Thursday, February 11, 2010

The First Turkey Poults Emerge

One month ago one of the turkey hens wandered off into the woods for an hour by herself. The other two hens just hooted and hooted until she finally came running back to join them. Curious, Barry followed her and found a 'nest' she had made (which means a bare spot on the ground under some brush) and in it was our first turkey egg.

I put the egg in the brooder after marking the date on it with a grease pencil. We have been adding one egg almost every day. We have to hunt for it, watching the one laying hen to see what direction she comes back from and having a search in the underbrush. Today, Barry found four eggs, so it looks like all three hens are laying now, and we have to keep up with them!

The other great thing for today is our first blue slate turkey poult hatched out. This one was laid on January 15th, so it might be that the earlier eggs aren't going to hatch, but the one laid first does have a crack in it, so the little one is trying to pip out. The incubator is in our bathroom (warmest room) and this morning Barry said, "Wow, the birds sure are chirping outside", but I was suspicious of said birds, so checked the incubator and sure enough: baby turkey! The photos of him aren't the best, but I didn't want to keep him out of the warmth too long.

This also means that if we hatch even half the eggs we have now we'll have plenty of turkeys for this year. Then we have to count the eggs the three hens will lay from now until about May. I think we'll be overrun with turkeys! Time to find others who want to raise them, I think.

See you on the farm (if we can find you amongst all the poultry)!

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