Are you spending Thanksgiving in Thailand? In this case, you may wonder if you can find a turkey for roasting in this country. Thailand has some strange and wonderful dishes to try, but are there turkeys in Thailand?
Thailand has some turkeys, but the industry isn’t nearly as big as in America. Most people who have turkeys raise them as farm pets, and very few Thai farmers rear turkeys for the meat market. Farmers who raise turkeys for their meat mainly sell to foreigners and local restaurants.
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Are There Turkeys In Thailand?
When visiting Thailand, you may see some turkeys here and there. However, turkeys are less popular in Thailand than they are in some other countries, like America. Some people keep turkeys on their small holdings, where they serve more as pets rather than meat animals.
Some Thai people farm turkeys for the meat market, but it isn’t such a big industry there. Thai farmers who raise turkeys don’t typically have too many birds. They often farm with bronze turkeys instead of the more traditional broad-breasted turkeys used in the USA.
Are There Turkey Farms In Thailand?
There are some turkey farms in Thailand, specifically in the newer provinces of the country. Furthermore, some rubber farmers have switched over to rearing turkeys after rubber prices declined sharply in 2015.
Turkey farmers have steadily increased as the demand for alternative meat sources rises. However, turkey farmers in Thailand have some problems when first starting to rear their turkeys, as the methods for rearing turkeys aren’t the same as for rearing chickens.
Turkey chicks can die from mosquito bites and are susceptible to many diseases. This is why it is extremely important to inoculate turkeys and keep them under a mosquito net while their vaccinations are complete. Fortunately, as more farmers start rearing turkeys, they gain valuable experience and insight into the industry in Thailand.
Do People Eat Turkey In Thailand?
Some people eat turkey meat in Thailand, but not as many as you think. It’s primarily foreigners residing in Thailand who search for turkey meat in the country. Furthermore, locals who have tried turkey before will buy and cook the meat.
But the local Thai people cook turkey differently than people in the west. Instead of roasting the whole bird, the turkey is minced and used in dishes like Larb, Tom Yum, and fried dishes. Foreigners complain that the additional spices overpower the turkey flavor, but this is the way locals prefer it.
In areas with several turkey farms, restaurants may also serve dishes with turkey, as the meat is easy to come by and affordable in these areas.
Where Can You Buy Turkey In Thailand?
The best place to start looking for fresh turkey is at local turkey farms. Even if these farmers don’t sell their turkeys to private clients, they can indicate where you can find turkeys in the city or area. In addition, you will likely find frozen turkeys in supermarkets in larger cities like Bangkok and Nonthaburi.
Alternatively, if you’re lucky, you may stumble across a restaurant that sells dishes with turkey. If all else fails, connect with a local foreigner’s group, and ask around. Someone is bound to know where you can find fresh or frozen turkeys in your area.
Are Turkeys Protected In Thailand?
Turkeys aren’t protected birds in Thailand. They aren’t native to this country and were likely brought here by foreigners within the last few decades, as the turkey business hasn’t really picked up yet. Turkeys are more susceptible to certain poultry diseases, which makes farmers hesitant to rear them.
However, you won’t have any problems if you want to get a turkey in your backyard. They aren’t endangered or protected, and you typically don’t need a permit to keep a turkey in your yard. Turkeys are still quite foreign to many locals, so they don’t know what to do with turkeys if they find them.
Is Turkey Cheap In Thailand?
Turkey meat is costly in Thailand, as meat, in general, tends to be expensive. Turkeys also need more care and attention when being reared, leading to higher prices on the market. If you compare the price of turkey with the price of chicken in Thailand, you’ll find that turkey is more expensive.
Since turkeys are mainly sold to foreigners, supermarkets charge even more for the meat since they feel foreigners can pay more. However, suppose you’re looking to buy turkey in Thailand. In that case, you’ll likely find that it is about as expensive as many other meat sources available, and it may be harder to find.
Are There Wild Turkeys In Thailand?
There aren’t many wild turkeys in Thailand since they aren’t native to the region. You may accidentally find a stray turkey or two roaming about, but don’t be surprised if you don’t come across any wild turkeys while hiking through Thailand.
Since turkeys aren’t native to Thailand, they may struggle to survive in the wild. Chicks likely die of mosquito bites, while adults battle against diseases and high temperatures. Overall, Thailand isn’t ideal for turkeys to roam in the wild, so you likely won’t see them.
Is It Dangerous To Eat Turkey In Thailand?
Although turkeys aren’t native to Thailand, you can occasionally find a restaurant or shop selling turkey meat. In this case, turkey meat should be safe to consume if it is cooked properly. Ensure the meat is fresh before cooking it at home, too.
If you follow the same protocols as you do when cooking chicken, you can safely consume turkey meat without a problem. Most farmed turkeys have been inoculated, so they don’t carry diseases that can make you sick. In addition, the meat is prepared to kill any bacteria that could be harmful to people.
So, if you manage to find turkey meat in Thailand, feel free to consume it if it looks like it has been appropriately treated.
Where Are Turkeys Imported From To Thailand?
Turkeys found in Thailand are mainly imported from the USA, the biggest supplier of turkeys in the world. A small number of the turkeys you find in stores are locally farmed, while most turkey meat is likely imported. The same is true for most processed turkey products like canned turkey.
You can ask the shop owner or check the packaging to see where the turkey meat you are buying comes from. When buying at a small convenience store or market, it’s possible that the turkeys are farmed locally. Larger and chain stores likely import their turkeys depending on the import costs.
Do Restaurants Serve Turkey In Thailand?
As mentioned, there are some restaurants in Thailand that sell turkey meats. They’ll often serve turkey meat in a local Thai-style dish, and the turkey meat is heavily seasoned with chilies and spices. Turkey isn’t prepared the same way in Thailand as in the USA, so don’t expect a tray with roasted meat.
Thai food is usually served with small pieces of ground meat or thinly cut slices. This is why turkey meat is commonly served the same way. Restaurants that serve turkey are often located near areas with turkey farms, or you might find a foreign restaurant in a big city with turkey on the menu.