Saturday, May 16, 2009

Turkey Mamas

Most of our turkey hens have now decided to sit on nests of their own. I kinda miss seeing their little faces when I go around to feed. Turkeys have not had their motherly instincts bred out of them over years of domestication to the extent that chickens have, so when they must brood, they must brood.

This one disapproves of being photographed. It's moments like these when their inner dinosaur is most apparent. This posture is accompanied by hissing.
They are fierce, but their success rate in hatching is usually pretty low. This time of year the snakes have woken up, and are Hungry, and turkey eggs for breakfast sounds lovely. Raccoons will run a turkey off her nest to get the eggs. Unfortunately, short of dropping a cage over them, and wrapping it in electrified razor wire, there isn't much I can do. Some of them make it, though, and I guess that is natural selection at work.

Really, I wonder sometimes how any of the wild turkeys manage around here, we have quite a large population. They will even come over and socalize with ours sometimes. One wild hen decided to stay once, but that's another story. I think good nest site selection has a lot to do with successful hatching. The best nest choosing I have seen here is that of my Bourbon Red hen. Can't see her? Right! She is also surrounded by thorny roses and goji berries, (nature's barbed wire). I think she is pretty safe, smart girl! Her husband seems lonely without her though. I see him anxiously pacing by where she is setting. It reminds me of the old Warner Brothers cartoons, where the chicken mama is setting on a pile of eggs, and the rooster wears a path in the floor pacing back and forth, looking at his watch, or crossing off days on the calendar. Ha!


Billie Jane said...

I am really getting hooked on your turkeys! And I enjoy your blog enormously. :-)

Sara said...

Thanks! I love yours, too.