Friday, January 20, 2012

Talkin' Turkey

Two years ago we had the idea of raising our own heritage breed turkeys for meat.
We thought we would start small,
so I ordered a few bourbon red turkey poults from our local feed store.

From the very first day, these little birds were quite friendly
and curious about us.

Whenever we would approach them, they would come scampering over to us
to say hello.
Over the next few months, they continued to grow and continued to be quite friendly.

It didn't take long for us to realize that we would not be able to eat our new friends.

As the months passed, they grew and grew.
Eventually their mature feathers came in and it was apparent 
that we had one hen and two Toms.

Finally we could name them.
They were given the names Tom, Chuck and Edith.
(much better than their original names...Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter)

By the following summer, they had developed into the showy
birds that they are now.

The turkeys spend their day free ranging.
They have the run of the farm,
and are usually found wherever the action is.
Whenever there are workmen on the farm, the turkeys are there.
When I am in the garden, the turkeys are there.
They love human attention; however they prefer not to be touched.

They have their own house where they roost at night.

We close them in at sundown and let them back out the next morning.

Their house is equipped with fresh feed and water, 

they seem to prefer foraging for whatever food they can find around the farm.

I am planning to hatch out a few turkey eggs this spring
for a local young man to raise and butcher for us.
This way I won't get attached to the birds,
and we will have delicious heritage breed turkey meat for next winter.

Rule of thumb:
if you name it, you won't eat it!

Cute picture of the week:

"When it comes to accessorizing...
sometimes you just have to use what you've got!"  - Nettie B.

Have a wonderful weekend.
We are expecting a little snowstorm here at the farm.
See you Monday with wintry "tails from the farm."


  1. Boy, do I know what you're talking of. Raise babies and they stay your babies. Your idea to let someone else do it works.

  2. I don't think I could ever eat something I had named either.

    Could you send us a bit of that snow please? We have been snow free this winter and it's starting to make me nervous about forest fires this coming spring!

  3. It was the same with Miss Waddle..she lived out her life keeping us entertained every day with some unusual thing that took her fancy. Her legs finally gave out and that was one of the saddest days for us. Turkeys are smart!!
    We had a dandy storm yesterday. -25 with the windchill this morning..brrrr!! Horses can eat inside for breakfast then out they go hopefully to enjoy a nice sunny day.
    Have a great weekend.

  4. So very true Beverly! Love your name changes-perfect! People ask why we dont eat our elderly chickens-who arent laying anymore? I always reply-really-you could eat Willa-Shirley-Cleo.......etc.....I know you get the point!!
    ~~Rain :)

  5. I totally understand why you couldn't butcher an animal after spending so much time with them. Especially since they follow you around like a puppy...

  6. Yeah, now I know where the turkeys are at night, safe and snuggled in. One of my girls has stopped laying but she will live out her life as a spoiled hen! Henrietta has such personality! Have a great weekend, hugs!!

  7. Your turkeys are such a fun addition to the farm. I love watching them in your videos.
    I hope your snow is nice and gentle. Enjoy your weekend.

  8. Good idea ...Have your birds and eat them too!!! They ae truly beautiful birds...
    Enjoy the weekend...

  9. If you name it...YOU WILL NOT EAT IT!
    Just got 3 Rabbits and they will be my breeding stock for meat Rabbits! and yes they all have names...Alice, Cleo and BUCK HENRY! And Alice is with bunnies! and they all have names too.....FOOD!

  10. I loved hearing all about the turkeys...and yes, if you name them...

    I could never eat one of my girls, who have been hiding out in their coop for going on three days now. We got quite a snow storm and they don't want a thing to do with it! :)

  11. I love the turkey post! We are plainning to get some bourbon reds this spring, but not more meat just fun. We are going to try meat chickens for the first time this spring too. Also we love your runs for the birds and plan not design ours to be similar.

  12. I love the turkey post! We are plainning to get some bourbon reds this spring, but not more meat just fun. We are going to try meat chickens for the first time this spring too. Also we love your runs for the birds and plan not design ours to be similar.

  13. Aren't they just beautiful! I wouldn't be able to eat them either!

  14. Hi Bev, loved the shots of the "goats with hay" makes you feel normal when you come inside with hay in your own hair

  15. I agree I could never eat anything I had given a name to. When I have a chicken who is misbehaving (usually feather pecking)I threaten "into the stewpot with you! Now, If you have never seen a chicken snicker, just mention the stewpot! I am one of those people who find turkeys quite beautiful and a nice addition to the farm. Greetings from Maine, Julie.

  16. The turkeys are very beautiful. I've not had any, but I'm sure if I got some, they'd be here for life. Of course, I name all my animals. Guess that's why I'm a vegetarian.

  17. Those turkeys have beautiful feathers. You are so right about naming animals that are suppose to be dinner. My dad tried to raise rabbits to eat. He have 5 girls and we love playing with them. When he did kill one and serve it to us. We cried the whole meal. I never ate any rabbit.

  18. Ain't that the truth! We made the same mistake with our first batch of chickens...each had a name...each had a personality and we loved each and every one of them. I have one left from the original batch and one from a batch of 6 that we got nearly a year later. We did order over 60 birds nearly 2 years ago and more than half we took in to get butchered. The rest don't really have names but they won't be eaten and will live out the rest of their lives as pets and providers of eggs. We are still considering getting a bunch to raise strictly for meat this spring...but there better not be any who stand out or they'll be over on the other side of the coop!

    Your turkey's are sweet..never thought a turkey could have a sweet personality ;) You've opened my eyes Bev.


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