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Turkeys are rather moderately-lived birds compared to long-lived species such as some hawks, gulls, and waterfowl. Overall, the mortality rate of turkeys during the first 2 weeks of life is about 70%, though longevity increases after this critical time period. The average turkey probably lives to about 11/2 years of age. Individuals may live longer, but any turkey over 6 years old is definitely an "old-timer". Based on a banded bird, the oldest known eastern turkey (coincidentally from Massachusetts) was at least 15 years old at death. Rio Grande turkeys have lived to 14, Florida turkeys to 13, and Merriam's turkeys to 91/2 years of age.
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I read an interesting article on how long turkeys live,they stated the oldest known captive turkey lived to be 12 years old.But here's the interesting part,which is the odds of a turkey surviving.It stated as follows:Starting from the egg,less than half the eggs will hatch.Only 30% of poults will live another two weeks and begin to fly up to roost.From that point,there is only a 50% chance of the bird living one more year.So,for every 1,000 turkey eggs laid,457 will hatch,137 poults will reach 2 weeks,and 69 will reach one year.Of the 69,only 34 will become 2 years old,17 will become 3 years old,and 9 will become 4 years old.So a typical turkey population turns over every 4 years. An unproductive turkey population would be nearly extinct in only 5 years.If you calculated the longevity of the average turkey,beginning with the egg stage,the mean life span would be only a few days.I thought that was pretty interesting and it goes to show how fortunate you are when actually bag one of ... more

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