Saturday, March 05, 2011

New additions to our little farm!

Today I asked J if I could go buy turkeys. He said yes, a turkey would be just fine. I invited him to go with me, and he was going to come, but then he decided to stay home instead.

So I went.

I wasn't sure if our IFA would have turkeys at all, because for some reason I think only certain locations carry turkeys (but I don't know why I think that).

They had turkeys!

I asked someone to help me (because birds are not a "help yourself!" sort of thing). I said I wanted two turkeys*. He said ok, and I started selecting chicks. I chose lively ones.

"Do you have other turkeys at home?"

"Nope! We do have chickens though."

"Oh. Well then you probably want to get a third turkey, actually."


"Because turkeys are flock animals, and if anything happens to one of them, if you only have two, you're pretty much outta business. But if you have three, then you still would have two, and then you're okay."

"Oh. Hm."

So, since J wasn't there with me to decide we didn't want turkeys after all, instead, he bought me three turkeys! (Thanks J!!!! <3 <3 <3)

The turkeys seem to have longer necks than chicks. They seem smarter than chickens, maybe because they're not jolty; they don't make the same sharp movements that chickens make. They were "straight run" so they could be boys or girls. (But with turkeys, it doesn't really matter like it does with chickens.)

I had to buy special turkey feed for them, because they can't eat chick feed. Chick feed is medicated, and it kills turkeys and ducks. Huh. I didn't know that.

We may or may not be able to integrate the turkeys with the chickens. It depends on how aggressive our chickens are (the big black one is mean...) and then later it will depend on how aggressive the turkeys are. We just have to watch them and see how they are together.

Fun, eh? The plan is, we'll have one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas, and one to sell or eat for no particular occasion.**

*One for Christmas and one for Thanksgiving, and so that the poor one turkey doesn't have to be all alone.
**I was saying we could call the birds "Christmas" and "Thanksgiving" and wondering what to call the third one. J suggested we call it "MLK." We don't usually eat turkey in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but...maybe! (Why not?)


Jessica said...

They do look like regular chicks right now. And I want one (three) too.

Me again said...

Watch out. Turkeys are the stupidest birds that you will ever raise. If it rains you need to verify they are inside the coop. I had 3 different times where the turkeys stayed outside and tried to die of exposure. Yes there was a heat lamp a few feet away inside the coop, but that was just to far! I ended up using a blow dryer to warm them up and dry them and in a few cases where this didn't revive them I used a eye dropper to feed them gatorade. I started with 22 birds and ended with 19.

And when it comes to food, they are aggressive. Every day they acted like they were starving, yet we had 26 lb turkeys at slaughter. Of course I was dealing with 19 turkeys and not 3. But every day they attacked me and the food buckets.

Emily said...

Yeah, Jess, I had another picture that showed their slightly long necks better, but I decided to post this one because they weren't all looking at the camera in the other one.

Me again - Oh gosh, are they that stupid? Hopefully it won't be so bad since it should be pretty warm by the time they're big enough to be outside. Actually, though, I didn't realize they may not be able to be with the chickens...and they probably won't fit in the coop after a certain point anyway, so I don't actually know WHERE we're going to keep them. I think maybe they'll be with the goats, or in a separate pasture under our fruit trees. Not sure. Three should be easier than 22, I hope.

erin said...

Call it "floating holiday."

Emily said...

Erin - I love it! Good one.

emilyadamc said...

I just found your blog and Love it. I am so jealous, you are doing everything I am trying to talk my husband into. I almost have him talked into the chickens, but I want the goats, turkeys, making cheese, etc. Way to be. BTW, I am an Emily in Utah too. :)

Emily said...

Emily - I'm glad you found my blog! Keep talking your husband into chickens. You'll love them. The fresh eggs are SO good, and the girls themselves are hilarious. :)

caitlyn elizabeth said...

i want baby chicks! so cute!