ACTON – Twenty-five, one-month-old baby turkeys were dumped off recently at Farm Sanctuary’s animal care facility, off the 14 freeway, about 15 miles from Palmdale.
The baby turkeys, known as “poults,” were dirty, weak and debeaked when they arrived, an indication that they came from a factory farm. Factory farms are large, warehouse-like facilities where birds are crammed by the thousands and spend their short lives unable to comfortably move, experience sunlight, or exhibit any natural behaviors.
Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director Susie Coston, explains the birds’ blunted beaks this way: “When you confine thousands of birds in a tight, dark space with no hope of ever escaping, they are driven to excessive pecking and fighting. Rather than provide more living space, the meat industry severs the tip of the bird’s sensitive, nerve-filled beak with either a hot blade or by microwave. Debeaking is always done without anesthetic, so we know these babies have already endured unthinkable pain in their short lives.”
Coston reportedly said turkey drop offs are common around Thanksgiving and suspects they may be instigated by factory farm workers who feel bad.
Now that they are in Farm Sanctuary’s care, the tiny turkeys are receiving urgently needed medical attention.
When the poults make full recoveries, Farm Sanctuary will seek permanent homes for them through their Farm Animal Adoption Network.
“Turkeys make amazing companion animals,” said Coston. “The more turkeys we can place in safe, happy homes, the more we can make room for other rescued birds.”
In the meantime, the public is invited to meet some of the new babies and other rescued turkeys at the shelter’s “Celebration for the Turkeys,” which takes place from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20, at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres facility at 5200 Escondido Canyon Road, Acton, CA 93510.
The highlight of the free event, is the Feeding of the Turkeys ceremony at 3 p.m., where the shelter’s rescued turkeys are the honored guests and dine on a buffet served by Farm Sanctuary staff of their favorite holiday treats: stuffed squash, pumpkin pie and cranberries — on silver platters.
For more information on this event, call 661-269-5404 or visit animalacres.org/events.
To offer your help to these baby turkeys, and other farm animals in need, you may sponsor a turkey through Farm Sanctuary’s annual Adopt-A-Turkey Project taking place right now or by joining Farm Sanctuary online at farmsanctuary.org.
(Information via press release from Farm Sanctuary.)