Ten days before Thanksgiving, we took our kids to a local turkey farm.

As we approached the fence, they rushed over to us, crying out in unison, a collective gobble, timed about every 10 seconds.

It is said that the turkey is one of the least intelligent animals. On a rainy day, if they look up to the sky, they will drown.

But I’m not so sure. It seemed like they were calling to us with a purpose, and maybe in search of an escape plan.

A few weeks later, we would be hosting our first extended family Thanksgiving since returning to the east coast, with a cast of (what seemed like) hundreds.

The turkey at the center of the feast did not come from this particular Maryland farm.

But that’s a story for another day.


Note: Just 3 years after this photo, Schramm Turkey Farm, Pasadena, Md. sold the property to Koch Developers who built 70 homes on the grounds that housed 10,000 turkeys each year.


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45 Responses to Gobble

  1. George says:

    Agh…a cliffhanger..:)

  2. I don’t do the big traditional feast on T-Day…the last time I tried to roast a full bird, I ended up summoning an Elder God.

    There were tentacles EVERYWHERE!

    Lucky for us, I’m not that good a kitchen witch, and we managed to beat it back to the ether with the gravy boat.

  3. joey says:

    They always seem happy to me. I’m getting excited about the afters of Thanksgiving — those dry turkey sandiwches and turkey and noodle bowls. Yaaaasss.
    I hope you will share the story another day.

  4. Bernadette says:

    It is hard to look the animal you are about to eat straight in the face.

  5. AmyRose🌹 says:

    This is the first year in many, then, that we are actually having a big family get-together Thanksgiving dinner. I have begun to pray about it now because well let’s just say there are Polar Opposites within this family and heaven forbid if politics comes up into the discussion it will be very nasty. I really pray that these people can keep their political views to themselves and to focus on being thankful for all we do have. As for turkeys I saw some in a park the other day and they seemed far from stupid to me. Just saying… 💕🍁💕

  6. Happy thanksgiving when it comes. 🌼

  7. Van, they definitely look like they are plotting something…. Watch your back. 😉

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Turkeys look sneaky to me. Like they’re putting on a stupid act while really stealing your wallet. I never feel bad about eating one.

  9. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving for next week, I bet there are less gobbles about and more turkeys in the freezers right now. 😀
    I hope you have a fabulous time. We have much to be thankful for 🙂 Enjoy!!! Gobble GOBBLE..

  10. Gobbling makes me giggle. I have had more experience with wild turkeys. They have staged a comeback in Ontario.
    As to their intelligence, I have mixed opinions. They do not shy away when you approach them in a car… but are off like a flash if you approach on foot.

    I would imagine that last tendency has been bred out of the birds in the flock in your picture.

  11. DGGYST says:

    A friend of mine once said ‘Turkey is a garbage bird only meant for children and Americans” The inner american child in me disagrees

  12. I look forward to that other story!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving, Van. I hope you enjoy having the cast of hundreds! One of our neighbors bought a handful of turkeys to raise and “freeze.” But they fell in love with them and couldn’t do it. The turkeys follow them like puppies. They may be smarter and trickier than we think.

    • I could totally see that happening, D., which is why you should never name your livestock. So sweet that they followed them around like puppies. I’d have to give up turkey after that…maybe ? Happy T’giving to you as well.

  14. What a great picture! How long ago did this turkey farm visit happen? And they all look nice and plump by the way… (the turkeys, not your kids!)

  15. Nice story, Van. I prefer to think that turkeys and chickens are not real birds but just appear wrapped in plastic and waiting to be roasted.

  16. markbialczak says:

    Smart enough to tug at the heartstrings, huh, Van?

  17. J.D. Riso says:

    Oh, that’s right. It’s that time of year again. What would I do without your informative posts…they always make me realize how isolated I’ve become from America. 😉 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Van.

  18. I’ve heard that wild turkey are notoriously difficult to hunt, and yet domesticated ones are dumber than rocks. We had a wild turkey hen in E. Oregon that had taken residence near by. She was constantly laying eggs about and they never hatched because they weren’t fertilized. Then, she laid a clutch of eggs under our canoe that were of two different kinds. They looked like a mix of turkey and chicken eggs. The smaller eggs did hatch, and boy, they looked liked chicks. We figured she must have found a mate in one of the neighbors roosters, and had finally got her babies, little turkens! The little chicks grew big enough to leave the nest, and within two or three days disappeared. I asked our neighbor, the resident animal behavior expert about it, and she explained that the little chicks get lost in the tall grass and the turkey mom can’t find them so they die. Yeah, that is a dumb bird.

    • Ha ha…I’m trying to picture a chicken-turkey blend. We have had a wild turkey show up in the woods near home…they are leaner, and move really fast, not sure how long they survive here. The breeder from this farm used to say they had to shock the birds, just to get them to eat. Thanks for sharing, Ilona. 🦃

  19. dgkaye says:

    Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving Van. 🙂

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