Tricounty News

'The Friendly Turkey'

All I really know about turkeys is that they're delicious. That was until last Friday, when I learned a couple additional facts about the species, the most important of which is that male turkeys are out looking for "companionship" this time of year. A dairyman called me out to examine a sick cow, and it's not an unusual sight to see various foul pecking around a farmyard, so I didn't think too much of this turkey hanging around as I pulled in, other than he was rather large and colorful. As I got out of the truck I noticed this turkey seemed to be closing in on me with a real sense of purpose, but I again decided there was nothing unusual about this bird or its behavior. Gathering my supplies for the sick cow, my blood ran cold as I heard some very strange huffing and rustling sounds coming from immediately behind me. This turkey now had my undivided attention. Trying to reassure myself that a turkey is nothing to be afraid of, I looked over my shoulder to see what can only be described as some sort of courtship dance ritual being performed by my new waist-high friend. He was completely puffed up in the chest, feathers ruffled, wings somewhat away from his body in a manner you might do if you were sarcastically trying to imitate someone who thought he was a "tough guy," and this bird was pacing back and forth uncomfortably close to me, huffing away and never breaking eye contact! At this point I'm desperate for the dairyman to come rescue me from this turkey's unwanted advances, thinking at any point the animal is going to jump up and forever make me unable to say "a turkey has never had his way with me," but help was nowhere in sight. I grabbed my stuff and walked backwards toward the safety of the milkhouse, verbally threatening the bird with no apparent effect until finally I was looking at this crazed beast through a window. He would not leave and was still staring at me with his one creepy eye not covered by his big blue fleshy comb. Finally the dairyman showed up and I examined the cow in question while he staved back the excited turkey, proceeding to tell me that the turkey is "in season," that the dogs were now scared of him and they hide due to his attempts to breed them, the dairyman's mother was getting a little tired of the bird jumping up on her, and something about the colors blue and red drive this turkey into a sexual frenzy. This color information was of particular interest to me, helping my understanding of why I seemed to be the object of this animal's desire, considering that I pulled into the farmyard in a bright red truck wearing blue coveralls! The cow needed surgery, and much to my horror the turkey's persistence and motivation only appeared to grow stronger as time went on. All I could hope for was that the farmer would not leave me alone with that thing when I needed to pack up my supplies and get back to the truck. But he did. I was now standing on one foot loading my things back into the truck and blocking the horny turkey as he jumped up at me with my other foot. Finally the end of this trans-species sexual harassment was in sight and just as I was going to hop in my truck to make an escape the farmer reappeared. "We need to find my dogs and give them their shots!" E-mail your animal questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .