Comments & submitted photographs
Thanks for all the wonderful comments and photos from "former" complete strangers and people who love their pet turkeys (and all poultry) & pets.

Aim high! Send those photos!

Flock of wild turkeys sent in from near where I grew up in St. Charles Missouri.

  Stonebridge Stables (Horse Boarding) Link navigates to my other web page

Note from Jamie in Florida:


My name is Jamie!

My husband and I actually came out and picked some turkeys up from you before the hurricane! I’ve been meaning to reach back out to!!

First, I love my turkeys!! They’re growing up so nicely!! They have really adapted well and my older son still calls them “gobble gobbles”. 

They come up to me for feed, and “talk” to me when I’m out there with them. 

From Lorraine in Ohio

"JuJu" a rescue Broad Breasted white turkey

From Chris & Kathy in western Missouri

From Diane in NW Georgia

Major, Sophie, and Priscilla

from Miguel in Portugal 

New poult hatchling and his hen hiding on her nest, pictures from Miguel in Portugal 

From John in Tennessee!

New Royal Palm family members!

I came across your website yesterday while researching turkeys. We recently purchased a male and two female Royal Palms to ad to our list of ducks and chickens. I live on 113 acres with my fiancé and we love having them around free ranging. Your website is wonderful and I appreciate all the information that you have spent time accruing and sharing. I hatched, raised and released 12 wild Eastern turkeys several years back, but you can always learn more. Your story of Bobbles brought tears to my eyes. I thought I'd share a pic of my fiancé with the 3 babies last night. I let them come in for a few minutes to get used to being around us. It didn't take long! Thanks for your work!
John Putnam
Fayetteville, TN

Thanks for the kind words!

Kuro & Wilma

Hi Bruce,

I appreciated your help last summer with a wild tom turkey that I rescued (Kuro).  Your website helped again just recently with the acquisition of a hen turkey.

Kuro interacts fairly regularly with other wild turkeys in the neighborhood, fighting with the toms and courting the hens.  Recently, a solitary hen would fly into the back yard early every morning and the two would go foraging in the neighborhood.  After two weeks, the hen just stopped showing up.  Kuro’s demeanor changed remarkably after that.  He wasn’t his usual playful self.  So I bought a one-year-old hen turkey, a Golden Phoenix/Royal Palm mix, from a local family farm.  The two hit it off well immediately.  Kuro is back to his playful self again.

The first day the new hen, Wilma, was here, she walked up and down the yard all day making a distressed sounding noise.  I thought she missed her familiar surroundings.  Then I read about the “egg yelp” on your website.  Sure enough, she laid an egg on the deck.  Your website proved helpful again as I attempted to build a nest for Wilma.  The yelping stopped and she has a nest with eight eggs.   

I am very grateful for your website.  Thank you for making this information available!  Enclosed is a photo of Kuro and Wilma.  I hope all is well with you and your turkeys.


Orangevale, CA        

From Janice, Turkey raising chicks!

Hi Bruce,

Well, 'mystery solved'.

I pulled our turkey hen out and there were 7 healthy chicks. All chicken chicks. The remaining eggs in the nest were all turkey eggs... they have a light speckle to them. All these eggs were duds and were disposed of. Apparently, she wasn't the only gal laying eggs in that secluded nest!


