Norway family raises pet turkey as part of the family


NORWAY, Mich. (WLUC) – Tilly is an Orlop Broad Breasted Bronze turkey and is two and a half years old.

His owner Janet brought him home when Tilly was just a baby.

“I just ordered some chickens and I thought it might just be kinda fun to have a turkey, not to eat!” said Tilly’s owner, Janet Anderson. “I got him when he was a day old or maybe born that morning, I bought him from Ray’s Feed Mill in Norway, I ordered him ahead of time and picked him up and brought him home. He and the chickens went under a heat light for a while, a few months, a couple months, anyway.”

It was those baby chicks-and Tilly-that Janet wanted, much to her family’s surprise.

“It was, ‘Really? A turkey? What’re you going to do with that?'” said Janet. “So I just wanted him for a pet to walk around.”

Tilly the turkey quickly became part of the family.

“If I’m in the house he’ll look in the windows and he’ll stand by the door and watch me, it’s kind of creepy,” laughed Janet. “He likes company, he likes people, he like to show off!”

Janet says Tilly is not too difficult to take care of and he has his own room in their barn but he doesn’t go in the house.

“In the winter months I’ve been giving him a little bit of cracked corn mixed with some poultry pellets so that’s pretty much what he eats and then I have a heated water bowl for him, he has water all the time,” said Janet. “He sleeps on a bed of saw dust, or sawdust shavings, he doesn’t roost.”

And if the name ‘Tilly’ sounds a little feminine there is a good reason as to why.

“I wanted a hen and they don’t tell you what kind he is when you get him and I had ordered a bunch of hens for laying eggs,” said Janet. “And one day Tilly…gobbled, so I knew he was a tom.”

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