- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Turkey Talk

November 22nd, 2004, 09:27 PM
I've just found out that i'm to be the host of 12 at Christmas. My buddy Alison has put a bug in my ear about turkey care. Anyone know of a good, organic, humane (relative, I know) turkey farm in the northern GTA or York region? I'm looking for one that deals with the public (or through a butcher broker), doesn't use debeaking processes nor cages their animals for extended periods of time.

Does such a thing exist? Who do you use for your turkeys?


November 23rd, 2004, 08:15 AM
Hi Dee,
Have you checked with any local farms around your area? Maybe at a farmers market?
Most farms have free range turkeys or penned areas for their birds, as long as they are not "turkey farms".
In defense of debeaking, have you ever seen what they can do to each other with those beaks? They will literally peck each other until they are a bloody mess. And after having raised turkeys, well, how do I put this politely, they are not real bright, you usually have to put young chicks in the same pen with them when they are little so the chicken can teach them how to eat!!! Big Body LITTLE BRAIN.
Debeaking is actually IMO, the most humane way to aid in raising turkeys.

You could check with the hutterite colonies as well, but I do think their birds are kept in barns.

Good luck!

November 23rd, 2004, 08:21 AM
If you have a car, head over to kitchener/elmira area to the local menomite farms. They have turkeys fresh, and they are totally humane. You can actually go a pick your live turkey and they will kill it, de-feather it and all right then and there.

November 23rd, 2004, 08:47 AM
Delirium.....I sent you a PM

November 23rd, 2004, 02:59 PM
question for douge lover-your talking meat production birds there arent you, not the family pets or free ranging happy turkeys that are not meant for the dinner plate. i think you need to be really clear here, make it clear you are not talking about the family pet but mass production meat.

so are you saying that no turkey can exist with another turkey because they will hurt each other even in a huge paddock or as the only two birds on a farm, or are you saying when lots of turkeys are crammed into small pens or you have several birds to a pen in conditions that stress the birds then they hurt each other and need to have their beaks ripped off and mutilated??

this behaviour is not due to brain size, it is due to stressful conditions and hatchery conditions, but brain size makes the whole practice sound nicer and probably relieves guilt...

i have met turkeys with beaks that are happy to live in spacious conditions on a farm with another bird. i have also owned other foul such as chickens that are known for their physical destruction of other birds through pecking through cages in hatcheries, but when in spacious and loving conditions i have never seen a bird go that far, yes we have pecking orders but they certainly dont stress enough to have their beeks removed. and i have seen organic free ranging farms that do not have these problems of birds hurting one and other, but then they are not in such conditions.

(you say debeaking the best way to raise a bird, but your talking dinner late there) im sure if your talking mass meat production yeah it is probably the best action, but for a normal bird in a loving home that should not be so.

this needs to be clear, a person can have these birds as pets and not have to debeak them it is only in meat production circumstances that this is so.

November 23rd, 2004, 05:22 PM
To clarify, I don't want someone's pet. I'm looking for a turkey that was raised for consumption. Specifically, a farm that does not cram their birds into cages and rip their beaks off. I'm not a vegetarian but that's one way to get me there fast.

Thanks for the suggstions. You'd think living in Keswick i'd be surrounded in turkey farms.


November 23rd, 2004, 05:48 PM
I've heard that birds actually have fairly large brains fit in to those little heads. That's what I learned in biology anyway. Poor chickys, you know when they are tame, some will sit in your lap and make a purring noise kind of like a kitty.