From an enthusiastic Theresa in California

Helloooo fellow turkey fans! Omg, I must say first and foremost, I thought for sure I was the only sentimental person with "turkey cuddle" pictures!! I sent the second picture to all my friends extolling the virtues of turkeys as the newest lap dog! Lol
So on to the praise for your amazing website! I have had turkeys for a good many years and have learned things from trial and error. But your site is very informative, well written and well rounded-having facts and stories! I love it!
And lastly, pesky, diligent bobcats! out here managed to slide open the window on the old school, heavy duty horse trailer I have converted to a hen house and got 6 out of 8 of my hens in one night! Their rooster fought valiantly and literally lost his butt in the process but did survive. His name is Sprout as when people ask me "what type is that beautiful rooster?!" Araucana Splash doesn't roll off my tongue, but Sprout does! He is also a lap pet! So that darn cat got my to best egg laying, spunky, little Leghorn hen and my four, sweet friendly Plymouth Barred Rocks! Heart breaking!! So when I saw that you had a rescued barred rock I thought I would write to say "send her to me for all the TLC and free range chicken joy she can handle! Well, and not to mention the very handsome, strong and fearless Sprout bird!!"
I live in a tiny high desert town called Potrero, 60 miles east of San Diego CA. I live off grid, on 90 acres with a couple creeks and plenty of sunny dusting locations. Oh, and new thumb locks on the coop windows, for heaven's sake!!
So my first photo is a Rio Grande/Bourbon Red hen, hatched and raised here by Granny; she is the Bourbon Red on my lap and sharing my scarf in the third photo. The second picture is my teenage, Blue Slate tom, who is just the nicest boy, who is kind to the hens and is very curious and social. The fourth photo is poor Sprout showing his battle scares, ie, no butt. But with the suet I make with my own rendered lard, his beautiful plumage is growing back in lovely. Well, and with lap naps and local avocado treats thrown in! There's Sprout in all his feathered beauty!
And of course, the protector of us all, Dan!! Who is up and ever vigilant at night and naps frequently during the day, wink-wink!
Oh goodness, my name is Theresa! 

And if you have any Bourbon Reds that need homes, I'll take them! They are my fav!!

Thanks Theresa!

From Amber in Canaveral Groves Fl.


     I stumbled across your website today and it's amazing.  It is refreshing to see that their are people who love and care for their pets as we do.  I also live in Canaveral Groves and have turkeys.  They were my husband's idea and I wasn't too excited for them.  I love my chickens and thought Turkeys would be unfriendly, hard to keep in the yard and maybe even aggressive.  I could not have been more wrong.  Not that I love my chickens any less but these turks I have are full of personality and warm my heart on a regular basis.  One of my males has just learned to gobble and I can't get enough!  I will do anything to provoke it.

Your site is a great reference point for a turkey owner.  After reading it I believe one of my toms had the pox virus when he was young.  He has since fully recovered but it gave us a scare.  I also really enjoyed your imprinting article.  I have been saying since one of my females was 2 weeks old that I feel like she thinks I am her mom.  I could not really explain why I felt that way other than the feeling I got when her and I would spend time together.  She hops right up on my lap and makes the sweetest noise and always wants my attention right before she goes up for the night.  To say the least my thoughts on turks being wild, aggressive or aloof could not be further from the truth.  I also learned they are so brave.  We have cameras on our property and I caught video of them attacking a hawk that was trying to scoop up one of my rooster.  I heard a commotion in the yard and made it out there just in time to see a hawk flying away.  When I checked the video all four of the turkeys ran to the roosters defense.  They got there with out a second to spare.  Just a few nights ago there panicked noises woke me up.  When I got outside I saw an owl on top of our barn.  I believe he was trying to get to our rabbits.  They are safely in an enclosure so he was not successful.  However the turks were down off their roost in what look like an army formation on the ground in front of our rabbit pen.  They were in the same exact pose that you called the owl puff.  I had never seen that pose from them.  Until reading your site I did not even know an owl would bother a turkey.  We left our dog in the yard for the next few nights and have not seen the owl since.  

This will be our first year they will mate and lay eggs and we are looking forward to it.  I am so glad I found your site before they did though.  I now know what to look out for.  Its great to know that you are my neighbor and if I ever need more turkeys I will definitely be contacting you.

Thank you for the kind words Amber! (and what a great hawk rescue story)

From Erika in Melbourne

We just wanted to check in and tell you how great the turkeys are doing.  We took them to the elementary school for the day and they were a huge hit.  Kids drew pictures, wrote stories and had a great time interacting with the turkeys.  

We would love to hatch many more this spring.  Please keep us in mind when you have fertile eggs and let me know what is best month to contact you.

We are hoping our hen lays this spring and we plan to show our Blue Slate tom at the poultry show in spring also.

Thank you again for this wonderful experience, the birds are so sweet, they like to be pet and are so curious.  

Also we have many types of chickens and ducks and geese and would be happy to share those with you.  Let me know if there are any breeds you are interested in.  Also we are getting goats!

