Difference Between Turkey and Chicken

Turkey vs Chicken

Both turkeys and chicken are popular among people because of their importance as a delicious food. Both of them are domesticated but, turkeys are still found in the wild also. Differences and similarities between turkey and chicken are discussed in terms of their biological characteristics in this article.


Chicken is a domesticated bird originated from red jungle fowl with several different types of breeds. Chickens are reared for both meat (broilers) and egg (layers) consumption. There are about 50 billion chickens are reared as broilers in the world today. The meat of chicken is also called chicken. A healthy male’s weight is around 5 to 8 pounds, which is a little higher weight for a bird to fly and hence, chicken is not adapted for flying long distances. There are number of genetically modified chicken breeds depending on the purpose of rearing. Males are commonly known as cocks and the females are called hens. They are omnivorous in food habits; feed on seeds, worms, lizards, and even small mammals like mice. The lifespan of a layer chicken is about five to ten years, while that of a broiler chicken would be as low as 14 weeks. Usually, males are larger and brighter than females as in most of the birds. The most prominent feature of cock bird is the comb, where it is smaller in hens. A large comb is helpful for a better attraction from hens. Usually, they are social animals and live in flocks (groups of birds). The usual incubation period for an egg is 21 days. However, sometimes chickens are reared as pets. That means chickens are very important animals as they got many things to do with humans.


Turkey is a fairly large-bodied bird that belongs to Genus: Meleagris. Turkeys are found in both wild and domestic environments. Their distinctive appearance includes the dark coloured plumage with a featherless neck and a head. The male, known as Tom or Gobbler, is little larger and more colourful than the female, known as hen. A healthy wild male can reach up to 30 pounds of weight while a domestic turkey could weigh as twice as that. The male turkeys are blackish brown in colour and they have skin folds under the chin called wattle. A turkey lives about 10 years and prefers to live in wooded habitats with dense and bushy cover. Food habits are omnivorous and a female lays about 8 – 14 buff coloured brown eggs. The incubation period is about 27 days. Instances of turkeys raised as pets are rare, but the uses are higher among Christians, especially during Thanksgiving ceremony.

Difference Between Turkey and Chicken

Both turkey and chicken belong to the same Family: Phasianidae, but classified in two genera. Turkey has a larger body than chicken. Turkey is mostly dark-coloured, whereas, chicken are colourful and the male chickens are more brightly coloured. Mostly chicken are reared for eggs and meat, whereas turkeys are for meat. Neck and head have no feathers in turkey, but chicken has a feathered neck and head with a prominent comb. Incubation period of turkey is slightly higher than that of chicken. Chicken egg is white or gray in colour, while turkey lays buff coloured brown eggs. Chicken consumption by people is undoubtedly higher than turkey consumption.