30 Oct

Talking Turkey…Gobble

Gobble, Gobble….
Meet Clarence and Tillie the Blue Slate heritage turkeys we got a 2 summers ago at a farm we stopped in at on our travels. Many things are acquired this way, I am not a shy girl.
So far they have been wonderful additions. There is not alot of info about them readily available as it is said they are derived from a black and white turkey breeds respectively.
We bought them as our base pair to get naturally raised turkey from our farm and the education began.
Well this has been a journey at turkey university let me tell you.
Tillies first venture was drop the eggs, anywhere they fell out. This meant gathering them and putting them in her nest box. Only to later find she would not sit on them so we recruited the Silky hens who are sitters and asked them to oblige the eggs which they did. No turkeys.
The second eggs went into the incubator, we got smart! After the 25 days we waited and only one was making noise.
We placed it in a  box with a heat pad and a light and waited.
This was Garcia, who thought he was a dog. He understood English I swear it and followed me everywhere, he would sit and wait for me to pet him and love him.Cheap NFL Jersey China
Once Garcia began to grow we realized something, he was different.
Seems Tillie was a wanderin’…. into wild turkey areas, he was a mix, not Clarences boy.
This made him more special than ever, he was to be a farm fixture but we lost Garcia this past summer after a terrible case of Coccidosis ran through our new meat and egg hens.
We quarrantined but to no avail, Garcia got it. Best pracice and lesson learned, preventative maintainence. Certain herbs can be dried and added to food for immune support, they can have whey and protein, as well as trusty apple cider vinegar in water.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure to quote Mr. Benjamin Franklin.
By late summer again Tillie had roamed out of the barnyard and was sitting on a new clutch of eggs, this was exciting right up until one moring we found her tail fathers strewn around ther spot with her holding tight on the eggs.  Mama don’t take no flack! You go girl.
Unsure of her tenacity to hold up to foxes, raccoons and the elements we constucted a cage around her and the eggs and we waited.
Like little kids sneaking to the tree at Christmas peeking under her to see if anything moved. We knew she had 12 eggs and were unsure on the days so it was watch and wait.
One day it happened, we went out to feed and babies were running around.
As of today we have 2 strong slates that survived. Turkeys are not a hardy animal to raise and there is much to learn. I am not going to try to educate here but rather advocate the tons of books in print that serve as resources including some of my fellow homestead bloggers.
We ordered turkey poults from the local feed store this year and have one of them left. Turkey poults are very fragile and you must understand them and their care or be prepared to suffer consequences and  learn by trial and error.
For a homestead the bottom line matters and we lost meat as a result. See what I mean about airing my boo boos?
I am not shy, let my mistakes be your guide on what not to do, I don’t think there is enough said about that these days.
Just never stop trying and never stop learning.

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