Sent in by Deborah  "Her family"

From Deborah in Texas

I have had Bourbon Red turkeys for about 3 years now.  I came across your website and I must tell you it has been the MOST informative.  You raise turkeys like I raise turkeys.  Pets.  They love so sit with us on our porch or come to the barn to see what we are doing.   Not another site has helped me like yours has.  In fact I go there just to reread.  I raise my little ones to sell and have done quite well with them.  I have had my same tom "Neill" ( he is very handsome! )  and switch my hens out.  I winter one tom and 2 hens.  It is a trial and error.  I learn something new every season.   Thank you so much for your site.  Very helpful.  Keep it up!



Jasper, TX 75951

Thank you for the kind words Debra!

From Theresa & Udell in Ohio

Hi ...was looking for turkey fighting info and came across your website. Thank you so much. Our first year at raising turkeys. Heritage..royal palm. White midgets. 1 R.P. tom 2 W.M. toms... 2 W.M. hens...April hatchlings. My question.. fighting  now among if they breed now, there could be a possibility of winter eggs ? and how often do they lay? They r free range but are locked up at night due to Ohio predators. and did not know how brutal till we watched and thank goodness I found your website. any info would be very useful. and we love your flint work !

Thank you, Theresa & Udell ...Atwater, Ohio

Thank you for the kind words Theresa!

Hello fellow turkey owners,

I am writing to you because I need some help. 10 weeks ago my boyfriend and I went for a walk in the woods on a cold rainy day. We found some turkey chicks who had gotten wet and were abandoned by their mother. When we found their limp little bodies on the bank of a river we thought we were too late to save any. As we were about to walk away some movement caught my eye. There was one little chick clinging to life! 

My boyfriend scooped the chick up and held it to his chest inside his jacket as we hurried home. Once home we were desperate to save the little thing so we grabbed my blow dryer and turned it onto the lowest setting. The little one perked right up and we heard those first little peep peeps (the first of many). So we started calling it Little Peep Peep. 

The past 10 weeks have been so fun watching Peep grow (and very educational). As first time turkey owners, I often refer to your site for information. Thank you so much for making it! You guys have been lifesavers! 


"Kuro" from California (Rio Grande wild)

"Kuro" from California (Rio Grande wild)

From Larry in California

Here’s a few photos of Kuro.  He likes to peck at the dog’s tail hair and steal the newspaper out of my hands.  He also loves to dance with my wife, but I haven’t been able to get a picture of that yet. 

Kuro is pretty healthy except for a bent tow on his right foot.  Took him to the vet this weekend about that.  The vet is supposed to get back to us after she consults a turkey expert.

Talked to a descendant of a pioneer family who owns property with turkeys.  He said turkeys were indigenous to the area until 100 years ago when they were all killed off.  He said Fish and Game brought the current ones in from Texas about 25 – 30 years ago.


From Wendy in Chuluota Florida,

Hi Bruce ! Hope you are having a great weekend ! Just wanted to tell you how much we love having the turkeys here ! Our male turkey - the old guy -basically has not left their side , nor the little ones leaving him ! We now feel bad we didn't get another turkey for the time between when his brother had to be put to sleep and now.  The first day we had them in our laps   Then they flew to roost and so much for their " confined area ". Since then we have been able to coax them into the coop at night with bread. Which they do take from our hands.   But sadly don't want to be Lao turkeys. So until or if they decide to sleep outside ( hopefully they won't ) they are safe and secure.  They aren't making as much chirping noises as when first came. If one splits from the group they will.  You mentioned you come to snow hill road for kayaking. Let me know next time you're in chuluota and if I'm around I would love for you to stop by and see the turkeys !  Wendy 

Great story!

From Hillary (west side of Florida)

Hi Bruce, it's Hillary thank you so much for our turkeys. We

absolutely love them. The handicapped one is doing just fine and the egg hatched

and it's a beautiful little yellow turkey chick!

I will send you some pictures soon, thanks again,

sincerely Hillary, Ronnie and Alexis. Ps I will send you the

info on blackhead disease when I send you the pictures

Sent from my iPhone

From Pam, west coast of Florida

Hi, I just wanted to say I seen your post on Craigslist and enjoyed the link for pet turkeys website.  I did not expect to see anyone, anywhere who enjoyed a turkey as a pet!  I personally do not enjoy eating turkeys, but do enjoy having them wandering around my yard.  I have one 1.5month old poult and have several eggs in a incubator, hoping to add to my little turkey flock (all mixed breed heritage).  I had a pair of bronzes years and years ago and have wanted more turkeys since then.  Now I live in the “country” and have a fenced yard I’ve decided to indulge in my turkey love, which my husband finds very confusing.. but I love turkeys

Loved the link for pet turkeys, it was very informative.



