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
and she's even getting a little bit sleepy.
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?
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.
But they're very sweet.
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.
And one of our very oldest residents is Mr.Jordan over here.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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!