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A Thanksgiving Pet

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The great American turkey has become synonymous with some of our most cherished holiday traditions. These magnificent birds are foremost on our minds in the month of November, which makes this the perfect time to consider having one as a pet. Turkeys are beautiful birds, that are known to be quite intelligent and create strong social bonds with each other and with humans.

If you decide you want to get a gobbler (or two), you should begin by checking to see if they’re permitted in your town. When getting a turkey, you might want to consider getting them as a chick, so they can imprint themselves on you. This will give you a tighter bond with them. Turkeys are flock birds, which means they like to gather and forage together, so it’s a good idea to get more than one if you can. Turkeys can also get along well with chickens and can sometimes act as the protector of the flock.

Your turkey is going to need a shelter to protect them from the weather and provide them a place to sleep at night. Two turkeys can be kept in a 90 square foot area that is at least 6 feet high. Flying turkeys will need a strong perch that they can roost on. During the day, it’s a good idea to free range your turkeys, which means letting them walk freely about your property. They will benefit from the exercise and enjoy some natural treats, like the unwanted bugs in your yard. As pets, their diet consists mostly of poultry pellets. They also like to eat fruits and vegetables. Apples, corn, sunflower seeds, and cabbage can also make a tasty treat for them. Turkeys are beautiful birds that are pretty easy to take care of and can make great pets. As always, I suggest doing lots of research before getting one. You must always be prepared for the caring commitment a pet requires. The more you know, the better friend you can be to your pet.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Victoria Bonavita HS

Victoria’s Fun Facts and Tips:

• Some turkeys can run approximately 25 miles per hour.
• Just like humans, turkeys talk to communicate, with a vocabulary of 28 distinct calls.
• Ben Franklin once said that a turkey was a more “respectable bird” than the bald eagle, “and withal a true original Native of America”.
• A male turkey is called a Tom or a Gobbler and a female is called a Hen.
• Some turkeys can fly, others can’t.
• It takes 28 days for a turkey egg to hatch.
• It is a long-standing tradition for The President of The United States to “pardon” a Thanksgiving turkey and send him off to live on a farm. The tradition of “pardoning” White House turkeys has been traced to President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 clemency to one of the birds.

Written by Victoria Bonavita

For more information on me, please visit www.VictoriasAmazingWorld.comAnd if you’d like me to visit your school or library for one of my animal education programs, please contact me at victoriasamazingworld@yahoo.com

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