New poult hatchling, picture from Miguel in Portugal (Thank you!)

From Miguel, (across the pond in Portugal!)

I have news! The turkey hen started sitting the eggs on day 19, i've candled them tonight and they are all fertile and everything is fine inside.

Also i put other 3 eggs under a broody bantam on day 8 and they will hatch in 3 days! i've candled them tonight too and they'r fine! I can see them moving inside.
When the first poults hatch i send a picture!

The turkey hen is very protective of the nest, tonight when i candled the eggs she pecked my hand a lot, i have bloody scratches all over my hand! And when she goes away from the nest to eat and drink, if she see me near the nest she comes running and start hissing at me and shows that agressive lateral position.

I will keep in touch.

Good luck,


From Gabri, (across the river from the Space Center)

Hello, not sure if you remember me or not. You gave us a blue slate pair back in Feb. We have fallen in LOVE, the tom "Thom" will gobble back to me whenever I whistle and if I don't chat to him when I am out in the pen he gets upset, lol. Tina is a doll, too, she sings back to me whenever I pet her. If you happen to have anymore babies left over we wouldn't mind adding them to our little flock. Just let me know, lol, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to get to know these wonderful goofballs.

~ Gabri and/or Steve

From Erika, (south Brevard County)

Your birds are beautiful!  What an amazing project you have going.  

Our 4-H club does have mainly purebred heritage birds, but we have a few mixed and it just means that we can not show those at the fair.  We would love fertile eggs from you, even if they are mixed.  We can teach the kids about the different types of turkeys you have and perhaps they will be able to identify what the mixes are.  And perhaps some will turn out to be purebred Blue Slate.  

Please let me know when is the best time to get fertile eggs, I believe I read they lay mainly in the spring?  We can take the eggs anytime.  

We will make sure we have a secure coop and large run for them.  My Uncle runs a small family farm in Michigan with Bourbon Reds and they are so beautiful to watch.  

The children and teachers will be so excited.  We have raised ducks, geese, chickens and quail but never turkeys.  Please let us know if there is anything you would like in trade - we are always hatching chicks and ducklings.  

Thank you for your help, 


4-H Leader

Erika's poult, (Royal Palm)

Kim from (the Orlando area)

Hello my name is Kim. Went to your website and got a lot of great information so thank you I wanted to see if you had any turkeys and possibly chickens available young ones babies even or close to it. If not I would like to be put on the waiting list. I would like to get more information about your organization and the things that you do there if you can please contact me anytime at ------------ I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time and have a great day.


From Glynda (in Daytona)

Thank you once again for the Turkeys. we are so happy with them. We do have one little problem, they don't want to be separated. My neighbors birds have left home 4 times to come to my house across the street to be with my birds and my birds have all left home to cross the street to be with my neighbors birds. So I decided to give my neighbor my Turkeys so they could stay together. We are fortunate to be on a dead end street with no traffic. My neighbor's husband is building a 10'x 10' pen to keep them in. I may ask you for some more bird later if you think it would be different if it was a different set of birds.

What do you suggest? I have a metal shed with a concrete floor under a hug oak tree but I don't want to keep them shut up in there all the time. My plan was to let them free range during the day and close them up at night. However they are determine to go to my neighbor's home so they can be with her birds.

My neighbors are so happy with the Turkeys, thank you both once again.


Received this picture with request for help. Part of the Tom's beak broke away & he would not eat. Luckily, after about 5 days it healed up and he ate normal.

From Shand in (Titusville)

Saw you're ad on the side of the Silverado and I've always been really interested in a turkey but have trouble getting an Osceola or even an Eastern if it's possible! I want one that can free range in my yard I live in fox lake road in Titusville. Do you guys sell any? I appreciate any info!

Sent from my iPhone


Note: I had to tell Shand that Osceola Turkeys (Florida wild turkey) require a special permit from the State of Florida and so we only have heritage domesticated turkeys and a few Eastern Wild Turkeys (that are legally sold in Hatcheries)

Also explained that we almost never give away 'one bird'----that would be a lonely turkey.

