World Record Holder Tyson The Turkey Weighed Roughly The Same As A Baby Cow

This heavyweight champion gobbled up the competition.


Dr. Beccy Corkill


Dr. Beccy Corkill

Custom Content Manager

Beccy is a custom content producer who holds a PhD in Biological Science, a Master’s in Parasites and Disease Vectors, and a Bachelor’s in Human Biology and Forensic Science.

Custom Content Manager

cartoon drawing of a turkey looking at a small cow

He was the baste that he could be.

Image credit: ©IFLScience

Before you take a bite of your Thanksgiving turkey, have you ever wondered how big these beasts can get? Well, look no further. There is a Guinness World Record for that!

Back on December 12, 1989, in merry old London, United Kingdom, there was a heaviest turkey competition. Sadly, this was also the last time this competition took place. On that day, a dressed stag (which is the name for a male adult turkey) was brought into the competition by Philip Cook of Leacroft Turkeys Ltd, Peterborough.


His name was Tyson, and he weighed a whopping 39.09 kilograms (86 pounds).   

This beast was the equivalent of four gold bars, two average human adult legs, or two 4-year-old children hiding in a trench coat.

What was the fate of champion Tyson? He was auctioned off to charity for a record £4,400, which was then the equivalent of $6,692.

While Tyson is a world champion, there have been some turkeys that have been captured by hunters in the United States that, while not quite close to this record, are impressive in their own right.  


Back in 2006, there was a turkey that weighed 14.32 kilograms (31.56 pounds). This was captured by George Connors and it was a Merriam’s turkey.

In 2002, there was a Rio Grande turkey that was killed in Oregon weighed in at 16.84 kilograms (37.125 pounds).

Lastly, in 2015 there was an Eastern turkey that weighed 17.06 kilograms (37.61 pounds), which was killed by David Cody in Lyon, Kentucky.

Before you start looking into making a feast of a bird this size, be warned that the standard oven can typically cook a 10-kilogram (22-pound) bird, so with Tyson being nearly four times the weight of this, the average household would probably struggle to make a juicy meal. Even if they could, they would probably need to reinforce the table.


Also, if you decide to go down the deep-frying route, then be careful. Every fall there are trips to the ER, and sometimes deaths, caused by deep-frying partially or fully frozen turkeys, as these can explode due to the difference in density between oil and water.  

So, be safe and enjoy your mediocre-sized turkey!


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