Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Make Sure It Doesn't Poop On You"

There has to be a life-lesson there. In the basement brooder as of this week, and for the next several weeks, are 15 Narragansett turkey poults. They're adorable, and that adorable stage will not last long, so we're getting a kick out of it. They're really different from baby chicks--stick your hand in the brooder with a bunch of chicks, and they'll run away from it and huddle in an opposite corner. Do the same with baby turkeys, and they run TO your hand, and even nibble on it! They're not terribly bright, but then we're not raising them for their smarts.

Narragansetts are a "heritage" breed of turkey, far removed from the modern, industrial "Broad-Breasted White" turkeys that show up on 99% of tables at Thanksgiving. Those poor brutes, being engineered for a huge percentage of breast meat, can't even live out a natural life, much less reproduce on their own. We're looking forward to doing our part in preserving this rare and historic breed of livestock by raising even a tiny flock of the birds.

Just don't let them poop on you.

7 comments:

  1. Are you going to eat them for Thanksgiving dinner?

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  2. We don't know how mature they'll be by then...commercial turkeys are harvested at around 16 weeks old, but these are slower-growing. We'll definitely have to cull the extra Toms somewhere around 6-7 months just so that there's no violence in the farmyard.

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  3. We had 3 turkeys when I was growing up (along with assorted other animals including chickens, ducks, pheasants, and rabbits as well as cats and dogs). We had a tom and 2 hens. That tom was HUGE and fierce! He was also the best watch dog we ever had. He knocked down a six foot man! Too bad he was so stupid he forgot to go inside his house when it rained. He got pneumonia and died. My father was heartbroken when he had to bury Mr. Winkles.

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  4. I love how she calls him "little fella!" Bella cracks me up.

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  5. Aaawwww! I have never seen baby turkeys! They are really cute, and I love the little cheeping noises they make.

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  6. I hope to do this same breed next year. We have BB Bronze right now, and they are equally adorable (even at 6 weeks old). They are making gobble sounds now, too. So great to hear, so cool to watch. I love turkeys! I wanted to do Narragansetts this year, but the BB Bronze were available first, and they were faster maturing. I think they will actually be ready at the end of October. Keep us updated on how the Narrs are doing, okay?

    Laurie

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