We got Dr. Turk and his pal JD (a Blue Slate turkey) from our friend Janee earlier in the summer. Initial plans were for them to end up on the Thanksgiving table but as we got to know the turkeys we really fell in love with them and decided to keep them as pets.
JD and Dr. Turk (left to right) the day we got them
I know I always razz Mike about being the animal lover and the reason it’ll be hard for us to be serious livestock farmers but I have to admit – I really love these damn turkeys. Mike wasn’t the only reason Dr. Turk wasn’t headed for the Thanksgiving table.
Dr. Turk ate out of our hands if we had treats. And he’d follow us around the yard and recently he’d started to puff out his feathers and strut around the yard like a true tom. He was really, really cool.
Mike noticed that Dr. Turk had become a little listless in the last couple of days. And last night he wouldn’t roost and he was wheezing and his breathing was labored. He also had some pretty gross yellow-green poo. Mike brought him into the enclosed porch for the night. He gave him plenty of fresh food and water and he set up a heat lamp and made a bed for him out of an old towel.
I spent the last few hours before I fell asleep Googling poultry diseases. There are a lot of them and many of the respiratory illnesses have similar symptoms. Things didn’t look good but we hoped for the best and thought if he could just make it through the night things would be ok.
Sadly, he didn’t make it.
I am sad today. I cried when I found him. I am sad for JD today too. JD and Dr. Turk are usually always together and when they get separated they chirp and chirp until they find each other.
I said to Mike, “What kind of farmer am I if I cry for 30 minutes about a damn turkey?” He said, “The best kind.”
R.I.P. Dr. Turk