Well! Debbie came home from her broody sabbatical with three little white peeps this morning. We never did figure out where her nest was, so there is no telling how many eggs she actually hatched and how many babies she may have lost on the way back to the barn from her nest site. At this point she is three times better than Dawn on her first go and she blew out Audrey, who hatched two and came back with none.
Here are two of them with proud mama.
While I was out there, I caught a quick updated photo of Mickie and Dawn's remaining peeps. There are still five and they all fly now. That will make it exponentially harder to round them up and re-home them. :( But I think it's time for them to go. We don't need so many guineas and we have already arranged a trade for a future turkey processing.
And speaking of turkeys... We lost two of the poults. :( One, um, kind of, well...walked into our dog's mouth. Ahem. And one went completely AWOL. We quickly re-settled the other two in the coop whereupon one started to look really gimpy. To say I panicked is an understatement. I mean - one needs to make it to Thanksgiving. It was a freakin' wedding present. I briefly considered sending a photo of a dead turkey with a note, "I am sorry, but your turkey died. Take this as a lesson. If you do not properly care for your marriage, it too will die." But that seemed bad even for me. So we ordered 15 more that will be mailed out next week. Just in case.
Why, you ask? Good question. It's crazy, huh? Well, it is really the minimum order. They can't mail you just one or two - they need to fill a box to provide warmth and cushioning. That's why we get them at the feed store. They order in bulk and we can pick up as many as we want.
So anyway, the feed store is done now. I had to get serious. On 7/29 the hatchery will put 15 day-old heritage breed turkeys in a box and send them our way. I elected the "Hatchery Choice" option, meaning they can send us any kind they have on hand. We may get 15 of one kind or we may get 3-4 each of four kinds. I have no idea. I only hope they will tell us what they sent.
Our plan is to get them past the critical do or die point (6 weeks or so) and then sell all but maybe five on craigslist. And we're building a mobile coop - or turkey tractor - to avoid any more losses to our bad house dog, Max.
Ugh. Have I ever mentioned that we are NOT a poultry farm? You wouldn't really know it these days.
Hmmm. Where to Start?
3 months ago