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Turkeys

Caring, inquisitive and spirited

Turkeys are social, intelligent animals with unique personalities, and they form strong social bonds with one another. They have a natural curiosity that drives them to explore their surroundings, and they love to fly, roost, and perch. Turkeys also have a remarkable vocal range, using over 20 distinct vocalisations to communicate with each other.

At Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary, visitors can witness first-hand the spirited nature and endearing qualities of these birds. Spending time with our rescued turkeys often leaves a lasting impression on the hearts of those who meet them.

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Featured rescue stories

Reginald
Stories from the field
Reginald
Reginald is a turkey who was abandoned and needed a forever home.
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Veronica
Stories from the field
Veronica
Veronica is a turkey rescued from factory farming in need of sanctuary.
Read More
Bunce
Stories from the field
Bunce
Bunce is a turkey rescued from factory farming in need of sanctuary.
Read More

Turkey facts

Individual personalities: Turkeys are unique individuals, each with their own distinct personality, likes, and dislikes.
Emotional connection: Turkeys are known to form strong bonds with humans and other animals, even displaying empathy towards their companions.
Vocalisations: They communicate using over 20 different vocalisations, each with its own meaning, allowing them to express a range of emotions and intentions.
Natural curiosity: Turkeys have a strong sense of curiosity, which leads them to explore and investigate their surroundings.

"Each turkey is an individual with their own personality, likes, and dislikes. They are fascinating animals who deserve our respect and protection."

- Dr. Jonathan Safran Foer
Author of Eating Animals

Sanctuary life

At our sanctuary, we provide a safe, enriching environment where our rescued turkeys can thrive. They have access to large outdoor spaces for roaming, foraging and dust bathing, as well as sheltered areas for roosting and protection from the elements. Our dedicated team ensures that the turkeys receive the best care possible, including regular health checks, nutritious food and plenty of love and attention.

"When you look a turkey in the eye, it's clear there's somebody home. They're not just a 'meat machine' as the industry would have us believe."

- Jonathan Balcombe, PhD
Ethologist and Author

Animal farming

Turkeys raised for human consumption are crowded into poorly ventilated industrial production facilities, sometimes with as many as 10,000 birds packed into a single factory shed. No fresh air, no sunshine, 10,000 turkeys crammed into a windowless shed.
Selective breeding
Turkeys raised for meat production are selectively bred to grow both rapidly and unnaturally large, achieving a market weight at 4 months of age that is roughly triple the weight of mature wild turkeys. This rapid growth and resulting body mass can put excessive stress on the birds’ skeletons and hearts, leading to heart failure, an inability to walk, and early death.
Too big to naturally produce
The horrific breeding practices have led to a loss of their natural ability to reproduce, with many commercial turkey breeds now relying on artificial insemination to continue the production line. These breeding practices prioritise profit over the welfare and wellbeing of the birds, further highlighting the need for more compassionate and sustainable alternatives.
Living conditions
Turkeys often endure short, miserable lives, spending their days crammed into overcrowded, poorly ventilated sheds. Selective breeding for rapid growth has resulted in many health problems, such as leg deformities, heart issues, and difficulty breathing.
Painful procedures
Turkeys, like other farmed animals, are subjected to painful and invasive procedures without the use of pain relief. One common practice is beak trimming, where a portion of the bird’s beak is removed to prevent injurious pecking within the overcrowded conditions they are often kept in. This procedure can lead to chronic pain, as the beak is a highly sensitive organ with numerous nerve endings. Another procedure inflicted upon turkeys is toe clipping, where a portion of their toes is cut off to reduce the risk of injuries from aggressive behaviours, which can be exacerbated by the stressful environment of factory farms. This procedure, performed without anaesthesia, is not only painful but can also lead to infection and long-term discomfort.
Slaughter young
In Australia, approximately 5 million turkeys are slaughtered each year for their meat. They are typically killed at around 12-16 weeks of age, a fraction of their natural lifespan. The slaughter process involves shackling the birds upside down, stunning them in an electrified water bath, and then cutting their throats.

Create a kinder world for turkeys

Make your choices count.


Turkeys are sentient beings, deserving of kindness and respect. By choosing plant-based alternatives, you can help reduce the suffering of these intelligent, sensitive creatures. With many delicious and nutritious plant-based options available, making compassionate choices has never been easier. Join the growing movement towards a kinder, more sustainable future for all.