Let’s Talk Turkey: The Benefits of Raising Turkeys at The Farmstead At Mill Spring

raising turkeys

One of the things people love most about a getaway to The Farmstead at Mill Spring is interacting with our animals. From petting baby chicks to feeding our resident donkey, a big part of The Farmstead experience is getting up close and personal with our furry and feathered friends.

Some of our most famous resident comics are our turkeys. As Thanksgiving nears, they don’t have to worry about landing on a Thanksgiving dinner table. If we were to eat our turkey pets, we would find their meat to be high in protein and low in fat. Turkey meat is an excellent source of vitamins B3 and B6, which can help regulate a healthy metabolism and immune system.

Instead, our turkeys enjoy a lifetime of roaming free with the chickens on our idyllic country property and entertaining our family and corporate camping guests. But, why turkeys are important commands a closer look.

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Raising Turkeys

Turkeys are Cleaner Than Chickens

Easier to keep than chickens, raising turkeys is also a cleaner endeavor. While chickens like to dig through their bedding and tend to throw soiled bedding into their water container and scatter it around over their feed, turkeys, on the other hand, eat their food where we put it, their water stays bedding free, and droppings aren’t scattered all over.

Turkeys Have Wonderful Personalities

When raising turkeys, it becomes obvious that they can rapidly go from farm animals to treasured pets. Turkeys are quite social and tend to follow their caregivers around. They are outgoing and love stroking, petting, and cuddling.

They are also extremely curious and eager to check out interesting sights, sounds, and visitors. When they are happy, they purr, just like cats. Also like people, turkeys blush. When turkeys are excited or agitated, the skin on their heads and necks change colors.

Turkeys Like Music

They often loudly cluck and gobble along. This is a testament to their playful nature and intelligence. Individual turkeys, just like people, often have a favorite genre that they particularly like to listen to, and will react more enthusiastically when they hear their favorite songs.

Turkeys are Really Fast

In the wild, turkeys can run as fast as 35 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour. Here at The Farmstead, we keep their flight feathers trimmed so we can keep them on the farm and safe from natural predators they might encounter in the mountain forests that surround us.

Turkeys Choose Favorite Humans

Fortunately for our birds, they have a steady stream of friendly new faces to bond with. Erik Marcus, who wrote Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating spent a substantial amount of time with turkeys in sanctuary settings like The Farmstead.

He found that when turkeys meet someone that they like, they’ll sit closer to that person with each encounter. Turkeys choose the people they want to get to know, not the other way around.

Turkeys Like to Play Together

Imagine the fun of hosting a corporate retreat where you can pick your own fresh vegetables, gather just-laid eggs for breakfast, and help feed our growing agricultural menagerie. Much to their delight, guests often find that when they toss our turkeys an apple, they tend to play with it like a soccer ball.

Better yet, in the fall you can pick apples from our own orchard to enjoy and share. That’s why turkeys are important to have in the farm menagerie mix–they are quite entertaining.

Their Vision is Better Than 20/20

Turkeys see three times more clearly than we do. Turkeys’ eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads, giving them monocular, periscopic vision. They can see great distances and also have excellent peripheral vision. They have a 270-degree field of vision without turning their heads.

If they turn their heads, they can get a 360-degree view of the world around them. Plus, they don’t have to blink. Instead of eyelids, they have nictitating membranes that keep their eyes moist, free from debris, and always on the lookout for threats or new opportunities for fun.

Okay, turkeys are cool, but what can they add to a company camping trip?

Turkeys, and our other farm stock, are great vehicles for team building. By collectively helping with their care, raising turkeys is a great resource for camaraderie. It takes teamwork and coordination to make sure our animals’ needs are met and that they are healthy and happy in their free-range environment.

Sustainable farming is at the heart of what we do here at The Farmstead, and learning how productive the land can be and how much we can actually rely on our own resources, the more accomplished we feel.

Turkeys Teach Adaptability

The motto in the Marine Corps is “adapt and overcome.” That’s a powerful tool in a team- building setting, too. Learning more about turkeys and their incredible adaptability is a lesson in how we, too, must “adapt and overcome” to succeed in our careers and in our lives.

Plus, turkeys teach us to embrace the ability to adapt, so that when changes are needed in the business, your team is already primed to rise to the challenge with enthusiasm and vigor.

They Show Us the Inherent Beauty of Our Interconnectedness

The turkeys at The Farmstead are great contributors to our unique ecosystem. Through their foraging activities, they assist with pet control, which reduces the need for chemicals and helps flora and fauna flourish. Equally important, being involved in the care of another living being can forge a unique connection with nature.

The physical activities involved in raising turkeys, coupled with our intimate and serene farm setting, can be a valuable source of physical and mental rejuvenation–something your high-performing team can build on until the next retreat at The Farmstead.

Gobble up a really unique corporate camping experience at The Farmstead at Mill Spring

Located near Lake Lure, Asheville, and Chimney Rock State Park, the activities available within and near The Farmstead are varied and exciting. A corporate camping trip intertwined with agricultural endeavors like turkey farming is not merely a getaway from the usual hustle and bustle of the corporate environment, it’s an innovative strategy to merge learning with leisure, responsibility with recreation, and individuality with integration. And that’s the best reason to come talk turkey with us at The Farmstead.

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