25 Baby Turkeys Dropped at Farm Sanctuary’s Doorstep

Public invited to meet babies and witness one-of-a-kind “Feeding of the Turkeys” ceremony at organization’s Celebration FOR the Turkeys on November 20

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.November 4, 2011 – It’s a scene that usually only happens in movies and television: tiny orphans dropped under the cover of night on the doorstep of a benevolent stranger… usually in the snow. Yet this is nearly what happened on a recent Southern California night — only this time, the tiny orphans were 25 baby turkeys and the “benevolent stranger” was Farm Sanctuary’s Southern California shelter for abused farm animals located an hour from Hollywood.

The 25 one-month-old 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, often thought of as “the Jane Goodall of farm animals,” 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.”

Now that they are in Farm Sanctuary’s care, these tiny turkeys are receiving urgently needed medical attention. A few of the turkeys have hernias; and they, along with some of the weaker babies, were taken to the organization’s Orland Shelter, where they can receive more specialized treatments available at University of California at Davis’ Veterinary Hospital.

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. It is so gratifying to help these babies regain their health and prepare them for loving adoptive homes,” says 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 on Sunday November 20, 2011. The highlight of the free event, taking place just an hour outside of Los Angeles, is the much-loved Feeding of the Turkeysceremony, 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, of course).

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.

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit farmsanctuary.org.


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