Sunday, June 10, 2012
Turkeys have NOT been an easy bird for me to raise. I tried years ago (before the internet) and treated them like chicks. I lost them all as the chicks went under cover and the poults just sat out in the rain and died. A few years ago I decided to try again as I kept seeing RP's on the net and then saw some in person. WOW, are they striking. I also have enjoyed watching the wild turkeys. When Terre Verde Farm had poults for sale I got half a dozen hatchlings (couple days old and extremely well cared for under Tammy's careful management). The first winter I lost 3 and had lost one earlier. So I ended up with 2 hens. I got another Tom from Tammy and they were doing pretty well as far as I could tell. Then I lost a hen over last winter. I've been so hoping that Thom and Tomasina could pull this off. They finally started trying to mate this spring but I never say them get the deed done. I just saw poor Thom taking a few awkward "spills" and then fluffing up to to improve his demeanor. So I thought I'd help and kept putting the eggs in my incubator and never had a single one hatch or develop! I thought they weren't fertile as I broke several open (phew) and there wasn't any development at all.
So, when Tomasina went broody, the eggs were almost all in the incubator so I left her with the last 4. SHE was able to incubate and hatch them MUCH better than I did! So from now on, Tomasina will be hatching her own clutch of eggs and I'll probably have a lot better hatch rate!
I've seen 2 but don't know how many she has for sure. Tomorrow they will need to be released from her huge dog shipping crate that I've been locking her in to spare her the varmit attacks that have eliminated almost all of my chickens in the last couple weeks. I cherish my face and arms much more than I need to know how many she hatched. That can wait til tomorrow as there's nothing I can do to change what she does better than I do!
But, I'm ESTATIC! Maybe if I leave them to this flock expansion program it will happen.... next year!
And maybe I will go ahead and buy some Red Bourbon poults and get a slow start with them!