Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Last night as we closed up the chicken coop and barn for the night, Cadence noted with a bit of concern that the turkeys had elected to sleep on the pile of brush in the bonfire circle by the big trees in the back yard. Last year we lost 25 chickens to a family of great horned owls, many of them nabbed in this exact spot. But, we haven't seen or heard any owls this summer and the turkeys were all settled in for the night so we didn't make them move.
Terrible mistake. This morning we discovered three of the nine turkeys beheaded and one totally missing, presumed eaten. Cadence was especially upset - she adores the turkeys and they follow her everywhere. She was most outraged that the owls are so wasteful, only eating the heads and leaving the bodies. One turkey they killed but didn't eat any of it.
Sadly, Cadence buried the turkeys under her grapevines where at least they will provide a bit of fertilizer. We will have to start herding the turkeys into the barn at night, at least until they are considerably bigger.
The five remaining turkeys seemed pretty calm for having just survived a night of carnage. Above, one of them is doing what I call "Turkey Tai Chi"in the morning sun. The turkey balances on one leg and very slowly and gracefully stretches the other into an arabesque.