Some children want a dog or a cat to be their playmate everyday. But some consider rare animals to be their pets. Many of you may find it unusual to have a turkey pet. But for your information, since decades ago, turkeys have been kept as pets. In fact, the son of Abraham Lincoln kept a turkey as the first White house turkey pet because of its social turkey behavior.
Farm Sanctuary, one of the animal welfare groups, testified that turkeys are intelligent and very sociable animals. They can be compared to dogs when it comes to companionship and reliability. Former US President George W. Bush once noted in his 2001 National Thanksgiving Presentation speech that keeping turkeys as pets is an old and still existing tradition of the generation and recommended to continue it.
There are two kinds of turkeys according to their breed and turkey behavior. One is the wild turkey and the other is the domestic turkey. Domestic turkeys are the ones born and living in a commercial poultry farm wherein they are only intended for Thanksgiving dinner. They are fed with pellets and other commercialized artificial feeds. Domestic turkeys do not have the ability to fly since they are only kept in cages and given food and warmth everyday without letting them exercise their wings. They are not known for any intelligence capabilities, unlike wild turkeys.
Do not be frightened in keeping wild turkeys as pets because of their name. It’s for their turkey behavior that some consider them as pets. They are called wild turkeys because they are born in the wild and live in a natural way without restraint on what to eat and do. They can fly since they are born free. Some believe that they are smarter than the domestic ones, and that is why many prefer them as pets.
It is also best if you will keep a male and a female turkey in order to keep your turkeys happy and lively. The usual turkey behavior of a wild male turkey is the loud cackling and clucking sounds. They are also gobbling and fluffing their feathers when they want to mate a female turkey. They will spread out their wings while gobbling tremendously for the female to notice them. You will also observe that they will run to and fro. It is an additional attraction strategy to get the female. These are common indications that the female turkey or the hen is ready to mate. You will then identify who is the dominant tom and who is not. Commonly, the dominant male turkey will be the first to mate, while the others will just try to get a mate when the dominant one is not around or looking.