Turkeys Are the Stars of the Show at Muscoot Farm

Usually star of the dining room table, turkeys take center stage at this superb county-run farm.

Every day is turkey day at Muscoot Farm in Katonah, where visitors can view the glorious gobblers in their natural habitat, rather than just atop a Thanksgiving dinner table. According to farm director Jonathon Benjamin, Muscoot is a wonderful spot to see a range of animals and especially the star of the season. “We have cows, sheep, goats, chicken, a pig, donkeys, horses, Berry goats, pygmy goats, and, of course, turkeys,” he says.

“When we bring these animal here on site, they trust us completely.”

“We try to stick with heritage breeds,” says Benjamin, a 16-year veteran of Muscoot who held multiple positions before ascending to director. “Our turkeys are what is called Standard Bronze, so they look a lot like the wild turkeys you see out in the forest or on your property. They are definitely one of the more popular animals we have here, just because they like to make a lot of noise and the kids can really get up close and personal with them.”

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Along with their furry friends, Muscoot also runs a farmers market, summer camp, maple sugaring operation, pumpkin festival, holiday lights display, and more “all while being open 362 days out of the year,” says Benjamin. In fact, Muscoot is currently restoring its main house, building a new ADA accessible restroom, new fencing for animals, and conducting an overhaul of the facility’s parking lot and drainage.

While Muscoot is not technically a sanctuary, Benjamin has worked hard to transition the organization from a standard working farm model, in which some animals could be sent off for consumption, to one in which the residents are cherished and respected. “When we bring these animals on site, they trust us completely. So I have sort of moved away from that. We use them for education, we use them for programming, and they get to live out their lives here on the farm,” he says. “We are not necessarily a sanctuary, but we are very conscious and thoughtful about our animals and how we take care of them.”

Related: Sweet and Salty Queens Bakes Gluten-Free Vegan Doughnuts in Peekskill

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