The day after Thanksgiving we got a call from a bird rehabilitator in Staten Island, NY. She’d found a young turkey being chased in the streets by kids. The story was that a dad had bought her and as a joke brought her to the dinner table during the meal. When the “gag” was over he stuck her in the back yard, from which she escaped.
Board member Dawn Ladd happened to be driving up to the farm with her mom, so she swooped south and in a few short hours Petunia — as the rehabilitator named her — was in safety at our farm.
Upon arrival she was examined and looked healthy, but until we got fecal samples back from the lab we couldn’t be sure if she had any parasites. She was housed in the turkey area in a isolated pen so as to contain anything she might be carrying. But Petunia wasn’t having any of it! She could hear our other turkeys gobbling up a storm and actually flew over the pen walls to join her new friends. Fortunately, her lab results were negative. Only a very young turkey is capable of flying any distance, as genetic breeding causes most commercial turkeys to become so heavy that walking can be a challenge and flying is not even a distant possibility.
Now Petunia spends her days hanging out with the other turkeys, trying to get some of the pig produce or bread at pig feeding times, and tearing across the yard or driveway from one point to the next for no apparent reason. From one second to the next, she’ll get a notion and start running, just because she can—and she’s found a place where she gets to do what she wants and be exactly who she is.