Friday, July 21, 2006

Getting an early start on Thanksgiving

It's July, but it's not too early to start working on Thanksgiving dinner. Here is what I'm working on:

Those are heritage (old-fashioned farm type) turkeys. I know that I have royal palms and narragansetts, and probably some bourbon reds. I may or may not have some bronzes; I can't tell them from the narragansetts yet. On Wednesday, I received nineteen day-old poults from Privett Hatchery in New Mexico. As of Friday, they are all doing quite well. I'm not sure if they will be ready in time for Thanksgiving, though. They will be 18 weeks old then, which is a little young for heritage turkeys.

This is actually my second attempt at turkey-raising this summer, and I hope it's more successful than my first. My first order was fifteen poults. I lost two due to shipping stress (grrrr! at the postal service), then was invaded by snakes. I lost four to a single snake one day, and SIX to another snake two days later. Since Samuel L. Jackson wasn't available, I had to rush out for hardware cloth to cover the chicken wire door to the barn. I lost one more to unknown causes (possibly heat stress) while were gone. That leaves my total survivorship at two.

Here are Stan and Ollie:

As you might guess, these two survivors are very, very quick. (By the way, one of the red poults--like the one standing under Stan here--tried to beat up one of the big birds the other day. It was funny, because he actually had to jump up to peck the big bird's face. That takes courage.)


Sparky's Mom said...

I love the turkey pictures. They are cute as chicks, but your "young teens" are really ugly. Sounds like people, huh? I think Laura is really brave and tolerant to have them on the place.
You are pushing your luck with the goose comment. I don't think a goose in the garden is a good trade for fresh tomatoes either. There is always the Farm Patch or a stand down the road somewhere.
Now if you could grow cheesecake, I MIGHT put up with a goose for that.

Aaron said...

There's only two things that money can't buy: true love, and homegrown tomatoes. I'd like to have both, but I wouldn't trade Laura for the tomatoes.

So no goose for me, and I'll have to find another way to get rid of the hornworms.