We got them as sweet tiny day-old poults, and boy have they grown and changed fast! They required more care and patience than chicks, because it is harder for them to figure out how to eat and drink on their own. We put colorful buttons and beads in their waterer to encourage drinking, put their food on aluminum foil, and put paper towels down in the brooder so they wouldn't slip. We had to dip their beaks and encourage eating and drinking a lot more than with chicks who naturally take to it.
This particular breed is the heritage Bourbon Red. They are supposed to be hardier than some and have a great flavor for meat. I have always been partial to Heritage breeds. An added bonus, the breed originated from Kentucky (my home sweet home).
|turkeys are obviously very flexible- this one seems to be scratching his bum :)|
We finished up the turkey pen at the back of our shed just in time! Using chicken wire, metal fence posts, and scrap wood, we built a pen for the turkeys that has a roost underneath the covered portion. My husband draped netting overtop to secure from above-ground predators. A full-sized door allows easy access for us to go inside. We also cut out a "window" screened with chicken wire for us to easily see what was going on in the pen without having to walk all the way around to the back of the shed.
(Pictures of the pen to come very soon!)
Oh my goodness these turkeys are too funny-- they are SO attached to us already. Way more than the chickens. When we leave their pen after coming in to change food/water or it visit, they cry and cry and CRY! If we come back before they have settled down or really anytime we show up to their pen they rush up to us so happy and cheeping. They like to be so close to us all the time and love to jump up on our knees or arms or whatever is available to them and be petted-- ahhhhh!!! My turkey poults must have separation anxiety or think that we are their mama turkey.
I'm not sure of the sexes yet, but if I had to take a guess I would say we have two boys and two girls. It's hard to think that we will be eating a couple of these birds around the Holidays, and will be very tough to let them go, but I'm glad at least knowing that the delicious bird I'm eating had a good life while it lived, raised in healthy conditions.
Do any of you have turkeys? What do you find most interesting about their personalities?