The turkeys have been with us now for two months: we picked them up on July 4th! When we first brought them home, they were smaller than the chickens:
But they’ve sure done some growing in the last 8 weeks!
We’re down to only 8 turkeys, since we had one for dinner two weeks ago, but the remaining flock is going strong. It looks like we’ve got 3 toms and 5 hens, which is a pretty good ratio. I tease the toms every day, and remind them that only the biggest one gets to survive, the rest of them are Thanksgiving Dinner!
They’ve started trying to spend their nights roosting in the barn, which is annoying because we know they aren’t entirely safe there. But they love it up there, and it is kind of cute to see them all arrayed on various posts and beams in the old stalls.
Since turkey raising seems to be going okay this year, next year the plan is to build them their own coop, and divide the pasture so that the turkeys have their own run available, which will make it easier to feed them separately from the chickens.
Raising turkeys is definitely a different experience than raising chickens. Where the chickens have individual personalities that were obvious even when they were young chicks, the turkeys are indistinguishable from one another most of the time. They travel in a flock, always, and seem to make all decisions through a complicated concensus process which ensures that no single bird leads them anywhere, ever. It can make it tough to herd them: they just don’t herd like chickens! But they are mesmerizing to watch wander the pasture in a row, looking just like their dinosaur predecessors.