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Anaheim centre Andy McDonald recalls, not so fondly, restraining turkeys

He's certainly come a long way.

McDonald had a job while a teenager as an assistant to the turkey vaccinator at Cuddy Farms just outside his home town of Strathroy in southwestern Ontario.

The burning question: what does the assistant do?

"I hold the turkey," McDonald explained. "A lot of responsibility, that job."

It paid C$6 an hour.

Getting the proper grip on the birds was vital, but he was no chicken.

"They're not very friendly animals," McDonald said. "You go into a barn with about 5,000 turkeys and vaccinate every one of them.

"My job was to hold them as the guy came through with the needle. There'd be a line of guys holding them and he'd come down the line and vaccinate each bird."

McDonald would tightly hold hundreds of turkeys each working shift, and it had to be done in the middle of the night.

"We worked from about two in the morning until lunchtime," he explained. "It was too hot in the barns during the day to do it."

It was a summer job during high school that lasted less than a month.

"That was it," he said. "That was enough.

"It was quite an eyeopener. I was happy to go back to school after that."

McDonald could afford to buy his own turkey farm now, but the only drumstick he wants to see is at Thanksgiving.


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