At Pets Corner we not only rehome animals but also have been successful in rearing a variety of birds, including some rare breeds. This is the story of Timmy, our first female Narragansett turkey.
Timmy was bred in 2019 and unfortunately, due to a faulty incubator, she was our only our only egg from the brood who hatched. Due to her being the only one, and it being our first experience of rearing turkeys, we were a little worried about her but one of our dedicated team members took her home for the night and took on the task of hand rearing her. Within 24hrs she was running around.
Our Pets Corner Coordinator Hazel took great care of Timmy and she quickly became a member of the family with her partner Steve also taking an active role in caring for her, often letting her sit on his shoulder whilst he was watching TV or take a nap on his lap. He named her Timmy after ‘Tiny Tim’ because she was so small.
Over the next few days Hazel worried that Timmy was depending too much on her humans to feed her and tried every trick to encourage her to eat for herself. This behaviour is usually learned from other birds and with no other turkey chicks to encourage her we had to find another teacher.
We paired her up with the closest chicks to her size, some quail that were a little older than her but similar in size. While it isn’t normal practice to mix poultry we were glad to find that this method worked. Timmy found her new friends very interesting and the taught her all of the skills she needed to learn, and she also picked up some quail behaviour!
Once she leaned all of the necessary behaviours she was given her own space in the farm office which doubled up as a nursery where we kept young ducklings and quail chicks all in view of each other.
Gradually Timmy grew and at 2 months old was moved to the barn to give her more space. She lived there for a month before being introduced to our turkey enclosure where she met our other female turkeys, Katie and James. Katie is a double-breasted bronze turkey, a good example of the type of turkey used for the commercial market, while James is a cross breed with similar markings to Timmy. James was named after a volunteer on work experience who asked to name an animal after himself before he left Pets Corner. At first both Timmy and the other turkeys weren’t so sure of each other but in just a day the older girls had become very protective of their new arrival.
In 2020 Timmy turned 1 year old and we’re so pleased how she turned out. Through the summer of 2020 Timmy developed a crop issue and had to have a few visits with our farm vets but, thanks to the hard work of our vet and the Pets Corner team, Timmy has made a full recovery and is now back in her enclosure with Katie and James and looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Pets Corner!
Help to support our work
2020 hit Pets Corner hard: COVID, Avian Flu and harsh winter weather meant closing our doors to visitors and missing out on much-needed donations to care for our feathered friends like Timmy and help our city farm to survive and thrive. Can you help by donating to our spring season campaign?