Because the owners of a stray domestic turkey haven't come forward to claim it, the tom turkey will be placed up for adoption as a pet, not Thanksgiving dinner, starting today at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA's shelter, 12 Airport Blvd., San Mateo.

The turkey was left at the group's after hours kennels on Nov. 18.

"It's not a good week for stray turkeys," says PHS/SPCA spokesman Scott Delucchi. "Fortunately, this one has been in good hands. No one here has been eyeing him for anything but a pet."

The turkey adoption will be treated much like a chicken adoption, which PHS/SPCA does a few dozen times each year. The shelter's last domestic turkey adoption was in 2007. In 2006, PHS/SPCA received dozens of abandoned turkey chicks and placed all healthy ones in a Northern California farm animal sanctuary.

Lincoln, a stray domestic turkey, is looking for a good home.
Lincoln, a stray domestic turkey, is looking for a good home. (Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

Staff quickly determined this was not a wild turkey; wild turkeys can be seen in rural areas of San Mateo County and throughout the Bay Area. The telltale signs were the bird's size, which is much larger than a wild turkey, white coloring on the tips of the tail feathers and social behavior around people.

PHS/SPCA named the turkey "Lincoln," for President Abraham Lincoln who declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Lincoln is a male adult and in good health, although his age has not been determined.

Turkeys can live 6-10 years. The ideal home would be one similar to one for chickens -- a dirt floor, fencing to keep predators out and a small structure for protection from the elements.


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While in PHS/SPCA's care, Lincoln took a special liking to a stray goat that shared his small barnyard area at the shelter. The goat was adopted this past Sunday, and Lincoln would like to find a home, too.

Domestic turkeys can be fed a commercial turkey food, similar to what people feed chickens.

Interested adopters can meet Lincoln from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at PHS/SPCA's facility. If interested, give the shelter a call at 650-685-8510 to make sure he's still available. The shelter is closed for Thanksgiving. The adoption fee is $25.

Lincoln, in all of his glory.
Lincoln, in all of his glory. (Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

Contact Joan Morris at jmorris@bayareanewsgroup.com or 1700 Cavallo Road, Antioch, CA 94509. Follow her at Twitter.com/AskJoanMorris.