Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tiny Turkeys

They're here! Yes, October is a weird time to hatch turkeys. These little fellas are from our Black turkey flock, one of the oldest breeds in the world of heritage turkeys. They are genetically important, and, we just like them a whole lot. So, why hatch now? Well, unfortunately, our turkey hens took a hard hit from predators this year. We lost a couple to dogs and raccoons this spring, then we were down to six. Recently, we lost two more small hens to a barred owl-it left an incriminating, eau de skunk soaked feather at the scene. Also, our breeding flock isn't as young as they used to be. So, since one of the ladies was still laying, we decided to go for it.
So far, these five have hatched, and there are another four eggs in the incubator that we are expecting to hatch over the next couple of days. It is so cold out now, that these tender sprouts will be living in our laundry room in their big tub until they are feathery and vigorous enough to be relocated to the brooder room.

Black turkey chicks are especially cute-they remind me of little mimes.
It is pretty difficult to get a good shot of them, though, as they very rarely hold still for a second. Unless they are napping-then you can get a good picture of a massive pile of fuzz!

Speaking of tender sprouts, even with the chilly weather, we are planting away. The hoophouse is already half planted with cool weather crops. I decided to use all our old feed bags to hold down the grass in the aisles. It works great, maybe covered with a little straw it would be more aesthetically pleasing. The rest is waiting to be planted with overwintering crops, such as onions.

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