Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

Give Thanks, Become a Guardian This Holiday Season!

What is a Turkey Guardian? It’s someone who stands up for turkeys—and supports rescued turkeys living in sanctuary at The Gentle Barn!

When you make a one-time contribution of $35 (or $150 for the flock), you help fund the ongoing care of our rescued turkeys who live at all three Gentle Barn locations and ongoing turkey rescues, along with supporting The Gentle Barn in all of our life-saving work.

In appreciation of your guardianship, you’ll receive a digital or print certificate with your chosen turkey’s photo and bio to display on your holiday table. Together, we can change the world for these affectionate, intelligent animals!


A longtime resident of our California sanctuary, Sun was rescued from Thanksgiving with her four sisters in 2015. When they arrived, they were very fearful and nervous. They had seen other turkeys slaughtered right in front of them and seemed to be waiting for us to do the same to them. We stationed volunteers to sit with them and bring them treats every day, and in a very short time, ...[read more]instead of running away from us, they were running toward us. Sun is now confident and filled with joy. She loves to be held and pet, and she is teaching the world how amazing turkeys truly are, one cuddle at a time! Sun is 6 years old, and she loves to snack on grapes and blueberries. When she’s not cuddling in our laps, she can be found sunning and snuggling with her best friend, Gus the goat!


Smudge and her siblings were rescued down the road from The Gentle Barn’s Missouri sanctuary, and they have proven to be some of the friendliest turkeys we have ever met. Smudge loves to be held and cuddled, and she has helped us teach every guest how friendly and sweet turkeys are! ...[read more]She asks guests to pick her up, follows us around, and has even gone with us on outings to comfort people at homeless shelters and recovery centers. Smudge is now approximately 4 years old. Her favorite treats are blueberries and grapes, and she is happiest when she is being held and adored.


Romeo was rescued in St. Louis, Missouri along with his ten brothers and sisters. They were running around a neighborhood in the street, and after getting calls from concerned neighbors, we took them home to The Gentle Barn’s Missouri sanctuary. We already had a male turkey, and because male turkeys will fight over territory ...[read more]and females, we placed all the newly-rescued males into loving homes—except Romeo, who joined our California flock! Romeo is so loving, affectionate, and friendly. He follows us around and always wants to be the center of attention, as well he should be. Romeo is 4 years old, and his favorite things in the world are showing off his beautiful feathers and being called handsome by adoring onlookers.


Luke Skywalker was rescued from slaughter just before Thanksgiving in 2015. He came from a very scary place where he lived in terrible conditions, was handled very roughly, and witnessed terrible things being done to other turkeys. Luke was terrified of us when he arrived at The Gentle Barn’s Tennessee sanctuary, ...[read more]but with a lot of time and patience, he learned that he was finally safe and began to relax and enjoy life! Luke runs excitedly to the gate every morning when he sees us bringing out his breakfast salad, will happily take snacks from our hands, and loves to proudly display his feathers while dancing for his female friends, Heather and Penelope! He is 6 years old, his favorite snack is seeds and nuts, and he is happiest gaining the attention of all his admirers.


Heather was rescued with her two brothers in 2015 from Thanksgiving. Before coming to The Gentle Barn’s Tennessee sanctuary, she lived in horrible conditions and saw terrible things being done to other turkeys. She was treated very roughly and was given no reason to ever trust. Despite this, Heather was the first of the three turkeys to come close to us, ...[read more]and now she will hang out right next to us and eat from our hands! She is so intelligent and curious; when we talk to her, she cocks her head to the side, trying to understand what we are telling her. Anytime there is something new or different in the barnyard, she spends hours watching it. She is such a special girl, and we are happy to have her as part of our forever family in Tennessee. Heather is 6 years old, and she loves hanging out in the shade with her best friends and soaking her feet in cool water. She is happiest when she is sitting on a nest, and even though there are never any fertile eggs, we can't stop this girl from hoping!


Each one of these turkeys has a unique personality, with different likes, dislikes, and relationships. While Sun loves to snuggle (both with us and her best friend, Gus the goat), Romeo prefers to spend his days showing off his beautiful feathers and commanding the attention of adoring onlookers. Though Heather is happiest when she is sitting on a nest, Smudge prefers to sit on our laps and be rubbed under her wings. The best part of Luke Skywalker’s day is breakfast, and he runs excitedly to the gate every morning when he sees us bringing out his breakfast salad! Though each turkey in the flock has their own story and background, they all learned to overcome their past experiences, live in the moment, and give and receive unconditional love.

Become a Guardian

Become a Turkey Guardian for Romeo, Sun, Luke Skywalker, Heather, and Smudge, and ALSO get access to a special zoom engagement with the turkeys and the Founders of The Gentle Barn. Donors will be contacted by email with further details.

Become a Guardian

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Rescuing Turkeys Since 1999

Not ready to become a Turkey Guardian? A general donation of any amount is always welcome and goes towards The Gentle Barn, its turkeys and all the animals' needs.