Lady A – we had 14 months with you

Aug 24, 2020

Kindred Farm has been caring for rescue turkeys since the summer of 2018.  We’ve had the absolute honour to provide a kind home to Ruby, Pearl, Ray Charles, Lady A and Freida May.

These birds have surprised me in so many ways – they are amazing and complex creatures!  Every time I’m at Kindred, I am immediately drawn to their beauty, their beautiful voices and their curiosity in what am I up to and their need to investigate and comment.

I wish I could just leave this blog post on that happy note.

But, I am in shock and am writing to let you know that Lady A was euthanized last week.

What!!!!  How can this be?  

Ray Charles & Lady strutting their stuff

She was loved by everyone.  When you met her, you could not help but be charmed by her personality, beauty and gentleness.

Marilyn Gough & Lady

She had bumble foot which is so common in these birds.  But after five months of care, she conquered it.  She was a huge bird, and was responding well to a low fat diet and lots of exercise.  She was active and always front and centre in any of the activities at the farm.  She showed no sign of illness.  

Freida May & Lady
The flock
Freida May & Lady

But last week, I found Lady in the same condition that Ruby and Pearl died from in the winter of 2019.  It is very gruesome. I will put the photo at the end of this blog post. You can choose to look at it or not.

Our beloved bird vets weren’t available, but thankfully I was able to take her to a local vet clinic.  The vet sedated her and did an examination.  She felt there was no option for treatment and recommended euthanasia.  After some discussion, I felt it was best to let Lady go.  I came in to see her after the exam and she immediately perked up at my voice.  I told her she would see Ray Charles again.  I kept my hand on her as she was put to eternal sleep. 

RIP dear sweet one

I spent a couple days in anger towards the meat industry and turkey hatcheries.  They have created birds that cannot sustain health past their slaughter date of a few months.  

She did live longer than Ruby and Pearl.  I am very happy about that.  When Ruby and Pearl died I called their condition intestinal prolapse.  I’m thinking now that this is not what they are dying from.  I think it’s something much more insidious.  I don’t know what causes this, I don’t know how to prevent this, I don’t know what symptoms to look for.  But I am on a mission to find out. 

I am now channeling that anger to finding out what our birds are dying from and helping to prevent it.  This will not only help Frieda May, but others that we rescue in the future and others at other farm sanctuaries.

I spent a couple days in anger towards meat conglomerates and turkey hatcheries.  They have created birds that cannot sustain health past their slaughter date of a few months.

BC Factory Hatchery

I’ve been asked if it is worth it to keep rescuing these birds when their life expectancy is so short.  My answer is a resounding yes!

Here are some of my other reasons:
– All animals deserve a better life no matter how short
– Ray Charles, Lady A, and Lucky, who were sick, do not deserve to die without vet care on the floor of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (Factory Farm)
– Farmed animals do not deserve to stuffed into a kill truck and transported in open air for long transport in any type of weather
– Farmed animals deserve a better death than being killed on a high speed slaughter line