Off of the plate, turkeys are wonderful, magnificent, and smart creatures. They are truly something to be thankful for! Meet Belle and Beau, two of the amazing turkeys residing at Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary. Belle came to Cotton Branch after a loving supporter bought her from a poultry auction, saving her from the horrific and terrifying fate of slaughter. Beau was being transported to a similar fate when he fell off of the truck. Cotton Branch’s friend, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, was quick to action and Cotton Branch was happy to have him stay at the sanctuary as a permanent resident.
Want to know more about turkeys? Delve into the turkey world by checking out these amazing facts:
1. Just like humans, turkeys form very close social bonds with their family and friends, sometimes traveling in flocks of more than 200 in the wild!
2. Turkeys have amazing hearing, even though they don’t have external ears. Oh, and they can see in color too!
3. You can tell whether a turkey is a male or female by the shape of its feces: Males create spiral-shaped poop, while a females create poop shaped like a “J”.
4. A wild turkey’s roosting behavior is to actually sleep in trees, away from possible predators. Domesticated turkeys will sometimes try this too!
5. Turkeys like their feathers to be stroked, (hey, who doesn’t like a massage?).
6. Turkey enjoy listening to music and it’s been said that they will even sing along!
7. Ben Franklin was highly fond of turkeys, holding a high amount of respect for them. It has been rumored that he even wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle because they are a “true original Native of America.”
8. Turkeys in the wild can fly and have been said to fly up to 55 miles per hour! Unfortunately, domesticated turkeys have been fattened up for some people’s dinner tables and have robbed them of this magnificent gift.
9. A male turkey’s head can change color in response to mood and during mating season.
10. Turkeys actually have two stomachs: the gizzard and the glandular stomach. The gizzard grinds up the food ingested by the turkey and prepares it for the first intestine or the first stomach, (the glandular), if it is needed. The glandular stomach is the first stomach that softens the food with gastric juices.
Turkeys are sentient beings, like all creatures that walk the planet. If you’ve never personally met a turkey, volunteertoday at Cotton Branch, where you will meet not only its wonderful residents, but amazing people too.