Friday, April 16, 2010

in over my head

Ah, the saga of the turkey.
It all seemed like a good idea. The chicks accepted it into their little clan. The turkey was doing fine until about day 2 when our full grown hens decided that they didn't approve and attacked the turkey. Now, it is normal for the older hens to establish the natural "pecking order" and once in while a chick ends up with a bloody head. But it all works out and life goes on as normal. I have never seen an animal as beat up from hens as our turkey was though. It was awful- just awful. So, separation needed to occur.
Gavin then said, "You'd better get another turkey so this one has a buddy." "Good idea" I thought. After all, when we do go back to introduce them into the coop it would be nice if s/he had a buddy.

Well, I went to the feed store, had to buy a younger turkey because they were out of the older ones, and thought that maybe getting another chick would help too. That way they'd be "friends" with a chicken when they re-entered the coop. All day long though the new chick seemed quite distant from the 2 turkeys. Maybe this was a bad idea. To make it all better, we got ANOTHER chick so that the new chick would have a chicken friend. Did you follow all of that?


So what originally started this spring as ,"Let's get 6 Buff Oprhingtons" turned into 5 BO, 2 Marans, 2 turkeys, 1 White leghorn and 1 more BO (to keep the leghorn company.) Thank heavens my husband loves me because anyone else might just think I'm crazy!

14 comments:

Leslie said...

i just love that you keep taking them in and getting more buddies so they will not be lonely and that you have a place to keep everyone is awesome. wish i could keep chickens.

hipchic~cynde said...

Looks like you have your hands full. They are sure cute.
I just came home from a week away and my Hubs and kids went and bought 10 baby chicks. My mean rooster is well dinner soon, I think. And Timmy says we have 7hens and 3 roosters. I think they got Rhode Island Reds and some little banties.
I sure hope all of yours decide to get along and play nice :0

Kim said...

This is how our farm began! hehe...I don't think you're crazy AT ALL! (I'm heading off to the feed store today!)

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Poor turkey! I'd have done the same thing and gotten a friend!

I have no personal experience with this, but I mentioned raising turkeys to a friend the other day and they said that they must be raised separately because of something that chickens carry that doesn't make them sick, but does affect turkeys... I can't remember what, but just a heads up that you may want to research this. You may find that it is rare and not a need for concern.

...so we added chickens said...

How funny! We found something similar with our hens and guinea fowl (we started with 3 of each, the pre-hens were a week older than the GFs). They didn't play well together, the extent of which didn't become entirely clear until laying age when we realized that the GFs were frightening the hens so much that two of the three weren't laying. Our one coop turned into two...

Sandra said...

Cute chicks! Thank you for the soap, it arrived and I'm loving it; there's absolutely nothing like hand crafted soap!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Amy,
I did look into it and I found a bunch of conlicting information!! A webiste said "No way!" on raising them together because of a disease that the chickens can pass to the turkeys. Then I found multiple forums where people said they had done it for years with no problems. I wonder if it's an area thing? Maybe in some parts of the US the disease is more widespread and it effects them differently?
Has anyone else grown turkeys and chickens together?
They all do/would share the same coop but are free range (meaning they are let out in the morning and roam the property freely all day till they go back in to roost at night.)

Cindy said...

I'm watching with interest. We have ducks and chickens together right now happily, but have been thinking about doing some turkeys.

Let me know how it goes :) We don't all have to figure it out. I'll just wait for you to figure it out.

Mountain Home Quilts said...

LOL- thanks Cindy ;)

Pokey said...

You have me grinning, I'll have some baby chicks in my class come Tuesday the 27, because Open House is on Thurs. 29th. I can see fun stuff in your future, and don't we love our guys that love us crazies-?
:-} pokey

Tom, Lynette, and family said...

I may think you're crazy...but I still love you to bits:D (Shaking my head with a goofy grin on my face.) is there going to be any room for us at the inn this summer? :p

crazyseedlady said...

The disease everyone is concerned with is called 'blackhead disease' or histomoniasis. I have no experience with it. I raised a pair of turkeys very successfully, but I did keep them separate from the chicks initally, until they were all old enough to be outdoors. A lone turkey is a lonesome turkey. I'd highly recommend getting another if you can find one! Another downside to letting turkeys and chicks run together is not often written about. Please TAKE IT FROM ME, don't do it for the simple fact that the turkey, with it's sheer weight, will accidentally lay on and kill your chickens. Statistically speaking, I lost more hens to turkeys than to predators last year! No more turkeys w/ chickens for me. Sure is heartbreaking to find your favorite birds (and, it's ALWAYS your favorites) squooshed like a deflated balloon!!!

:0)

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

I'm seriously laughing!!

Melissa said...

We are just in the "thinking about" raising poultry stage...I'm DEFINITELY adding you to my blog roll! :-)

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