We kept changing our minds about adding new poultry to the farm this year. At first we wanted more geese and ducks, as well as turkeys. Then we switched gears completed and swore the only animals we’d add to the farm in 2011 would be born here (lambs, piglets, and any chickens we’d try to hatch ourselves). Ultimately we decided we’d just add some turkeys to the mix, all for meat birds, no breeding stock.
Unfortunately, by the time we made up our minds most of the hatcheries had already sold out of turkeys. Will was able to order some through Tractor Supply, but the minimum order was 25 birds, so he went with 10 turkeys and 15 chickens, all straight run (read: not sexed, so a mix of boys and gals).
Everyone arrived on Thursday.
I believe this is a bourbon red turkey chick.
The only chickens that were available for the same delivery were a variety of polish chickens. From the looks of the chicks, I think these will have those funny, puff ball feather hats.
The hat is more apparent from the overhead view. Check out the mop on the chick in the bottom right.
Here’s an aerial of the turkeys.
Both sets of peeps are in the shed under heat lamps. We have them separated by hay bales, but still in the same little building, which I thinks breaks every rule about raising turkeys to avoid blackhead disease. After four weeks under the lamps, the turkeys will move to the old chicken enclosure near the garden to live out their days until Thanksgiving. The chickens will be put in not yet built chicken tractors in the pasture until they are ready for processing. All these birds will be for our own consumption, not the restaurants.
We really could double as a petting zoo these days, although my good friend keeps telling me I shouldn’t play with my food.