Alphonso

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Alphonso

[Ed. Note: Do you know anyone who still eats turkey "meat"? Send them this story to inspire them to care about EACH and EVERY turkey...care enough to GO VEGAN!]

From Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Both Alphonso and Boone look deformed, but they’ve just grown over the years. We don’t know why and neither do the vets. Like white birds, turkeys have been bred to grow too big for their bodies. That’s why we have the turkeys on a diet—if they get heavy, they can develop leg problems.

And Alphonso still likes being told how handsome he is, with those feet and his rubbery turkey head that changes color from red to blue to purple and the dirty feathers that poof out.

Unlike Boone, who is a big chirper, standing and chirping for yet another mash at the back door of the med center for hours, Alphonso is more quiet.

Alphonso still likes to be admired and will poof his feathers out for anyone who does. You can tell Boone and Alphonso apart by the chirping, by height (Alphonso is a little shorter) or by Alphonso’s calloused and overgrown feet.

They look deformed, but they’ve just grown over the years. We don’t know why and neither do the vets. Like white birds, turkeys have been bred to grow too big for their bodies. That’s why we have the turkeys on a diet—if they get heavy, they can develop leg problems.

Sometimes they develop problems anyway, like Herschel who came to the farm with Boone and Alphonso. We called them The Three Wise Men. They were always together and ready to poof out or walk in a procession. Take hay out to the steer on a summer day and turn: there are The Three Wise Men, right behind you, poofing.

The farm hosted a wedding a few summers back. A big white tent was put up in the goat pasture. After the bride and groom walked up the aisle, so did The Three Wise Men, never missing a good opportunity for a procession.

Herschel developed infections in both of his hocks. Staff tried different treatments suggested by the vet, but nothing worked. When he was in pain and couldn’t walk, we gave him a final special meal and took him to the vet to be euthanized.

So far, Alphonso is walking just fine, no issues with his hocks, just those odd overgrown feet. Last winter, he developed a crooked neck. We massaged it with vitamin E oil which made dirt stick to his feathers. He still has brownish feathers around his neck, even though it straightened out. And he still likes being told how handsome he is, with those feet and his rubbery turkey head that changes color from red to blue to purple and the dirty feathers that poof out as the quieter of The Two Wise Men show off for you.