This is "Perry" in Upstate New York. Perry is an Eastern Wild, living the good life!

From Tina in Up state New York:

Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to me! your answers prompted another question.

If I am able to get another turkey poult is there any way for me to know what sex this turkey is and what the new one would be?

If I have two of the same gender will they fight? 

If it seems he/she will be staying around I was thinking about copying this idea:

Any thoughts? 

Thanks for letting me ask all these questions. I appreciate it, and so does Perry! :-)

Regards, Tina

Offered Tina my opinion that that sooner or later, they will fight, perhaps a little, perhaps a lot....

"Missy" rescued in West Melbourne

From Edith in West Melbourne:

I just discovered your petturkey website, love it!  And you are local to me in Florida!  I'm in West Melbourne.

I have a Narragansett hen, we found her running around loose in our neighborhood a couple months back.  She is so sweet and is my girl "Missy".

I've been feeding her the Dumor laying mesh and she likes it.  What do you feed your hens?

I live close to Tractor Supply and will be needing to get more feed soon.

Are you on FB?

I've attached a picture of Missy.


Edie (Edith

From Lisa in SE Georgia

My husband and I have a number of chickens and heritage turkeys, all pets.  Yesterday one of my husband's co-workers brought us a very large (35+ lb ?) Broad Breasted Bronze tom.  He was the a pet of the co-worker's family, and was being kept in a very small pen, laying on the ground so his chest and belly area are bald of feathers..  They think he may be a year old.  He's not in the best of shape, but is very sweet.

He is a big, big boy and already seems to be having a little trouble getting around.  Do you have any advice for helping him to have a more comfortable life?  Can you put such a big tom on a "diet" ?  We live in SE Georgia and the heat is already bothering him.

We realize he may not live long due to his genetics, but want to give him a happy life in the meantime.  He's currently in a separate run from all of our other birds, but we are going to build him a more permanent set up.  He will not be a "meal."

I would appreciate any advice you might be able to share.

thank you,


Sent Lisa my comments about the Broad Breasted birds. Great Pets but suffer from human selective breeding for obesity.

Note! Do not do what I did: felt sorry for the motherless BB hen and gave her a poult to raise. The hen accidently squashed the little baby because she was heavy. Truly felt remorse for my action. I warned a neighbor who was going to do the same thing. The results were the same.

Hernan and Cholula in the back & Bianca the Royal Palm up front. Seven poults on the hunt in SW Missouri 

From Cheryl in SW Missouri (The most beautiful state in America)

Good morning my name is Cheryl, 

I wondered if you still have any turkeys you need homed? I have 3 rescue turkeys 1 Bronze tom (I think that is what he is), one Bronze hen and one Royal Palm hen. They were given to me by a friend that bought them at the local feed store without even knowing what they were. She wanted chickens and apparently didn't even ask what they were when she bought them. When they got bigger she said they were ugly and she didn't want them. I am so glad I took them because the next week her dogs killed all of the chickens she had purchased with them. 

I love to watch my turkeys mingle with my sheep and my Guardian dog Louise. To my great surprise Cholula has managed to raise 7 poults they are 7 weeks old today!!! I am sure Louise had a lot to do with their survival she loves them. My poor little Royal Palm wasn't so lucky. Bianca lost all of her eggs to I am guessing a sneaky raccoon. 

My turkeys range over a 7 acre area usually, right now they are confined to the 2 acre backyard until the poults get bigger. I really didn't know what to do about Bianca's nest being in the middle of a brier patch, but next time she starts laying I will put her in the shed like you said and have her start laying there. I have an 8 x 16 shed right behind the house with a 5 ft. tall gate that she couldn't get through.  I learned so much from your website and thank you.

If you have any Blue Slate turkeys I would be interested in adding that color to my flock. I live in Southwest Missouri and I didn't know if you would ship this far. Probably not this time of year either. Please let me know. I would love to add to our 19 sheep, 9 turkey, 21 hen, 4 dog, 4 cat and finally 200 grapevine farm. I think the turkeys will be a God send in the vineyard for bug control.

Thank you,

Cheryl G.

I explained to Cheryl that we do not ship eggs or turkeys.

From Sarah in Australia! 

