Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Tour: Meet the Turkeys of Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge

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LENORE: Hello, my name is Lenore Braford.

I am the Founderand Animal Care Director

here at Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge

and this is Joey.

We are havingsome snuggle time right now.

Joey is very sweet

and she's really enjoying some wing rubs

so I'vegot my hands under her wings

and I'm just kind of gently loving on her

and she plopped rightdown

[LAUGHS]

and she's even getting a little bit sleepy.

Hi sweetie.

Hi.

Oftentimes turkeys are very interested inpeople.

They can be very loving

and respond to affectionate touch

just like cats or dogs orother animals that we might have in our home.

But a lot of people may not realize that about turkeys

if they've never gotten the chance to meet them

and to meet them in a place where they feel like they're safe and they can trust people.

Joey, here, is actually a turkey who came tous earlier this year

along with Jason turkey.

They had actually fallen out of a truck

thatwas on its way to a slaughter facility for turkeys.

This is actually fairly common for farm animals

to jump or fall out of trucks on the highway

and it's one of the ways that they can get outof that industrial system.

These turkeys were very lucky to have had thathappen

and we've so much loved getting to know them here at the Refuge

and gettingall of our turkey snuggles in.

Now Joey lives in here with Jordan and Jason.

All of these turkeys are industrialmeat bred turkeys.

Their type is called the White Broad Breasted

and one of the reasonsthat's important to know is it affects how we care for them here at the Refuge.

These typesof turkeys are bred to grow extremely quickly,

very unnaturally so,

and they get tothe weight that they are then killed

in just a few months time,

which if you comparethat to how wild turkeys develop and grow

at just a few months they're still going to bevery small

but these turkeys are going to be very, very large

almost this size at that time.

Because of that we have to be sure to feed them a type of diet

that will keep them as healthyand as long-lived as possible.

If we just fed them whatever they wanted non-stop,

theyunfortunately don't have the ability to know when to stop eating

and they just want to eat all thetime

and that's because of the way they're bred for the meat industry.

So we have a specialdiet that these turkeys are fed

and includes lots of fresh greens.

We like to give them kale, which they love.

That helps to fill them up

and they feel more sense of satisfaction.

They feel a fuller feeling

but it doesn't add a lot of extra calories to their diet

so it'sa great healthy alternative for these turkeys.

One of the other things we have to think about with these turkeys here at the Refuge

is what kind of issues might they have with theirjoints

in their legs, in particular, their feet

because they're bred to be so large

they tend tohave issues as they age

with potentially arthritis or other problems

and then they can get an issuecalled bumblefoot

which can be scabs or sores that form on the bottoms of their feet

due toall of that weight and all that pressure.

Unfortunately, Joey and Jason are both going through some bumblefoot right now

and we are doing foot soaks for them

andnow we have their feet wrapped and padded

and we're working on resolving that

but it's justsomething that a lot of these birds who are bred to be very large

have to deal withthroughout their life, depending on the individual

so they require a little bit of specialized care.

Let's go see if we can sayhello to some of our other friends

Are you gonna wake up and come with us?

Whatcha think?

Whatcha think?

She says, "oh, I just want some more snuggles."

So this is Jason

and you can get a good look ather feet

to see some of those foot wraps I was talking about.

One of the things that compoundsJason and Joey's issues

is not only were they bred to be very large

but they were unfortunatelyde-toed

and that's something that the meat industry does to some turkeys

who are being raised in factoryfarms,

Because they have such a small amount of space to live in

they often become aggressive andstressed.

They can peck and so sometimes the end of the beak is trimmed off

or they can usetheir feet in that stressful situation.

So when you are de-toeing an animal

whether that be aturkey or a cat

it causes them to walk differently

and that increases the probability that they mighthave foot problems.

We're hoping these ladies will be able to move through.

They're definitelyon their way to having their feet heal up.

Yeah.

But they're very sweet.

Hello.

Now turkeys, like chickens, have very good visual sense

and they have a memory for up to a hundred faces

whether that be turkeys in their area,

chickens that might live next to them,

or even people thatthey know well

and they'll certainly respond to different people in different ways,

depending on how comfortable they are with you.

If they know that you bring yummy treats everytime you come,

they get very excited to see you.

[laughs]

And one of our very oldest residents is Mr.Jordan over here.

Hello Jordan!

Now Jordan is about six years old

which might not seemvery old to you

but for this type of turkey

we would expect him to have lived between two andfive years at a rescue.

