Talking Turkey

Today, OH and I were carving the last of the ‘sandwich’ meat from the turkey and I was putting the scraps into a bowl for the birds. It was a good bit of turkey this year. We just bought a crown, since there nobody was coming for dinner, but it was a free range, Bronze Feather crown, and you really can taste the difference.

Suddenly, OH had a thought.

OH: Do they really eat this?

Me: Yes, they do, some of them.

OH: Isn’t that a bit odd?

Me: Why?

OH: Well, it’s a bit cannibalistic, isn’t it? I mean, eating meat from the same species…

Me: We don’t get many turkeys around here.

8 thoughts on “Talking Turkey

  1. Polly Macleod 27th December 2017 / 6:39 pm

    ha ha, that is a very good comment! I was listening to a radio programme recently in which they said you can put anything out for the birds except salt, they can’t process it and it affects their nervous system.

    • Jay 27th December 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Yes, they don’t cope well with salt, nor is sugar terribly good for them, but a lot of table scraps are fine. It is best to avoid Chorleywood bread though, as they can’t digest it very well and it can choke them. Chorleywood bread is what you see most of on the supermarket shelves these days, and even in most High Street bakeries. It is bread made with a super-fast fermentation (proving) method developed in the1960s at ( you guessed it) Chorleywood. I can’t digest it very well, either.

      Thanks for popping in, Polly!

  2. Valerie Daggatt 29th December 2017 / 9:42 am

    I didn’t have anything to give to the birds, except bird seed. Come to think of it, I didn’t see may birds over Christmas… perhaps they were all feeding in a neighbour’s garden.

    • Jay 29th December 2017 / 11:22 am

      It’s a little worrying how few birds we’re seeing, Valerie. But there again, with insects declining at an alarming rate, what can we expect?

  3. Secret Agent Woman 29th December 2017 / 5:09 pm

    To be honest, I had the same thought that it seemed cannibalistic.

    • Jay 29th December 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Hahaha! But so often nature is a bit cannibalistic, isn’t it? Dogs chase and kill foxes (our only wild dog), coyotes lure pet dogs out of yards to kill and eat them, sparrowhawks catch and eat smaller birds, fish eat other fish, and insects eat other insects. Sharks will, I’m told, eat injured sharks alive, and monkeys certainly eat other monkeys – even babies from their own tribe. To me, true cannibalism is eating members of your own species, so a blackbird, rook or magpie eating a dead turkey is unsurprising.

  4. Liz 31st December 2017 / 4:39 pm

    I understand what he means though. Is it acceptable these days to put bread on the feeder? I know ducks shouldn’t eat it.

    • Jay 31st December 2017 / 6:32 pm

      Well, as a general rule it’s not a great idea to feed bread to birds, whether they are garden birds or ducks and swans. However, this advice is usually given for two reasons: one, a lot of people throw bread out for the birds when it’s mouldy, and this can kill them, and two, most people buy Chorleywood bread. Chorleywood bread is what most people buy because there is very, very little else on sale anywhere these days – whether in supermarkets or High Street bakeries. The bread I put out is long-fermentation organic wholemeal without any chemicals or unnecessary sugar or salt added, and I very rarely put that out because there’s not very often any left!

      There is a third reason. If bread (however wholesome) is the only thing that is put out for birds, this doesn’t provide a very balanced diet, and they can fill up on this easy meal and not get the vitamins and fats and proteins and minerals that they need to stay healthy. So a good general rule is to only ever put out organic, ‘real’ bread in small quantities (and not ever mouldy), and only put it out alongside a good mixture of other bird food such as mealworms, seed mixes, fat balls etc.

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