November 24th, 2004, 07:46 AM
I did mean the type of turkey that you EAT! I would not expect that someone would eat their pet for Christmas Dinner.
Debeaking, to some of you, must mean taking their beaks right off. That is not what they do! At least not with the birds I raised for consumption. Yeah, I did raise birds to eat................ that is why my farm was considered self sufficient. I raised meat birds ( chickens and turkeys) but had them debeaked( which simply meant taking off the very end of the beak, not the entire beak, made the beaks not as sharp) because you will have birds that will start pecking each other, and not just in mass production caged animals.
I would have far rather they didn`t peck each other in the head, or other part of the body, until they killed another bird.
My birds were free range( to a point) but I also kept a close eye on them to ensure that the local predators( fox, hawk, owl, coyote and Timber wolf) didn`t come in for a free meal. I had fenced off paddocks where they could be out all day, and coops for them with roosting poles for night time.( The coops had sliding doors and windows and the doors were kept closed at night to protect them from the predators.
I also raised laying hens, and they had the same set up as the meat birds. None of them were debeaked, and they were "rescued" from a poultry barn where they had been kept in cages for mass production.

The chickens and turkeys I raised for meat birds I didn`t have a choice as to whether or not they were debeaked, they came from the hatchery that way.

All I can say in defense for debeaking the birds is that I had no intention of keeping the birds as pets, and I raised white turkeys, not the bronze ones, white turkeys were less aggressive than the bronze ones. My mom has a friend who has scars ( quite hideous ones at that) on her face, arms and legs from being attacked by a male bronze turkey. Their nails and beaks are incredibly sharp, and Bronze turkeys, especially males, can be quite mean.

Having totally free range birds on my farm at least was not an option, due to the large amount of hungry wildlife predators.

November 24th, 2004, 07:55 AM
DogueLover.... I helped raise some turkeys this year for the first time. They are and were meant for consumption. They are kept in a coop in the evenings, that is in my opinion pretty large and let out to roam in paticular areas of our property in the daytime.
We have never had a problem with them hurting each other and they have thier beaks intact, and if you ask me I would have turkeys anytime as I have found them to be very calm and easy to round up at the end of the evening. I have never been compromised or hurt by any of my turkeys. Like I said these are not pets but meant for consumption.

The geese on the other hand are nasty :evil: and make great guard dogs :eek: I have been bitten 2 times and my daughter 3 times. WE always have a large branch shovel or stick handy for our regular guests that basically aids them to reach our front door unbitten......for the record no bird is ever struck it just keeps distance between you and the bird :thumbs up

November 24th, 2004, 08:24 AM
Just so you can see here are 4 pics taken to show the attack mode they go into everytime anyone comes near.

Picture 1. ...I approached the geese to take a pic, They have already started honking very loud and continue to do so
#2 They fast approach notice the head down that is a threat to you
#3 The brown guy is not happy....mind you they never are when anyone is around unless youve been outside a long time and become part of the scenery like when I am gardening
#4....very fuzzy sorry but I don't want to get bite

I have one friend with a little guy 7 years old.....he refuses to leave the car until I come out with my walking stick and escort them to the

November 24th, 2004, 03:04 PM
thanks douglover for the clarification. i am a great lover of poultry, chickens are my favourites and i have a great passion for them, they make the most wonderful companion animals for humans and dogs, my dog loves chickens. i also grew up on the land and do understand the need for farmers, i dont hold it against anyone, farmers are a necessity. but i do love chooks, and had to clarify. and as lap pets, they are wonderful, they love a good snuggle, my last lovely chicken used to sing sweetly to me al l the time, we would often sing together. :D

as far as geese go, i jsut stay right away from them, they scare the hell out of me. as a child my aunt had a huge flock of geese, she used to make me go in and feed them, i was only small so they were bigger than me and used to attack me, but being the smallest meant i was the fastest and that is why i got the job. they hurt and i jsut do go near the buggers, even now as an adult i am still terrified. i would never do that to a child these days i would probably get charged for it, boy have times changed. :rolleyes: :D

November 24th, 2004, 05:00 PM
DogueLover......I guess I was typing this morning while you were we have the white turkeys and they are very passive.....glad hubby didn't get the bronze ones you speak of those together with the geese I could not handle poor girl....I would never do that to my child...but I guess times were different way back then :rolleyes: joking :D I dont even ask my 17 year old to do it..

Next year I dont want to do geese....but hubby seems to have a fixation with them :confused: