Several weeks ago, volunteers at the animal welfare organization Farm Sanctuary arrived to work to discover a flock of two dozen baby turkeys waiting for them outside the group's New York shelter. The turkeys, who had been dropped off anonymously, appeared to have come from a factory farm or other commercial poultry operation; all were more than a little worse for wear.
The "poults" were dirty, sick and scared, all having recently been de-beaked -- a cruel form of mutilation common to factory farms, in which birds have their beaks amputated to prevent them from pecking through the stress of life in a cramped cage. But, thanks to around-the-clock care at Farm Sanctuary's small animal hospital, all of the poults were able to recover from the various respiratory infections, parasites and other health threats they encountered at the factory farm.
Now that all of the birds are healthy, sanctuary workers have finally cleared the little turkeys to go outside, where they'll spend the rest of their days roaming freely. A Farm Sanctuary volunteer recorded the poults' first foray onto their grassy new home (and all the joy that came with it).