Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Turkeys... So close and yet so far!

Birds in the basement is NOT my favorite thing.  They smell and create LOTS of dust and dirt.  You end up having webby things hanging off all the beams and anything stored down there has a thick layer of dust.

Turkey poult at about 1 week

I do enjoy watching the little ones playing and learning to run and fly.

The brooder is pretty good sized as there has to be enough room for the birds to move about.  Birds that are in tight quarters often end up  fighting and picking on one another.  This does not yield healthy birds.  Last Sunday, April 19th, we decided that the turkeys were big enough and feathered out enough to graduate to an outdoor coop.  I was so excited.  I was going to get my basement back!

There are 20 poults, so JoAn and I caught half the poults at a time and moved them in a cooler out to the coop.

Turkeys at 3 weeks

They were so happy to have a bigger space and more room to stretch their wings.  They chased one another and played hop on the hay bale.  The hoop coop they are in was placed on part of my garden for fertilization purposes.  It was also placed so that it could easily be seen from the house windows.  As I sit typing here I can see them running and flying around and around the hay bales. It is more entertaining than television!  I can see them at night from our bedroom windows.  They love to go!

Then on Sunday evening,  the turkey eggs in the incubator started rolling around and there was even a few pipping holes visible.

The turkeys started breaking out of their confinement!  By Monday night eight new turkeys were hatched!

Michelle and Thomas carry down their new poults to the brooder

The kids were like proud new 'parents'!  Thomas had managed the incubation.  He was maximally successful.  Eight of eight eggs produced healthy poults.  These are bourbon red poults and if one was to buy them, they would cost at least $12 a piece.  Bourbon red are a heritage breed and are an extremely healthy, tasty breed.

The still wet babies laid under the lights to warm up and dry off.

The little guys were so cute as they peeped.  Their whole bodies moved, even down to their little tail.

Thomas sat down and researched debate and kept an eye on his new responsibility.  

The egg tooth is visible in the top of his beak.  (Looks like a white dot) That is what they use to break through the egg.

Turkeys are a cute that only a mother can love.

They do look better as they dry and fluff out.  At two days old they started to eat and drink.  Prior to that they have enough nutrition from their egg that they don't need anything else.  That is why hatcheries are able to mail chicks successfully without any food or water in that first 72 hour period.

Here are the poults at three days. They are all fluffed out and happy.  They are walking easily.  No more three steps and then fall over.  Definitely, a lot cuter now.  We have them on a towel so they don't start eating the wood chips before we get the grit into them.

Say hello to our newest farm members.

I will probably have to have birds in the basement for at lest another month.  Oh well!!!
I guess that's farm life.

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