(WYTV) – Today, it’s all about snoods and wattles and how, if you’re a male turkey, you want them large and the wattle nice and red.
They may look ugly to us, but all that stuff around a male turkey’s head can actually attract a female turkey.
That fleshy red thing that hangs over a turkey’s beak is called a “snood.”
Toms and hens both have them, but they’re much smaller and less noticeable on the female.
A nice, long snood on a tom tells the hen, “that’s a good mate.” The longer the snood, the better the genes.
Wattles hang below turkeys’ chins, and they are also part of the mating process. Hens have them, too, but like the snood, they are less prominent in a hen.
Blood flows into the wattle of a tom trying to attract a mate, which turns the wattle a much brighter red than normal. They stand out from other toms.
A pale snood and a pale wattle can be a sign that the turkey is suffering from anemia or another illness.
The wattle is vital to the turkey. Birds have no sweat glands, so they rely on other methods to keep them cool.
The heat of a turkey dissipates through the skin of the wattle; that’s how they sweat.
Many birds have wattles, including some storks, pheasants and, of course, the rooster in the barnyard.