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Thanksgiving trivia

When removing the giblets before roasting Tom Turkey on Thanksgiving Day take a close look at the gizzard. The tough muscular gizzard, with the help of a little grit, accomplishes some amazing feats.

Wild turkeys swallow food whole. Food may be temporarily stored in the crop a structure like a storage sac extending off the esophagus before passing on to the gizzard. Turkeys would have a rough time digesting all the acorns and other hard nuts they eat in fall and winter without gizzards.

A turkey gizzard is so powerful its muscular contractions can break a thick shelled pecan into small pieces in one hour. It can grind up 24 English walnuts in the shell in four hours. Hickory nuts are harder nuts to crack.canada goose sale It can take eight hours in the gizzard for them to even begin to crack and 32 hours to be broken into small pieces.

Birds have two stomachs. When food leaves the esophagus, it first passes through the glandular stomach (which starts the digestion process) before reaching the gizzard. http://www.fcanadagooseonline.top/ Gizzards are very strong and well developed in birds like finches, pheasants, turkeys, quail, grouse and pigeons all birds that eat mainly vegetable foods like hard seeds and nuts.

Powerful bands of gizzard muscles repeatedly contract. Secretions from a gizzard’s lining harden into hard, horny ridges. A gizzard works like a millstone that mechanically grinds and breaks down hard food and grain.

Many seed eating birds deliberately eat grit ,which remains in the gizzard for some time. Grit is an abrasive that helps grind food.

Domestic chickens with grit in the gizzard digest 10 percent more grain.

Turkeys were originally found only in pre Columbian North America. After domesticated turkeys were taken from Mexico to Europe in the early 16th century, a few 17th and 18th century European scientists undertook some bizarre experiments with turkeys and their gizzards. One force fed turkeys glass balls, wood pyramids and lead cubes. By the next day, the glass was pulverized, the pyramids were worn and the lead cubes were flattened. Another reported a metal tube was flattened and partly rolled up after 24 hours in a turkey’s gizzard. Someone else reported a turkey gizzard could grind 12 steel needles into pieces in 36 hours and 16 surgical lancets in 16 hours.

If you hunt wild turkeys, quail, pheasants, grouse, ducks or geese, you might find a surprise when you open and clean a gizzard. If birds don’t find grit, they might pick up something else small stones or sometimes something shiny. Gold nuggets were found in the gizzards of two ducks shot in Nebraska and a migrant scaup duck shot in Louisiana.

Gizzards of migratory swans and geese shot in Scotland contained black volcanic lava grit from Icelandic nesting grounds. Broken glass, shot pellets, coal and cinders have been found in pheasant gizzards. In Myanmar (formerly Burma) a ruby found in a pheasant’s gizzard supposedly led to the establishment of the famous Burma ruby mines.

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