Turkey Trials and Tribulations

We are feeling somewhat swamped with turkeys at the moment!  The gobbler hatched two live poults by himself and started to go out and about leaving another 3 eggs behind.  We put them into the incubator and last Sunday hatched one more out, who has been living in a brooder box up at the house.  Josiah was pleased because he wanted to have one to raise as his own anyway!  “Whitey” was lonely at night so we gave him a teddy to snuggle up to.  🙂  (I think Whitey is a boring name, so I am pumping for the other option of Stormtrooper).

whiteyteddy

Then much to our horror the hen who was nesting next to the gobbler decided that she had sat long enough and gave up on her 16 eggs and began to venture out and about with the gobbler and his two bubs instead.  I think that her biological clock clicked over to parenting mode instead of brooding mode because of the nearness of the gobblers two little ones.

Unfortunately the day she chose to get off the nest was a day we were out shopping and so we did not find out until she had been off the nest for a number of hours.  When we discovered she had given up on the eggs we found two weak poults who were in the process of hatching but had gotten rather cold.  We locked the turkeys all back into the turkey house and the gobbler chose to sit on the eggs for the night, while the hen stole the poults on the other nest.  Sadly in the morning the two from the previous day were dead, and the hen and gobbler had no intention of brooding the others during the day so we grabbed the rest of the eggs and brought them back up to the incubator.  What we would have done without the incubator I have no idea.  During that day (Thursday) we hatched out 8 poults who all seem just fine.  7 yellow ones and 1 brown one like the hen.  Believe it or not Josiah is trying to name them all, I can’t even tell them apart.

poultmass

We had read that turkeys were good at adopting young so we attempted to get them to sit on them that night, but to no avail.  The poor things were tired when we got back to the house and all just collapsed in a big heap to sleep. So now they all are living in a box on the top of my microwave.

sleeping2

I hope to move them outside to a brooding box and dome soon, but we have had some pretty heavy rain (74mm) overnight and very gusty winds today so I am waiting for the weather to settle down first.  (Well, we prayed for rain!)  Also one of the remaining eggs in the incubator is in the process of hatching today so I would prefer to wait so we can add that poult to the group as well. Our original poult has just been introduced to the big group today, now that the younger ones have found their feet a bit, and they all seem to get along just fine.

Our white hen continues to faithfully sit on her nest in the bush, even through all the rain.  We are hoping she manages to hatch her brood all out herself.  Meanwhile the other two turkeys with their two poults make a lovely sight free ranging out the front of the block.  They seem to be quite good parents, although not as focussed as chooks are.  The poults have learnt that I bring good tucker since I go down 3 times a day with some food just for them.  They now come running when I call, much to their parents disgust.  The parents advocate a much more fearful attitude towards people, but even they have decided that it is worth coming for my special chick mix.

freerangingturkeys2

Marigold (or puff-ball head as I call her) continues to do a fine job raising her three little chicks.  Our other two broody hens are sitting on 6 eggs each which should be due to hatch next weekend.  However our Australorp rooster was getting too big for his boots and found out the hard way our new motto of “be nice or be eaten”!

marigoldfamily3

While we are on the spring reproducing theme, does this pig look pregnant to you?  She does to me, no idea when she is due though.

pregnantpigachu

I recently made a pond in the garden area which Josiah put his tadpoles into.  The dog also likes to dive in and have a wade on hot days.

pond

The gardens are doing pretty well, except for a few light frosts last week which knocked off some tomatoes and cucumber that I had put in early, and shook up some potatoes.  Much to my surprise the corn was mostly okay.  I think I will put the majority of my tomatoes and cucumber out in a couple of weeks when there is hopefully less chance of frost.  I have been advised to surround them with dead bracken to protect from frost, and we have plenty of bracken to do so.  The greenhouse is going great, keeping things alive and growing.

greenhouse2

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