Meet Ruthie, For Whom Farm Sanctuary Life Means Dust Baths, Belly Rubs, Blueberries, and Lots of Love #AnimalRescue

There are a few things the caregiver feeding the turkey residents of Farm Sanctuary’s Northern California Shelter can expect. The first is that the turkeys will eat everything you give them, and the second is that Ruthie will be one of the first girls waiting at the gate for her food. (If given the opportunity, she will will grab the food bowl from her caregiver’s hands!)



Friendly Ruthie coming over to say hello!

Ruthie’s rescue story began when she was just a baby for sale in a feed store, where she was incorrectly labeled as a chick and purchased by an unsuspecting customer. We’ll never know just how it happened, but Ruthie had somehow gotten mixed in with a group of chicks. It very quickly became apparent to her new guardian that she was no chick, however, and was in fact a very fast-growing turkey poult.

The woman who had purchased Ruthie found herself with a dilemma: She was only prepared and set up to care for chickens, not turkeys. (Learn more about the unique care needs of different farm animal species in our care guides, available here in PDF.) Had she not cared about Ruthie’s future and viewed her as someone, not something, things could easily have taken a terrible turn for this special turkey. But fortunately for Ruthie, her guardian wanted to make sure she’d have a happy and safe future, filled with all the best things life has to offer for a turkey.


In the end, Ruthie’s guardian contacted Farm Sanctuary, and we agreed to take in this beautiful girl. Ruthie made her way to Farm Sanctuary in June.

She spent her first month with us in quarantine away from our other residents (a precaution we take with each animal who arrives at our sanctuaries), but received lots of attention and love from shelter staffers and interns.

It was impossible not to fall in love with this amazing and perfect lady, and she quickly stole the hearts of everyone at the sanctuary.


After her quarantine period, we were ready to introduce Ruthie to other birds to see how she would interact with them. Unfortunately, sometime during her month in quarantine, she decided she no longer cared for her chicken friends and specifically wanted to be with her turkey and humanimal buddies.


Ruthie loving life with her new flock.

We took the hint and introduced Ruthie into a flock with turkey friends and no hens (only two roosters, whom she does not seem to mind). She was a little shy at first, but quickly warmed up to the rest of the ladies in her flock.

She now spends her days scratching in the yard, dust-bathing, eagerly anticipating feeding times and treats (blueberries and watermelon are some of her favorites), and enjoying belly rubs! We love this special girl and are excited to show her all that Farm Sanctuary life has to offer!


Ruthie enjoying a nap.

This year, we’re thrilled to have Ruthie as one of our incredible turkey ambassadors through our annual Adopt a Turkey Project. For the past 30 years, we’ve encouraged people to participate in a compassionate holiday tradition by sponsoring one of our resident turkeys, helping us rescue animals and provide care for them at our sanctuaries, as well as educate and advocate for turkeys and other farm animals everywhere.



As a sponsor, you’ll receive a certificate like the one above (you can choose between a paper certificate sent by mail or an e-certificate via email); many sponsors tell us that they love displaying their certificate on their Thanksgiving table or giving sponsorships as gifts.


Interested in making Adopt a Turkey one of your holiday traditions? For just $30, you can sponsor Ruthie or one of her fellow turkey residents: Kristoff, Marshall, Perdita, Sandy, or Spunky (each of whom we’ll be profiling here on Animals of Farm Sanctuary in the coming days). Learn more here!

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