Boone In All His Turkeyish Glory
Animal Stories from

From Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
August 2010


We’re not sure it’s possible to describe Boone in words.

He was born with his tongue in his throat instead of in his beak. This makes it hard for him to eat.

It’s why he takes a bite of food then lifts his head to bite at air, his snood flopping around his head as he chirps and bites.

It’s why the staff gives him multiple mashes every day in the med center.

Which is why every day, he spends a few hours at the back door of the med center, chirping for another mash. No one has found a time when Boone doesn’t think he needs another mash.

A Boone-mash consists of several of the following: veggie dog food, crushed-up hard boiled eggs, lettuce pieces, grapes cut in half, banana bits, molasses, pasta, applesauce, a special avian vitamin boost, small pieces of bread, any other kind of fruit that may be around the med center kitchen.

Boone eats his mash from a bowl, usually stepping into it with his giant feet. One theory is that because he can’t see well, he can identify where the mash is by standing in it. Another is that he just likes the feel of mash on his feet.

He gets mash on his head, in his nose, all over his face. And still he’ll stand outside the door and chirp for more.

Take the laundry out, there’s Boone. Bring Cloud, the white bird, outside for the afternoon, there’s Boone. Bring Cloud back in in the evening, Boone.

Call out, ‘Boone!’ and he pulls his feathers close to his body for better ergonomics and comes running.

If he slips into the med center behind someone and there’s no mash, he pushes his chest against the back of your legs and chirps as you’re trying to make one.

A couple of years ago, he got some kind of virus. The vets don’t always know everything about these birds—they’re raised to be killed a few months after they’re born, not live for years. Boone almost died. He lay in that white boat-shape that turkeys form when they sleep. He’d lift his head and it would drift down to the floor. Over and over. And he wouldn’t eat.

Then one afternoon, he sat up, starting chirping and pecking at the bowl of food in front of him.

Boone was eating. He was back. The rest of us wonder where we’d be without him.

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