Sunday, March 28, 2010

Farewell, Turkeys!

We had a really fun three weeks with Rose & Thistle Farms' loaner turkey poults. Our friends loaned us three of their hatchling Bronze Turkeys to brood until they were ready for release on the farm. I had no idea these birds would be so social!

When they first arrived (the same day as the book), they looked like this --->

But they grew incredibly quickly on their diet of poultry scratch, parakeet grit, ground flax seed and whatever they could muster in our backyard. The girls enjoyed observing them, particularly our youngest who is ALL about animals. (She wants to raise some mealy worms - anything for a pet!)

From day one, if we weren't in the poults' presence, they had a special call for us. They were particularly vociferous when they were out of our sight and in the open backyard. Initially, we kept them in the "turkey tractor," a movable, bottomless cage, but they outgrew it in a little over a week, so we let them wander the fenced yard freely under our supervision thereafter.

They were fantastic gardening companions, scratching while I dug, particularly fond of the pill bugs and tiny critters they found when I moved piles of old organic material (like the rotted straw pile). Want to nap in the yard with turkeys as your companions? Think again. They don't let you sleep for long before coming to investigate anything shiny on your person: buttons, shoe lace tips, glasses, even hair. PECK!

We were sad to see them go, but they quickly assimilated back with their brethren on the farm and roamed as if they'd never left the place.

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  1. I think there should be more loaner animals for families to experience. Like the ferret we pass around with our family here in Utah. Your family gets to learn all about it and take care and play with it every day, then just when you start to get bored with it, say 6 weeks to 4 months, you pass it on and teach the next family what you know, before you find your next loaner pet. Plan around vacations and you'd not have to find a pet sitter. Be it, Turkey, Rat, Guinea Pig, Parrot, Turtle and so on. It would fulfill maybe temporarily the "I wanna pet" and relieve the "I'm tired of cleaning up and taking care of this monster" aspect of life. I say we get started by me shipping my Blue and Gold Macaw to you next week, what do you think? You can send one of your cats to me.

  2. Cyndi - While I'm certain your bird would arrive bald and never recover, V has called dibs on your brown dog. She'd trade two cats, maybe three, and some goldfish for him. ;)


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