Monday, March 4, 2013

Turkey Lurkey

We have been on the lookout for a Red Bourbon Tom for our single lady bird. We thought she was a he, because of the way she would puff up and strut when the dogs came near, but then she started laying eggs, and that gave it away.

So now she needs a mate! Our first chicken swap of the season failed to bring us one, but we met a man who has some and we just have to keep coming back to the swaps to find out when they're ready.

For awhile Ladybird (unofficial name, most of the time it's Turkey Lurkey) was getting out of the fence. It's not that hard to escape when you have wings, she would hop the fence, and then pace for hours trying to figure out how to get back inside. She never learned that just because your head and neck will fit through, your body won't. Turkeys aren't known for their intelligence. B spent many afternoons catching her and tossing her over. She finally quit that bad habit. Then one day she was missing, my fear was that she got out and something happened to her. A short investigation and she was found. She was sitting on a clutch of eggs. Well without a mate, her eggs would never hatch, so we snuck some chicken eggs in her nest and took hers out. None of the other hens were nesting, so we let her have at it.

I thought the idea of a surrogate mom was pretty sweet. She was doing better than the broody hen we had last year. Turkey Lurkey would actually get up and eat and drink a couple of times a day. We had a hen that would just sit, and sit, and sit. We had to physically remove her from the nest to get her to eat. Not the turkey, she took care of herself and the eggs. I laughed as I imagined little yellow chicks following momma turkey around this spring. B said she doesn't know any better, she's the only turkey now, she might think she herself is a chicken (you know, if turkeys could think).

Her nesting went on for about 4-5 days, when B spotted her out eating breakfast one morning. He ran down to the coop to check on the nest, and found that she had just cracked them. Awwww, I know. She had yolk on her tail feathers and an icky gross nest. Well he cleaned the nest quickly and put more hay in it and made it nice and fluffy for her. She's still at it, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that she can successfully hatch some chicks for us. We are ready for a bigger flock. And now our lone turkey has a very important job. Wish her luck!









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