Friday, June 1, 2012

Turkey poults

I'm in Seattle this weekend for the Mother Earth News Fair, and yesterday when I was about halfway to the airport, my son called to say that our baby turkeys had arrived. In case you're wondering why we're buying baby turkeys, check out the last post where I mentioned that one of our turkey hens hatched ducklings, and the others don't appear to be feeling very maternal this spring.

After ten years, I felt pretty sure that my son knew what needed to be done, but there was the issue of finding a box big enough to make a brooder. The whole family was brainstorming face to face and via cell phone, and we finally figured out where he could find a large box. Of course, I should have had all of this ready before I left for the airport, but I was so busy with packing and everything else that it slipped my mind. (And I also forgot to pack a hair brush for myself!)

I ordered these poults last week when I realized the odds of home-hatched poults were rapidly decreasing. Being that it was so late in the game, I had to order "hatchery's choice" of breeds (translation: leftovers) because all of the specific breeds were already reserved. That makes it especially frustrating that I'm not home to help figure out the breeds. "Hatchery's choice" can be fun because it's like Christmas -- you don't know what you're getting until you open the box!

The black ones with yellow head are easiest -- Black Spanish. The chipmunk-striped ones are probably bronze, but they could be standard or broad breasted. The one on the right looks a little wide, whereas the one towards the back of the box definitely looks more like a heritage turkey. The yellow one in the corner is some kind of white turkey. My husband said they feel heavier than the others, and he looks kind of wide, so I'm thinking it might be broad-breasted whites, which I've never raised in the past because they can get enormously huge, and I really don't need any 50-pound turkeys! Although, once you know how to deal with such big turkeys, it isn't so bad. If we get anything over 30 pounds dressed now, it gets turned into ground meat. But we don't need to worry about that for a few months.

As for the rest of the weekend -- I really hope I have time for more blogging. As usual, I'll post personal stuff on here and educational or instructive information over on Homegrown and Handmade. And I really hope I have the chance to sit in on some of the other lectures because there are some awesome speakers here! If you're in the area, drop in if you have the chance!

1 comment:

RiverBend Farm said...

What fun to get "potluck" turkeys! I got 4 from a local guy and two have made it so far. They are the Bourbon Red. I'm hoping one is a tom and the other a hen but thinking they're both toms. Oh well, they're funny little birds. Can't wait to follow along with yours.


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