When Turkeys Attack
When I arrived at the farm a few days ago, one of the female turkeys immediately made it her mission to hobble after me, making that ominous twittering noise that only turkeys do.
I have to be honest: I was terrified. Flashbacks from a past experience that had clearly been repressed were now arising to the surface.
You see, I had once been attacked by a turkey — a very large, powerful turkey. And I wasn’t planning on becoming a victim once more.
While we allow all of our birds to roam around freely, there still has to be a relationship established between the farmer and the farmed.
More specifically, the birds being bred need to know who’s in charge – and here’s a hint: it’s not them.
I learned this the hard way when I was up at the farm for a visit the previous year. All was incredibly beautiful and serene, as per usual, except the one and only thing seriously destroying my vibe that weekend. The turkey.
The gigantor, alpha male turkey had grown to epic proportions. He was apparently there to impregnate the hens, but was reportedly having little luck and huffing about in frustration.
He had paraded around the premises before, puffing out his tail feathers, face turning from shades of crimson red to bright blue.
However, that particular morning, he was taking extra measures to assert his self-imposed dominance over the land.
While Antonio and I worked on making breakfast, an ominous stomping could be heard circling ‘round the outdoor kitchen.
Every so often, there the turkey would appear at the glass door, throwing us a steely eye along with an extra few stomps in case we weren’t getting the message.
Scoffing at the charade, I wandered outside to sit on a bench and enjoy my breakfast in the warm glow of the sun.
But after a couple sips of delicious coffee, my blissful moment was ruined. I could feel the eerie presence of something lurking behind me. I turned around. There the turkey was.
Disgruntled at the idea of being stalked by poultry, I moved over to one of the tree-stump seats by the fire pit. Yet, no more than a few seconds later, I glanced behind me and cringed. There the turkey was.
I had to do something to get the turkey off stalker mode. I remembered that our previous bird farmer had instructed me to wave my hand over the turkey, to demonstrate that I was bigger than it.
So, I did just that and it quickly retreated. Finally! I started to turn around but then noticed the turkey returning my way.
Annoyed, I approached him, flailing my arms around and professing threats I dare not elucidate to the public. But this time, the turkey decided it was going to play hardball.
It retreated a couple of steps, then stopped dead in its tracks and squarely faced me. Before I knew what was happening next, it leapt up and karate kicked me with both legs right in the stomach!
The power of those turkey legs cannot be fully explained in words. I was completely stunned, baffled, bruised.
I didn’t want to back down and send out the message that I had been owned by the turkey, but he looked as though he was just getting started. And I had no idea how things would escalate if I tried to fight back.
So, I slowly backed away, muttering obscenities at my newfound foe, and retreated to the safety of the outdoor kitchen.
Fast forward to the present: Since that unfortunate episode, the turkey had been turned into someone’s dinner. Now that I no longer had to fear the Stalking Bird, I sure as hell wasn’t going to let another turkey go all Bruce Lee on me.
So, I confidently asserted myself with the gobbling female turkey and shooed her away.
Getting attacked by a turkey is something that will only happen once in your lifetime, if it happens at all. Because believe me — once you experience the power of bird strength, you will go to great lengths to never encounter it again!
>> Read the next post in the #farmlifebestlife series: Jay, Donkey Friend