Thursday, June 23, 2011

Turkey Day (no, not THAT turkey day)

Today our turkeys arrived! Yesterday Bethany and I prepared their space, removing all the old bedding and disinfecting the floors and walls so they don't succumb to any chicken-carried diseases. This morning we went to the Pine Island feed store and picked them up, expecting to get 10 day-old turkeys, but instead we were given quite large poults, probably three or four weeks old.
We  couldn't resist also purchasing two ducklings,  from a batch that were available because nobody had ever picked them up.  They are White Pekin ducks,  raised for both eggs and meat, altho these lucky ducks will not end up as dinner.
We unpacked the new birds and gave them a drink of water with electrolytes added to help them recover from the stress of shipping. The weather is so abnormally cold for June, we turned a heating light on.
We both hung out in the coop for a while watching them adjust to their new home. We wanted to make sure the  turkeys do not pick on the much smaller ducklings, but they seem to be as sweet and gentle as all our previous turkeys have been.
The turkeys are at a rather homely dinosaur-like stage, but the ducklings are irresistibly cute.  I got them to someday be companions to our Black Indian Runner duck, the lone duck of the farm ever since her mate was a victim of the great-horned owl last fall.
Bethany offered to take charge of the  turkeys this summer - so now she is officially the Turkey Tender.

7 comments:

gz said...

Interesting that you cleaned and disinfected just one day before. A friend on the mountain here (okay, he does have 8,000 free range birds with two huge barns !)has to leave four weeks between cleaning and re-stocking!

Susan said...

We don't follow the rule about not raising turkeys and chickens together, but disinfecting seemed like a sensible precaution (I hadn't read that you need to leave so much time between.) So far, we have never had a sick turkey. I do worry whenever we bring new poultry onto our farm that we could be introducing disease - I know we would be heartbroken to lose these gentle critters.

katiegirl said...

I love turkeys! Congrats on your new babies!

CrazyChicken said...

This is ironic, I just hatched my first turkey yesterday and our second made it out today. I still have 3 eggs in there and at least one has a poult trying to get out. This is always so fun. I will never tire of hatching eggs and seeing new babies born here weather they are dogs, rabbits, ducks, or even monkeys! No, I don't and won't have monkeys, I just like baby everythings! Have a good day and enjoy your new little friends!

Mama Pea said...

You got a real running start by getting the turkeys that are a little older. You may have missed the cute, fuzzy stage but you can be pretty sure all of these are healthy and are going to make it.

Can we get a clone of Bethany?

10yearchallenge.com said...

Do you use the turkeys for meat? If so, do you process them yourselves?

Susan said...

We do raise them for meat - generally all the birds are reserved well ahead for Thanksgiving. We don't process them ourselves, however. You can find all the harvesting details in the turkey post archives.