Those who frequent the South Tech campus have likely noticed the Veterinary Assistant’s assorted flock of fowls milling around their building. The Veterinary Assistant Program is the proud owner of several different species of chickens, including Frizzles, Polish Cresteds, and Laced Wyandottes; and their large Americana Rooster named Buckbeak.
However, the birds that get the most attention are the three large, white and black, Royal Palm Turkeys. The turkey flock consists of two hens, Jive and Gobbriella, and a tom, Friar Turk. This species of turkey was bred not for meat production, but for their ornamental appeal, and that is exactly the purpose they serve at South Tech. Safe to say many people have stopped by the program to ask about the large white birds that follow them up to the door and have such curious personalities. Friar Turk, with his beautiful plumage and bright red and blue face, has been named the unofficial South Tech mascot by many!
The South Tech flock is not merely for show though; they have been a great educational tool to aid in teaching students the proper handling and husbandry for farm fowl. An “Urban Chicken Movement” has spread throughout the country and these birds are being viewed more as pets, than dinner. These birds have helped bring together several of the programs as well. Construction and masonry helped build their coop and yard, and culinary regularly feeds them their extra food scraps. Keeping the flock healthy and happy has certainly been a group effort.
Next time you are taking a walk around the South Tech campus and see these beautiful birds feel free to stop into the Veterinary Assistant Program and ask about our birds and their care!