I never thought I would even think about doing this but I think the time has arrived. My story? Well, my handsome Mr. Turkey who is about 7 years old is MY favorite bird. He is THE oldest bird that I have. I remember when he first came to me. He was so energetic, so calm and so sweet. He was the best turkey a person would want to have. He would sit at the edge of the driveway and watch the cars pass and greet guests as they arrived. He never got in any fights in the yard and was always a gentleman to his girls. Well, time and age took a toll on his body and he slowly started experiencing problems in 2009 when he suffered from a terrible respiratory problem that caused him to develop wry neck. I was able to treat the problem through meds. During this time, I brought him inside and hand fed him, cleaned him and kept him warm. He pulled through the respiratory problem and wry neck and was back to normal. About 1 1/2 year later, the same problem occurred. This time, I found an avian vet and traveled 2 hours to take my turkey to his appointment. The vet treated him and cleared the respiratory problem but the vet said that he had wry neck too long and that his neck would never straighten out again. Well, I accepted that and continued to care for my turkey. Well after that problem he experienced bumble foot. I was able to do the bumble foot surgery and that cleared up. He would then get bumble foot every 4 or 5 months and I would care for his feet. So, he fought through the bumble foot and won as he always did. A while ago, I noticed that he was walking like his feet were hurting him and he was sitting down more. I checked him out and noticed that not only did he have bumble feet, he also had the same problem on the area where he was sitting (hock area). After bringing him in, I noticed that the bumble foot (hock area) was bad this time. The area where he had been sitting on didn't look good. I cleaned him up and yet again, performed the bumble foot surgery area on the hock area. I noticed that he had been moving around very slowly in the chicken yard and distancing himself away from all of the other animals. I think that he was trying to avoid the fast pace activity (running and flying) around him so that he would not get caught up in trying to get out of the way of the other animals and stressing himself out. Every now and then I would see the other turkeys picking on him but I would run them away and they would leave him alone after that. Because I knew that Mr. Turkey was getting up there in age, I made a conscious effort to always bring him inside when the temps were going to be too hot or too cold for him or when I knew that there would be a lot of rain for that day. I had been doing that for a couple of years and he got accustomed to it. When I would bring him in and set him down, he walked straight into his room (the laundry room) and made himself comfortable and went to sleep. So, he knew the routine. Everybody knew Mr. Turkey. Family and friends would always ask about him. The first thing that the state vet would ask me as he would get out of his truck to begin my NPIP re-certification was, "Where is Mr. Turkey?" And then I would have to give him an update for the year on how he was doing. So everyone knew him and loved him. Well, he had been inside for the last week because he was recovering from the bumble foot surgery. He is still able to eat and drink by himself but he stumbles to the feeder and waterer. However, I would still hand feed him to ensure that he got enough food in the event through all of the stumbling, it took out more energy than he wanted and decided to "pass up" on eating because there was no more energy left in him. Before I went to work on Monday, I decided to put him back chicken yard to see how he would do. Well, I got home on yesterday (he is the first animal that I look for), I looked for him and I found him with his head down. I was scared because he looked like he was dead. I ran over to him and he is alive but a few ants were on him and he wasn't able to get up to move to a safe area. I picked him up and brought him in and washed him off. He was in bad shape in that he was panting and his eyes were closed. I made sure that he was cool, grabbed some electrolytes and drizzled liquids down his throat. As I was giving him his electrolytes, I had "the talk" with him. I told him that I knew that his health was failing and that his body wasn't as strong as it once was. I told him that I hope that he enjoyed living at the farm and that I hope that I did right by him in caring for him throughout the years and making sure that he had the best care possible. I told him that he was my favorite bird and that no other bird would replace him. I told him that I loved him and that whenever he was ready to go that he could let go and sleep forever. I explained that if his health continues to worsen and if I decide to continue to care for him that it would only be for my selfish reasons because I don't want to see him go and I should think about him and not me. I gave him a big ole kiss and placed him on his comforter to let him rest. As I looked at him, I couldn't help but to think that something was trying to tell me that he is nearing the end of his life. My family always tells me that if something ever happens to him, they don't want to be around because they know what kind of condition I will be in. They suggested that i send him to a "sanctuary". My response was his home IS a sanctuary and that I was not sending him anywhere. I said that when he dies, he will die at home and nowhere else. As I look at all of this and as I remember picking up my turkey, it reminded me of how a care giver would pick up an elderly frail person as they carry them to bed. I knew right then that it was time to decide what to do. I have to think about the quality of his life from this point on. Will he live inside forever only seeing daylight when I carry him out and put him in the yard? Will I continue to hand feed him daily because he is too tired to keep his balance because his feet and hocks hurt him so bad from the bumble foot? Will he be happy living this way? Is he tired and wishes that he didn't have to deal with all of this? He doesn't look like he is in pain and he is not suffering. If I thought for one minute that he was in pain or suffering, I would do the right thing but I know he's not. He does experience difficulty walking due to the bumble foot. The main thing is the quality of life for him. After about an hour, he was ok. His eyes opened and he was moving around. I placed food in front of him and ate. So, I'm at a point of trying to decide do I continue caring for him inside? Do I wait for him to die? Do I end his frustration and euthanize him? My mind is telling me to euthanize him but I can't bring myself to do it. And if I decide to euthanize him, I would have no idea what to do or how to do it. I don't think that I could do it. Someone would have to do it for me. And I would have to bury him at home. At what point and time would YOU euthanize your pet? When would you know that it's time to say Good bye? He lived a good life. He fought a hard battle. But now it's time to end the war. Here is Mr. Turkey in his younger days when he was full of life and engery.