Turkeys



Our second turkey, the Royal Palm, turned out better than the Bourbon Red, I got to butcher him on my schedule, instead of on fate’s schedule.

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2TurkeysWe finally ate the two surviving turkeys out of the three we bought last June. They definitely hadn’t reached eating size by Thanksgiving, and were still a little small around Christmas. And nobody wants to eat turkey at Christmas anyway, since it’s only a month after eating turkey at Thanksgiving! We were busy, so I let them grow a little longer.

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Turkeys

Our turkeys are looking mature. Initially I thought the Bourbon Red was a hen, as she stayed plain-feathered for the longest time, never displaying. The Royal Palm displayed his feathers constantly from an early age. But now they are clearly both toms. They are quick to spot a stranger on the property, puff up and gobble-gobble. Their heads turn a most peculiar shade of turquoise and their neck waddles flush with blood during this display. They can turn their tail fans at different angles, to impress a wide audience.

Their tail feathers are looking a little beleaguered these days from the winter weather and mud. But they are still an impressive display. The chickens take no notice of the slow strutting around, they continue about their business, scuttling around the turkeys as if they were statues. The turkeys seem to notice this, eyeballing the passing chickens and renewing their puffing with more energy than ever.

We weighed them before Thanksgiving- 14 pounds. We’ll give them a little more time.

Turkeys

Here are our two turkeys, they are growing well. I am not certain of their sexes yet. But the Royal Palm spends most of his days trying to puff up and look big (despite his juvenile feather development); and the Bourbon Red never bothers. So I’m guessing that’s a good hint that one  is a boy and one a girl!

They are now roosting on top of the poultry A-frames at night, which is fine, they’re plenty safe up there. I wonder if they’ll change their minds during inclement weather? They are all also enclosed by electrified Electronet. So, I don’t worry about any of them at night now, they can choose to sleep in their houses or under the stars, for all I care.

I had tried letting my new baby ducks loose in the fenced enclosure, as they are 3 weeks old now and good-sized. But the brown turkey was clearly shooting for killing the ducks, and even managed to get one in her beak and shake it before I gave her a boot to make her stop. So, the ducklings will have to stay in confinement for a while longer, until they are big enough to command her respect.

 birdyard

Relocating the birds to their new yard was mayhem. Poultry do not like change!

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