Saturday, November 13, 2010
Our turkey flock is now five weeks old. Growing and gawking; making cooing noises - and eating; this is their day. Since they have arrived so many changes have occurred:
1. Feathers - all docked out in a coat of white feathers; fluffy and full.
2. Wattles - growing those unmistakable turkey wattles - you should see them!
3. Strut - oh, can they. These toms didn't need any instruction on how to parade about.
4. Size - they are already larger than my layer flock; one turkey in particular is the size of my best rooster.
5. Feed - my how they eat! These guys put away a bag of feed a week.
6. Space - time to sort the flock into two pens making more room.
Turkeys are not timid by any means, however, these are not violent. They do peck at your boots and the buttons on my jacket. I find them rather curious when something different is near their pen. We stir the bedding when we enter the pens - aerating the shavings and encouraging movement of the birds (idle birds are not growing and keeping healthy).
Round the clock stir and checks are on the chore list. Food and water are gone through rather quickly and must be filled often- if they run out they tend to gorge themselves and develop droopy crop conditions which can be fatal - but also disqualify them from being shown (these are a 4-H project).
Every noise is curious to them. If you coo or cluck at them; the whole flock stops, becomes rather attentive with outstretched necks, and fluffs out their feathers (not in strut, just fluffing out). They will start to coo back and attempt to warble those funny first warble noises.
I must say, they are a lot of work, but no more than any baby on the farm, and they are fun. Personally, I enjoy their antics and noises, their curious nature and silly, gawky faces. Though we all take shifts with the birds upkeep, Farmboy loves them the most. He has wanted to raise game birds for some time now; now he is.
If you have questions about raising a flock of turkeys, please contact us by either leaving a comment or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be happy to answer or assist in any way we can. Thanks for talking turkey with us...see you Sunday.