Shelly's turkeys in Lutz Florida

From Robin in Richlands NC
Hi, my name is Robin and I have 3 Turkey pets. For some reason my sweet Pearl has fought with both my tom and the other hen. Her face is all bloody and her nostrils are swollen shut. I did look up pain reliever for her and found that I could give her low dose aspirin. It did help but she's still wounded. What else can I do? I'm worried about my baby girl and we don't have a vet that can look at her.
Respectfully Robin

(my response)

Hello Robin,

From what we have seen, after doctoring many turkeys, from broken bones to fox attacks to fighting (most common), what we learned is that turkeys have a stunning recover system.  I would hazard a guess -that is because in the wild, the slow healers perish and the fast healers live to reproduce. I think Pearl will recover quite handily

(Robins response)

Thank you so much!!!! She is doing better but now Houdini the hen is frantically trying to get back to Pearl. I did separate them so that Pearl could heal a bit. I'm revamping their pen too! I want to make it more comfortable for them. My Blues can roost but Pearl can't because she is one of the white Turkeys that you see in the big turkey houses. Her beak is weird. It was snipped or something when she was little and they also cut her toes. 

Should I give the girls babies to take care of? My TomBoy hasn't mated with either of the girls. He does strut and show off pretty much to everyone though lol. I will definitely take pictures of my 3 "kids" . I'm really grateful that you have the website! I've learned a lot from you guys :) thank you sooooo much !!!

(part of my response that I thought was very important)

"Also, I learned the hard way, never give the broadbreasted birds (Pearl) any babies. As much as they wish to be "Moms" they are too heavy and accidently crush the babies. (I felt bad)" 

Kim's wild visitors in Georgia

Hi, i live in n Ga and have wild turkeys visit several times a day. From fall to spring, there can be up To 18 in my yard. Since April, there have been 3 Toms, and just in the last 10 days, a hen joins them occasionally. 1 of the Toms (Chester) has lost half his beard and limps. So, I put the food in 4 different areas since the other males wont let him eat in the same place.

These guys seem to co-exist with the wild birds and deer.

I find great joy in seeing these turkeys come by, drink from the bird feeder and eat. They love to cone onto my patio and look at themselves in the doors.

                       BUNDY'S BIRD BORDELLO                                          

               “ Raising  Quality  Poultry  for Over 50 Years "

                              NPIP Certified Farm                                                           

Member of:       Society for The Preservation of Poultry Antiquities and  Welsummer Club of North America

phone :  321 - 723 - 2986 OR : 321 - 984 - 8114

Do you need the perfect gift?

For pet lovers around the globe, "It's a Matter of Luck" is a collection of heart warming stories of horse rescues from the slaughterhouse. 

Available on Amazon: 

Kim Ryba

It's a Matter of Luck: Inspirational, Heartfelt Stories of Horses Given a Second Chance.

by Kim Ryba & Lina T. Lindgren

Warning: This book may cause your eyes to water -in a good way. (speaking from experience after reading it)

Please give Kim and Lina a heartfelt review on Amazon!

Author Bruce Ryba

Author Bruce Ryba at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39B & Artemis 1. "We are going to the Moon!"

Author's discussion (that's me) on You Tube of a book review on Amazon

My Facebook page Pet Turkeys You can always check in and say hello!

For the video versions of information, please check out my YouTube Channel (Turkeys, KSC, Flintknapping, dive stories etc.)

Book One of Florida History:

Freedoms Quest Struggle for the Northern Frontier and lost tales of old Florida

Fiction & language warning.

Available on Amazon

End of Empire

Desperate times call for bold action.
In a desperate move to retain Florida and protect the treasure-laden galleons on their dangerous return journey to Europe, the King of Spain issues a royal decree offering refuge to all English slaves who escape Florida and pick up a musket to defend the coquina walls of Saint Augustine.
In another bold gamble, the King offers refuge to the dissatisfied Indian nations of the southeast who will take up arms against the English.
Clans, traumatized by war and disease, cross the Spanish Frontier to settle the cattle-rich land and burned missions of Florida.

Follow the descendants of the conquistador Louis Castillo in remote Spanish Florida, a wildland swept by diseases, hurricanes, and northern invasions.

 Book Two: Available on Amazon 

Return HOME from Comments and Photo page

Contact us at: