Turk, Turk, Turkeys

That’s what I sing to them as I walk up to their brooder so they won’t be surprised when I’m suddenly looking down on them.  They tend to give me the weary eye still but it’s more emboldened, more wise to my antics.

My Bourbon Red Turkeys are now a week old and they are completely different than chickens. I know I’ve said that right?  I just didn’t realize how true it was.  They aren’t as flighty if you peer in on them, they move slower and trip over their own feet at this point a little more.  My chicks were cute as buttons but sure footed enough to get away from me.  Turkeys however…not so much.

I’ve realized that they’ve feathered so much faster than my chickens.  They went from this (one week ago) cute fluffy fluff chick to this…

Notice those little feathers coming in on the wing?  This is only after a few days!

To this…

Then to this. LOOK at those feathers! One week, full flight feathers in.  I thought nothing of it. Honestly I noticed the change but wasn’t awed by it until one of my turkeys flew the coop! literally!  I was in the garage with the brooders and my constant companion Tank checking on water and health when I heard a PEEEP! Frantically looking around I noticed my sweet pup in a corner frantically trying to get something with tail wagging madly.  At first I thought it was a mouse and almost let him have it but then I went to check to see what it was, just in case.

Damn turkey was out of the brooder and halfway across the garage!  If Tank hadn’t noticed it we might not have known and the turkey would have very well died from the cold but Tank has a habit of digging up voles in the pasture for a tasty treat and could have very well hurt this turkey (I will tell you now that after 10 minutes under the heat lamp I couldn’t tell which turkey had the ordeal so all is well).  The Mr and I went back and forth on if Tank had plucked this turkey out of the brooder.  I blamed Tank, the Mr was sure the turkey had escaped which I admit I doubted because they are so small and can’t fly.

Well, this morning as I waited for my coffee to brew I was checking on the birds and low and behold those little bastards were almost flying out of the brooder.   I’m not sure if it’s because they are heritage turkeys which means they are still more primitive and wild than those big white birds from Foster Farms, or if because they are just turkeys but they are more advanced than my 2 week old Marans and Jersey Giants who still don’t think about using those wings of theirs.  Even my fat 4 week old cornish can’t fly yet. 

I’m befuddled and now aware.  It’s like when I watched my friends Tom and Mette wrangle their ostriches we all realized that the birds were not confined by the sturdy gates, fence and post, but rather respecting it.  Good to know. Turkeys fly fast.

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