In some parts of the United States (and perhaps in other countries as well) turkeys are as apt to be guests at Thanksgiving dinner as they are to be the main course. For these special, feathered and infamously unintelligent guests, comfort is of the essence. Therefore, creation of chair covers for them is an act of both creativity and humaneness.
As most people are aware, sitting up on a chair is not a naturally occurring posture for any bird. To be comfortable sitting at a table, special accommodations need be created and for a full-size turkey (male or female) this is no small task.
To begin, the measure of the feathered guest(s) must be taken. The total size and weight of the gobbler will impact your calculations necessary to make a truly comfortable turkey chair cover for him or her.
Accustomed, as they are as a species, to being in the center of the table rather than one of those sitting around it, no matter how comfortable and attractive the turkey’s chair cover is, it is likely to feel a tad unnatural and perhaps even uncomfortable to the turkey despite all your best efforts.
But progress has been made as both vegetarians and vegans across the world have begun to include live turkeys as guests in their celebrations of Thanksgiving. Goodness knows, the invited winged guest has more than s/he may realize to be thankful for on this particular day!
Contrary to prevalent human preferences, bird down is not a material of choice when making turkey chair covers. The reasons are obvious enough to eliminate the necessity to detail them here. Suffice it to say that this would be akin to lampshades for humans crafted from human skin… An idea once tried and subsequently regarded as both horrific and disgusting.
Shredded foam is the material of choice, covered in stain-resistant fabric. The latter component is important as turkeys are not known for deliberate bowel or bladder control – even when guests at a nice dinner with a caring, animal-friendly family.
To the extent possible, the turkey chair cushion should be form-fitted so as to enhance the chances of the bird being able to sustain a human-like sitting position in it. This is most easily achieved by first anesthetizing the turkey, gently bending it into a sitting shape, taking a tracing and then shaping the turkey chair cushion to conform to the tracing.
Full human anesthesia is discouraged as turkeys have a very low tolerance for these chemicals and good results have been achieved with low doses of over-the-counter antihistamines, like Benadryl.
If you are successful in making a comfortable and appropriately tailored chair cushion for your turkey guest, you will enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner unlike any you have known (or imagined) before. Your turkey will enjoy it, too and will live to tell the tale when s/he goes home to the rest of his/her own family to celebrate the turkey version of Thanksgiving where they celebrate having survived for yet another year.
Have a Good Gobble!