Happy Turkey Day from Pandemonium Aviaries!
While we do not have any turkeys on site, we certainly appreciate the uniqueness of the Thanksgiving icon. Turkeys truly are amazing birds. They’ve been around for nearly ten million years, and have adapted some incredible capabilities to prove it. Their field of vision is an impressive 270 degrees due to the eyes being located on the sides of the face rather than the front. They can see movement from nearly one hundred yards away, making them elusive to hunt. Not to mention they can run at 20 mph and fly short distances at 55 mph.
Turkeys are also quite fascinating. Their characteristic wattle, snood, caruncle combination turns bright red when they become excited or upset, a phenomenon that suggests that they are used to communicate. However, no one has really identified what the purpose behind the fleshy organs is. By nature, turkeys are curious creatures. Many have observed in them an interest in rain, leading to the myth of them drowning in storms. This is, of course, false, considering that they’ve lived in the wild for several million years.
At maturity, turkeys have around 3,500 feathers (which are rumored to adorn the costume of Big Bird). The infamous “gobble” sound is only produced by males, and can be heard from a mile away.
Sadly, modern industries have drastically altered the natural lifestyle of the birds. Because of the high demand for breast meat, domestic turkeys have been bred to produce such large breasts that the birds cannot stand or walk, let alone fly. This makes breeding impossible, so artificial insemination is used for reproduction. When bred for consumption, turkeys are allowed to live only for one year before being slaughtered. Most are slaughtered after six or eight months. During that time, the turkeys are allotted enough room in their barns to turn around and no more.
At Pandemonium, we believe in the protection of the rights of all animals. Animal cruelty is contrary to what we stand for, and so we encourage everyone to purchase free range organic turkeys for their Thanksgiving tables. The result is responsible and delicious!
We can all be thankful for the true magnificence of birds and the people who work to protect them, whether they are exotic turacos or wild turkeys.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
by Brittany Webb, Pandemonium Aviaries Intern
Feeling extra responsible? Adopt a turkey at http://www.farmsanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-turkey/.