Monday, January 16, 2012

More turkeys? Really?

I know I said we weren't going to raise turkeys again but I lied.  Today I ordered 20 turkeys from McMurray Hatchery.  They'll be shipped May 5th.  It makes no sense that I'm excited about it.  I wrote on Facebook that I ordered turkeys and that I couldn't believe I did it.  My sister-in-law asked why I changed my mind.  Someone else asked, why, what happened last time?  This led me to go back through my old photos from when we had these strange creatures in the summer of 2010.  I probably should have read this blog post from August 2010 before I ordered them.
Oh yes, they're so cute when they're just tiny chicks.  This is what 20 turkey chicks look like when they're a few days old.  Awww, they're so cute.

Their first home is a rubbermaid container with  a heat lamp I keep in the basement until they grow too big. That's when I have to expand they're space to include a huge cardboard box.  When they're too big and too stinky to keep in the basement we move them to an outside space but they still need a heat lamp till they have enough feathers to keep them warm. 

When they become gawky teenagers and they have enough feathers we put them outside.
At this point they're still "kinda" cute but getting more curious by the day and they get into your stuff, like fencepost holes and the dirt you removed from the holes.

Or they try to help you while you're cutting firewood.

After weeks of sleeping outside in their own barn they still didn't know how to get back there each night.  Finding their way around fences and through gates continued to be a challenge for many months.  We threw them back over the fence to their barn every night which got harder and harder as they got heavier and faster.  Just as you were trying to catch the last one all the others would come running out of their barn.  This is kind of a long video but it shows you how much work it can be.

As annoying as they could be they had their funny moments too.  They loved being sprayed by the hose and standing in a tub of water.

I think they would have liked car rides too but they never got the chance.

It got harder and harder to like them when they pecked at my ring every time I tried to open a gate.  Nineteen turkeys felt like 90 when you wanted to get something done without their help.  I know they weren't being mean but it didn't make their pecks hurt any less. 

And then there's this.

The real reason we ordered them is because many of our friends would like to buy locally grown turkeys during the holidays and we thought we might as well be the ones to provide them.   We have 2 turkeys left in our freezer from 2010 but they'll be long gone before these are ready to butcher.

And so it goes.... more turkey blogging to come.


  1. My husband is laughing at me, saying that he would pay money to see me kill a turkey I raised. I'd start crying, he says.

    It's true.

  2. I don't know how many times I have done something because I forgot how difficult it was the first time. I think it is a good thing that we tend to remember the good stuff and forget the bad even if it gets us into trouble.

  3. "I think they would have liked car rides too but they never got the chance."
    Priceless words and pictures.

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