What is a Group of Turkeys Called?

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: September 21, 2023
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Key Points

  • A group of wild turkeys is called a flock. But domesticated turkeys are referred to as a rafter or a gaggle.
  • A bunch of wild turkeys can also be called a run, as in a “run of turkeys.” But if they are just male wild turkeys, you would call them a posse.
  • Young males, or juveniles, are called jakes, adult males are toms, and when they form groups, you can call them a gang or a mob.

While we often associate turkey with food, these creatures have a lot more going for them. They are intelligent, social, playful, and curious, with the ability to remember human faces and form strong social bonds with their owners. So if you’ve ever seen a lot of turkeys, it’s probably because one is simply not enough! But what is a group of turkeys called? And how does this species function within a group? Find out now!

What Do You Call a Group of Turkeys?

turkeys roaming in the wild

What is a group of turkeys called? A group of domesticated turkeys is called a rafter or a gaggle. And a group of wild turkeys are a flock.

©iStock.com/davidsdodd

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A group of wild turkeys is called a flock. But domesticated turkeys are referred to as a rafter or a gaggle. 

There are actually many ways to refer to a gathering of these birds. Here are some more collective nouns for turkeys:

  • Brood
  • Crop
  • Dole
  • School
  • Raffle
  • Death row
  • Posse

And names can get fairly specific. A group of wild turkeys can also be called a run, as in a “run of turkeys.” But if they are just male wild turkeys, you would call them a posse. Unless it’s the beginning of the breeding season, then you would call them bachelors. 

Young males, or juveniles, are called jakes, adult males are toms, and when they form groups, you can call them a gang or a mob.

You can also call a bunch of males a gobble or a rave. And a female collection is a clutch or a poult. 

Why is a Group of Turkeys Called a Rafter?

Often when people would construct a barn or other building, turkeys would roost in the rafters. These structures made great concealments for weather and predators. So now we refer to a group of turkeys as a rafter of turkeys. 

You may also refer to turkey groups as a gaggle due to their noisy behavior. Many other loud birds, like geese, can also be called a gaggle. And sometimes turkeys are called a gobble for the same reason.

How Do Turkeys Function in a Rafter?

Two turkeys

Turkeys form gendered flocks. While male groups are highly unstable and constantly changing, females keep a stable hierarchy.

©Kemeo/Shutterstock.com

Turkeys are very social birds that live together for most of the year. They form gendered flocks. Males with males and females with females. However, they usually are not far apart and will join their groups before the breeding season. They will then break off into smaller mating groups, with one male mating with multiple females. And once females begin nesting, their groups break apart again. Male and female groups will come together again during winter for roosting.

The behavior of these two separate gender groups can be very different.

Do Male Turkeys Group Together?

Males tend to stay in sibling groups, where they are aggressive, yet loyal to one another. There can be segregation within male groups, ordered by age, with adults together in one group and juveniles in another. But this is typical of large groups of wild turkeys, and not as common in domestic groups. However, most groups are socially organized, with each member of the group holding a rank in a pecking order. This system can cause dominance rituals to take place, where members fight for a higher rank.

Do Female Turkeys Flock Together?

Females form family groups, with mothers combining their chicks with other hens and their brood. Often female turkey groups consist of two or more adults and many juveniles. While male groups are highly unstable and constantly changing, females keep a stable hierarchy. But females are not immune to intra-social quarrels. 

Baby turkey - turkey poults with mother

There is no specific term used to describe a group of baby turkeys. Most people refer to them as broods or chicks.

©Arturo Verea/Shutterstock.com

What is a Group of Baby Turkeys Called?

There is no specific term used to describe a group of baby turkeys. Most people refer to them as broods or chicks, which are generic terms for baby birds.

What is a Female Turkey Called?

An adult female turkey is called a hen. And juvenile female turkeys are jennies or poults.

What is a Group of Hummingbirds Called?

These beautiful and fascinating hovering birds are cleverly named and actually have a few different names for them as groups. You might find them named something really cool like a “tune”, a “hover”, a “bouquet”, and a “glittering”. Perhaps the coolest name for hummingbird groups is a “shimmer. These names really take a lot of imagination!

What is a Group of Woodpeckers Called?

Another great avian group name comes from a flock of the pretty, yet often noisy, woodpecker. They are called a “descent”, and this probably derives from the method of which they tend to work their way from the top of trees to the bottom.

What is a Group of Crows Called?

While some of these other bird types have fun and cute names, this is not true for crows! They have a group name that sounds more like something you would hear close to Halloween. Their creepy flock name is a “murder”!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/davidsdodd


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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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