Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turkeys and Dressing... and Farm Notes

But first... lettin' my little Shine shine in...
 our King of Barncats, Shine, hanging out in the front garden. 

Tons happening. Yesterday (Monday) we dressed the 4 remaining jakes/young tom turkeys. We really whipped them out fast - about 30 minutes each and that was at a very leisurely pace. They are resting in our extra cold beer fridge for a couple days then I'll part them up like I did here.

These jakes were smaller than those huge monsters we did earlier in the spring. But good size - especially for us.  We probably could had waited on the jakes so they'd be a bit heavier.  But really the 3 we dressed earlier this year were monsters and it was kind of a fight to take them down. As it were. If you know what I mean. Ahem. Anyway.

And we didn't want to wait any longer because we really needed to clear out the "Bachelor Coop."  We need the space for our ladies.  Between Foxy Brown taking her toll and the disastrous hatches this spring.....we are hoping for some fall clutches.

Turkey Momma is already laying... and our poor Bramble will probably be off for a while. She is still recovering from her injury and we don't want to risk her being out in the weeds again.  We think we'll put her and Turkey Bob in there with her for you know, a little, you know... l'amore.  Plus he needs to stop roosting in the chicken house - for heavens sakes he's HUGE!

We started with 17 turks this fall/winter and now we only have TZ and Turkey Bob as our toms... Runner, Turkey Momma, and Bramble as our mature hens...and 2 more younger hens.  And then 3 remaining poults.

Thats our turkey word.

In other farm notes:
* FINALLY! The heat broke and today was just like heaven. Still hot but no humidity. I slept on a chair on the deck this afternoon...shhhh... Sloth. Sometimes its good.
* We finally caught Miss Duck off her nest and raided it.. we are leaving her 4 eggs. She'll be made but for heaven's sakes how many ducklings can you have?! Answer: many!
* Mrs. Dowlrimple finally left the brooder! She, very orderly, showed the chicks how to walk out the brooder door, where to peck around, to stay all together.. then made a mad dash outside! Oh the flapping! Oh the springing about! She was like a wild man. Then took a big poop....and calmly walked back inside. Honestly, these chickens... they are hilarious. We'll see about getting the chicks outside tomorrow. Mrs. Dowlrimple, for all her antics, still really needs a dust bath and to eat something besides bagged food.
* Runner, the turkey hen, hopped up on the milk stand this morning, put her head thru the stocks.. and started eating the feed. I don't think she wanted to be milked tho - just wanted the eats.
* As soon as Bianca got up from her nest, beside the milkstand, she toddled over and stamped her little foot. So I adjusted the milk bucket so she could get a little sip. Satisfied, she toddled off. I love her.

More weeding tomorrow but tonite I dream of turkey! Roast turkey, turkey tetrazzini, turkey pot pie, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup....

Note: yikes! Um.. so I need to learn to work WITH the technology...sorry if you got pinged... I've queued up a post for tomorrow.


Unknown said...

You have some funny animals, LOL. So cute. I'm trying to gain control over the weeds too. I think I'm ready for fall now, with a nice killing frost and cool weather. I'm so over summer - spending last week at the fair in that heat was too much.

Sara said...

Sounds like a productive day! Love Shine! I used to have a kitty with his coloring, but his name was Oscar.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hi Javamama! I'm so over summer too... dontcha hate it with the weather guys say "and its only going to get worse." Ugh! Remind me that I was wishing for the cooler weather when I'm complaining about the cold!

Hi Sara! Our Shine is truly our main man - he's the Best Barncat Ever. He sits on the hay bales and keeps the mice away. And he's just beautiful...

Chai Chai said...

OFG - Do the turkeys live with the other animal or do they have their own enclosure?

If they don't co-mingle, who are they avoiding?

We will definitely get turkeys next year if we can figure out how to house them.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey CC - great question. I should do a turkey series with pix of our set up.

The short answer is that most folks do not think turkeys and chickens should be house or run together. Blackhead is a disease that chickens dont really get - but it kills turkeys.

We don't house or run our turks with the waterfowl b/c we tend to have cocci in our soil (doesnt bother the ducks, kills the poults).

Heritage breed turks are VERY cold hardy. They really just need shelter out of the wind - even as cold as you are there. An enclosed shelter is best, tho, as it provides optimal shelter and protection from predators. Two of our turkey hens got away from Foxy Brown... but we think she got a third. Also a roosting hen wont move off her nest even if the coons try to get her. So we always lock everyone up tight just before dusk.

We love the turks b/c they are a better food value than chickens, are fun, are mostly easy keepers, love to free range, and reproduce naturally.

Definitely get turks - especially the heritage breeds! We started our herd/flock with 4 Bourbon Reds and they did great.

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