Orphan turkeys seek future as pets, not dinner
Aren't baby turkeys surprisingly photogenic? These birds are also lucky. Twenty-five baby turkeys, or poults, were dumped off at the Farm Sanctuary animal protection facility near Palmdale recently. They were weak and dirty, and the very tips of their beaks had been removed, leaving experts to speculate the birds were rescued from a commercial factory farm.
“This isn't the first time this has happened,” says Susie Coston, national shelter director for the nonprofit Farm Sanctuary, who adds that such drop-offs are common around Thanksgiving. “Sometimes I think it's workers who feel really bad.”
Now needing permanent homes, the birds make good companion animals, sanctuary officials say. Prospective adopters should have large yards and be sure zoning allows turkeys, Coston says, noting that many communities allow chickens but not bigger birds.
Chefs need not apply. “Not wanting to eat them is the No. 1 thing we're looking for,” Coston says.
On Sunday, the public is invited to the farm in Acton, off the 14 Freeway, to meet some of the babies at the shelter's free Celebration for the Turkeys from 2 to 5 p.m. Details: www.adoptaturkey.org.
-- Chris Erskine
Photos: Farm Sanctuary