Two Amazing Turkeys: Meet Belle and Beau


Turkeys are magnificent, clever and affectionate creatures. Meet Belle and Beau!

Belle came to Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary after a loving supporter bought her at a poultry auction, saving her from certain slaughter. Beau was on his way to a processing plant when he thankfully fell (or jumped) off the transport truck. NC wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, quickly took action and connected with our director Jan to provide Beau with a forever home.

Both turkeys will now live out their lives in peace and safety at Cotton Branch. 

Want to know more about turkeys? Delve into the turkey world with these fascinating facts:

  1. Just like humans, turkeys form very close social bonds with their family and friends, sometimes traveling in flocks of more than 200 in the wild!
  2. Turkeys have amazing hearing, even though they don't have external ears. Oh, and they can see in color too!
  3. You can tell if a turkey is male or female by the shape of his or her feces: Males create spiral-shaped poop, while females create poop shaped like a "J."
  4. A wild turkey's roosting behavior is to actually sleep in trees, away from possible predators. Domesticated turkeys will sometimes try this too.
  5. Turkeys like their feathers to be stroked (hey, who doesn't like a massage?) and will sometimes actually purr.
  6. Turkey enjoy listening to music and it's been said they will even sing along!
  7. Ben Franklin was very fond of turkeys, holding a high amount of respect for them. It has been rumored that he even wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle because they are a "true original native of America."
  8. Turkeys in the wild can fly and have been said to fly up to 55 miles per hour! Unfortunately, domesticated turkeys who have been injected with hormones and bred to grow much larger than normal are robbed of this magnificent gift.
  9. A male turkey's head can change color in response to mood and during mating season.
  10. Turkeys actually have two stomachs: the gizzard and the glandular stomach. The gizzard grinds up the food ingested by the turkey and prepares it for the first intestine or the first stomach (the glandular), which softens the food with gastric juices.

Turkeys are sentient beings, like all creatures who walk the planet. If you've never personally met a turkey, volunteer today at Cotton Branch, where you will meet not only its wonderful residents, but amazing people too. 

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