Watching animals is what I do most days. You get the best information just observing them. I can tell who's in charge, who is sick, and who needs attention just by standing still. It's a bit of a lost art form but highly effective. Here's a list of everything you never wanted to know about your Thanksgiving turkey:
1. Your turkey is about to poop when...you see his tail lift. Then he'll bend his knees and push down his wings. It's a lot of effort to poo and pee at the same time. Birds excrete a combo package of solid and liquid waste. (Hey, you clicked the link about turkey poo. What did you expect?)
2. Your bird is about to fight when...you see him stretch his neck with his beak pointed down. This is the precursor to the wing flapping and head pecking that happens during a turf war.
3. Your lady bird is looking for love when..she crouches down and stiffens her wings. That's the, um, ready position. The boy bird then stands on her back and, as quick as a highschooler, does his thing. There's really no such thing as turkey foreplay.
4. Your turkey is lost when...you hear him make three peeps that each go up in tone. It's the turkey version of, "Is anybody there?" They're looking for someone to peep back so they can find the flock again. We hear this whenever someone has gotten loose. Turkeys make really lousy runaways.
5. Your turkey is hot when...he's panting and holding his wings away from his body. It's the bird equivalent of airing out your armpits.
6. Your turkey is about to lay down when...there's really no advance warning for this. They just drop to the ground because their knees bend backwards.
7. Your turkey is about to gobble when...it hears a loud noise like a car horn, a child yelling, or you screaming "gobble gobble" at it.
8. Your turkey is about to gobble when...something flies overhead. A bird, a kite, and plane.
9. Your turkey is about to gobble when...it's looking for a mate. Gobbling really impresses the ladies.
10. Your turkey is about to gobble when...another turkey is gobbling. Gobbling is kind of a group activity.