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Re: Have you ever tried to hunt them?

Joseph C. Daniel wrote:

> Garrison Hilliard wrote:
> > At 08:54 PM 7/15/98 EDT, you wrote:
> >
> >   >      Not according to my great-grandmother, who raised turkeys
for about 50
> > >years.  She told me that when I was little


> but I know of a few people that have raised turkeys and they have said
> same thing.  Admittedly, the only time I remember them saying so was
when the
> turkeys were crowded together in a pen with little freedom of movement
and no
> cover.

That people still believe this myth always astounds me.  First, it would
require one
hell of a rain storm for a large animal to aspirate enough water to
drown. Second, in
order for it to be true it would mean that turkeys do not have a
reaction to foriegn substances in their lungs.  Were this the case.
aspiration of
water while drinking, and food while eating would represent serious
mortality risks
for the birds, and significant financial losses for farmers.

Huddling together during cold temperatures or during cold rain, when
deprived of cover
is typical flock behavior.  It can be observed in wild turkys when they
are kept in
farm conditions as well as in quail. It is a stratagy that conserves
body heat.  When
you get a large number of very heavy birds crowded together it should
not come as a
surprise that occasionally a few might be crushed.  Keep in mind that
because of the
mechanism that bird breath by, any constriction or restriction of their
breast can
cause suffocation.

Wild turkeys are not especially good flyers, but are quite capable of
sustained flight
for relatively short distances.  They are ground forragers who prefer
walking and
running to flight if they have a choice.  They are significantly lighter
than their
domestic cousins, often weighing less than half as much as a domestic.
This in itself
is enough to account for the differing ability to fly.  Range domestic
turkeys are
capable of short flight, just as domestic chickens are, but they weigh
at least 1/3
less than similarly sized birds that are pen raised.