did i fail to mention turkeys?

I don’t know how I haven’t mentioned anything up to now about the turkeys. So on the first Chick Day, I picked up 3 turkeys as well. I am not the hugest fan of turkey, Thanksgiving is usually enough, maybe another time during the year. But that is all. I do know that along with the meat birds, I wanted to add turkeys to the freezer as well. However, if you read enough, you come away with a distinct impression that turkeys are not the brightest bulb in the box. They do crazy things like all pile on top of each other as chicks and suffocate the bottom one, or they find a way to drown themselves in the water dish. And overall, the turkey chicks just don’t appear to be as hardy as chickens. So I was going to stack the odds in my favor. I got 3. I figured even though I don’t know what I am doing, I should be able to keep at least one alive.

I chose the Bronze Broad Breasted. Like the meat birds, they were genetically bred to convert more food to meat, to the extent these birds can be enormous. After 6 months the males can weigh over 40 lbs. Because of their huge size they are unable to fly. They grow quick and are ready for processing at about 16 weeks depending how big of a turkey you want. They are unable to reproduce naturally because their size makes it impossible to bring everything together.

And then I met the chicks. They were inquisitive, not the least bit afraid of people, and just adorable. So different from the chickens. The turkeys wanted you to be there. They liked being picked up. More than once FarmBoy would bring the turkeys into the house and we would all watch TV together. That is what they were like. And day after day we still had 3. I didn’t lose any. So I had my Thanksgiving turkey and a couple of spares.

I ended up with two boys and a girl. And from an early age they understood their role. The two little boys would put on displays like they were full grown toms. Wings down, tail up. Absolutely adorable.

It was crazy. It was also nuts how much both FarmBoy and I are in love with these birds. They are so charming, so full of personality. If I had known how much I would love turkeys, I wouldn’t have chosen this breed. Because they are meat turkeys they need to be processed in a few weeks. But until then, they are charming. And getting big.

Cleo isn’t going to take on the turkey. In the pasture being King of the Hill is a big deal. This time it is a turkey.

Turkeys are naturally curious and not scared by much. It has been so hot here that I have a misting hose to cool things down. The goats won’t get near it. The turkeys don’t mind.

Next year I won’t be buying the Bronze Broad Breasted chicks. I am going to get a heritage breed. The Narragansett. They aren’t genetically modified. So we can keep a female and a male to provide chicks year after year. They will become pets. And food. Similar in look, just a whole lot smaller. The male may get up to 20 lbs or so.

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