LET'S TALK TURKEY....... Too Big to Breed: The most prized portion of the turkey is the white meat of the breast. Because Americans like white meat so much, turkeys are bred to produce large breasts. Our domesticated turkeys have such large chests that the male, "tom turkey" is not able to fertilize the eggs of the female, "hen turkeys" in the natural mating position. Today, turkey eggs are fertilized by artificial insemination for the hatchery. What's a Wattle Anyway? The head and neck of turkeys have no feathers; rather it is covered with red, fleshy skin. A soft floppy growth on the front of the head, which dangles downward over the beak, is called the snood or dewbill. The turkey also has a pouchlike area at the front of his throat which is called a wattle. The head, neck, snood and wattle are all reddish colored until the male turkey begins to do his "strut" or mating dance at which time the entire area turns brilliantly bright red. White Meat or Dark? Did you ever wonder why the breast and wings of chickens and turkeys have white meat while the legs and thighs are dark? The explanation is a physiological one involving the function of muscles, which gives some insight into humans as well as animals. The dark coloration is not due to the amount of blood in muscles but rather to a specific muscle type and it's ability to store oxygen.