Turkey Day is fast approaching and one local woman says she would rather have the bird in her yard than on her table, three of them to be exact.
She keeps the turkeys as pets and says more people should value the animal for more than a value meal.
11 News Reporter Jessica Zartler carves out the story.
Instead of cuddling up to a cat or a dog, Barbara Epp–Dunn says she likes to cuddle up to her turkeys.
"The bigger one there, she'll actually come up and sit right next to you. She actually sits right on the ground and she'll let you pet her and she follows you around," Epp-Dunn told 11 News on Monday about one of her turkeys.
She says she's always liked chickens and geese and started collecting them as pets and then she found some turkeys without a home.
"The turkey thing was kind of to give some a home so they wouldn't end up--dinner."
Now she has three turkeys and more than 50 other fowl. When it's feeding time, it's quite the gaggle.
When it comes to feeding time for her family, Epp–Dunn says she used to go cold turkey on turkey for Thanksgiving, chicken and duck but now she's started eating meat again--just a little.
"They have such personalities it's hard to justify eating them at times."
Epp–Dunn says she still struggles with it but says the more important lesson is appreciating birds and what they have to offer as friend and food.
"There's a whole cycle of life with raising any animal."
Her three turkeys are staying in the yard.
"No one is gonna eat these, these have a safehouse."
And they'll stay out of the kitchen.
"They won't know. We try not to tell them what time of year it is but they always know something's up."
And even though she's game to gobble some this year she will still cuddle with her feathery birds for many thanksgivings to come.
Barbara Epp–Dunn says she'll have the turkeys in her yard on E Road on Thursday and welcomes neighbors and families to stop by and see them.
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