more of a gurgling sound which is better known as a gobble. With that in mind, it might make more sense to name this group a gobble of turkeys as opposed to calling them a gaggle.

Do Turkeys Flock Together within Large Groups?

According to TheBirdPedia, “For most of the year, turkeys congregate in gendered groups. Males create their own unique flocks, while female turkeys begin to form their own different flocks.”

Here’s an interesting fact:

Even though male turkeys and females form separate flocks, they generally stay close together. Since these birds stay together in large groups to protect one another, it makes sense that the two gendered flocks are close to each other.

How Many Turkeys Are Found In Their Flocks?

How many birds make up a flock? On average, the typical size of a rafter of turkeys is anywhere from 15-50 birds. Groups in this size range are large enough to provide protection from predators, yet small enough for the turkeys to flee quickly and regroup if a dangerous attack will harm them.

Even though Turkey flocks tend to remain small, their size is dependent on the specific time of year. Mel flocks of turkeys could reach anywhere from 100-200 birds once mating season begins and the female rafters begin to cluster. This tends to happen quite often at the very beginning of mating season.

After a while – like within a few weeks – turkeys will start to split off and form their own breeding groups. Since the female turkeys are the ones that raise their babies during the winter and fall, the males and female turkeys will spend the majority of their time apart during these seasons. And they come together again prior to roosting once clusters begin to form.

How Do Turkeys Protect Themselves?

Turkeys use a diverse number of vocal cries whenever the group is in danger. This lets the entire group of turkeys know that it’s time to flee because a dangerous predator is about to cause them bodily harm.

Gaggles of Turkeys & Their Effect on Breeding

Turkey Gaggles
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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Besides protection from harm, turkey flocks have another reason for existing. These gaggles are a necessary part of the breeding season process.

How so?

A turkey flock is important for male flock members of the species to achieve supremacy. The males will fight one another and the dominant male winds up at the top of the turkey hierarchy. This dominant male will then meet with as many as 10 different hands.

More often than not, male turkeys will spend time in groups with their siblings. Hens can deliver a brood of 12 offspring, so there are plenty of males for the turkeys to spend time with that are part of their brood.

When Do Turkeys Decide to Flock Together?

For the most part, turkeys will remain together throughout the majority of the year, although they will separate themselves into male and female gendered turkey flocks. Yet, they do come together and create one large group during the months of March and April. 

What happens during March and April? These months of the year are mating season for turkeys. They will congregate together for a few weeks and commingled groups and then smaller flocks start to form. These mating flocks will consist of males and females to various degrees.

Afterward, once a female turkey starts nesting, she takes on more of a recluse overall and will separate from male turkeys to raise juvenile females and males. These birds have a very remarkable set of social behaviors that are also quite sophisticated.

Young male turkeys are very close because they congregate with their siblings in groups, which means they are very devoted to their brothers. They’ll only separate during the fall and winter months when the males and female turkeys join together to become one larger flock prior to roosting in the winter after mating season. 

What is The Name Of A Pair of Turkeys Called?

Pair of Turkeys
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Photo by Vlad Loan via pexels

Unlike most birds, there isn’t a specific name dedicated to a pair of turkeys. So, when someone inquires about what pairs of turkeys are called, you can tell them that they don’t have a name.

But individual turkeys themselves certainly have names.

Male Turkey Names

Take male turkeys for example. They go by a few different names. They are affectionately known by the following names:

  1. Gobblers
  2. Toms
  3. Jakes (young males)

Female Turkey Names

The female turkeys also have specific names. They include the following:

  1. Hens
  2. Jennies (young females)

What Do They Call A Group of Baby Turkeys?

It shouldn’t shock anyone to learn that baby turkeys do not also have their own groups with a particular name. Baby turkeys do not flock together in groups because they’re too young and too small to survive and thrive on their own. Young poults (baby turkeys) must remain safe and protected by their mothers.

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