I have learned the hard way that despite my best intentions, protective measures, and diligence livestock loss on a farm is inevitable. This year our mulberry trees are in full bloom and we have seen a variety of critters showing up for the free treats. Sam had an emergency trip to the vet after he encountered a porcupine in our front yard and then a couple weeks later he took out a badger. Sadly though we lost our beloved Drake Magpie to a raccoon. My assumption is that he was protecting his flock but nothing could prepare me for the brutality of a coon attack. Thankfully it was her last and we were able to trap her and more securely tighten the duck pen to prevent future attacks.
For now the other 4 girls are slowly learning to carry on without The Governor in the lead and we are working on a replacement so we can still
Around here we plan ahead for which roosters stay and which ones have been signed up for Freezer Camp. Patron our fellow Alpha Roo is a mean old thing who will attack if you turn your back, if he feels extra challenging, or if you are wearing hot pink (He HATES pink). He's a jerk with a capital J. So when I incubated a set of eggs early this spring I had every intention of doing what I normally do with our extra roo's; fatten 'em up and then eat them!
Then there came an extra large Easter Egger mix. Maybe it was the fact that he was the only male in his hatch of 3 sisters. Maybe it was the hand feeding and daily holding we did as a baby, but as he grew, we knew he was different. He was gentle. Loved being held. Would readily eat out of anyone's hand. I kept waiting for that to change once he reached maturity. Now at 16 weeks he is still so kind. He doesn't pick on the hens. He circles my legs at feeding time, almost rubbing on them the way a cat would do, and loves to just sit on the porch with the girls.
We officially gave him a name a week ago and as long as he behaves himself, Rico gets to stay.
So I think I'm in trouble. The older our turkeys get the more I am in love with them. It wasn't suppose to be that way. They don't even have names...just a freeze by date.
First of all, I love their bright blue eyes and they way they slowly walk up to greet me. If I startle them, they let out a sound equivalent to a seal bark. They love to check out anything new and the only ones probably more in love with them than I am is our guineas. I thought it would be smart to brooder them together as their feed needs were the same and I know the active guineas would make the turkeys more active however I never anticipated the bond they would have. They go EVERYWHERE together, sleep together, eat together. Only problem with this is that we plan to keep the guineas and well, we plan to eat the turkeys.
Sounds like a simple solution. Just keep the turkeys right? Well, I can't. Originally I wanted heritage turkeys but thought it was best to start out with Broad Breasted Whites for experience. After all, they are the poster animal for lots of white meat and commercial preparation and we do want them for food afterall. The thing with these kind of turkeys is that they aren't made to live long lives or even a quality one at that. The longer I keep them the more likely they are to die of a heart attack or break a leg. Eventually, and by eventually I mean pretty darn soon, we will have to butcher them and be grateful for the food they provide. Our guineas will move on.
One thing I know for sure is
I am a 2nd grade teacher by day and a full time farm wife by evening (and weekends and the summer!).
© 2012-2017 Pshigoda Girl's Farm. All Rights Reserved. PO Box 283 Perryton, TX 79070