So being around six is pretty lucky.

He has been around and beenaround other turkeys that have since passed on.

Now that he's met these new youngergirls,

it really seems to have made him have a second wind

and he's really perkedup.

We've seen his personality change

and he's just really happy to have some morefriends.

He's one of our our older, wiser residents

and so we're always keepingan extra eye on them

and making sure that they get everything they need

and they stay as healthy as they can

Now some of the features on turkeys

thatyou can see really well on Jordan

include the snood

which is the long fleshy part that'shanging over his beak.

Jordan seems to know there's a camera on him

because his snood isall the way dropped down

and that's what they do when they are trying to impress.

What'sreally interesting is if he wanted to,

he could make that snood very short

and kindof stick up like a little horn above his beak.

It looks like he's just did that

because hewanted to get it out of the way

so he could find a bug or whatever that is he's lookingto snack on.

So you get to see the snood in action

which is pretty cool.

It'sactually a muscle that they can control

by contracting and releasing it.

There yougo, it's moving up.

[laughs]

Another really cool thing which you can see on Jordan's chest is hisbeard

and turkeys have a beard on their chest.

It's very coarse feeling.

It feels almostlike a horse tail or something like that.

The females actually can have little beards

but the males tend to have much longer beards

and as they're maturing

the beards grow longerand longer

until they reach their full length.

Turkeys also have very interesting heads

in terms of all of the folds of skin

and those bumps and lumps are called caruncles.

What's even cooler is that they can change thecolor

of those bumps and lumps on their head

from red and pink to bluish and even a purplishcolor

and that's depending on their mood.

Depending on how they're feeling

you might seethem change those colors right before your eyes.

Gotta look good for the camera.

Hey everybody.

So this is Blackberry

and Blackberryis one of our brand new turkeys

who just came to the Refuge a few days ago.

He is veryexcited to show off to everybody

so one thing that males do

especially young males

is they havea display.

So as you can see

Blackberry has fluffed out the feathers on his back

and he's fanned out his tail.

Hi, sir.

And he's even dropped his wings down.

While he does all of that

he struts around

and he makes that noise

which is called the chuff.

Chuffing is a way to bring the attention to him

and it's a very friendly sound , it's not anaggressive noise.

He just wants you to look at him and notice him

and recognize thathe's such a handsome guy, which he is.

You can also see that Blackberry has his snood droppedall the way down

and if you look at his head

you can see some beautiful blue color in there

whichhe has chosen to change his head color

so that we can be even more impressed by him.

He's looking pretty good. Aren't you?

Hey sir, what's up?

Blackberry is what you call a heritagebreed turkey.

There's a variety of breeds.

He's what you call Bronze.

He has these gorgeous bronze and multicolored feathers.

They're typically used onsmall farms or in small backyards

as opposed to the larger factory farms where Jason and Joey and Jordan came from.

Blackberry was actually someone's pet.

He livedwith Moonflower, who's also here at the Refuge,

in a backyard with another turkey.

Unfortunately, hedidn't have a safe location.

Something that's really important for these birds

is to make surethat they have safety from predators,

especially predators who come out at night,

and because theydidn't have the right setup,

unfortunately, their friend was killed by predators.

Someone elsestepped in to take in Blackberry and Moonflower

and to get them to a safe location.

So weare very happy to get to know them.

They are in quarantine right now.

This is our back pen of quarantine.

I've seen Blackberry around here

pecking atleaves and finding acorns

and all sorts of yummy things to eat.

He seems to be reallyexcited to get to know us here at the Refuge.

This is our other new resident, Moonflower,

who says, "look at my beautiful tail, I look so handsome."

Hi Moonflower!

[turkey chuffs]

Oh yes, chuffing for us.

Moonflower is a Royal Palm.

That is the type of heritage breed turkey.

Wecan just tell that by the color of his feathers,

the white and black pattern.

Yes, you're veryhandsome and we see your beautiful blue head.

I hope you enjoyed meeting some of the turkey residents here at the Refuge.

Each one is a special individual who we love and cherish.

We'reespecially looking forward to getting to know our newest turkeys

and what kind of personalitiesthey have.

This year, we hope you'll consider instead of eating turkeys,

learn aboutthem, appreciate them

and you can even sponsor one here at the Refuge.

You can learn more on ourwebsite which is piedmontrefuge.org.

Thanks so much!

The Description of Tour: Meet the Turkeys of Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge