Dementia In Turkey?

Good Monday!

Isn't it amazing the wealth of information that is out there on the internet.
Of course, not all of it is accurate... but still, there is something written on 
just about every subject.
Except one.

There is nothing written on the subject of senility in turkeys.
I suppose that is due to the fact that very few turkeys ever 
make it to a ripe old age.

Wild turkeys can live ten years, but most don't make it past their fifth year.
It's a tough world out there.

And domestic turkeys... well, most of them end up on someone's table
before they've even made it through their first year.

Pet turkeys?
The oldest recorded pet turkey was 12 years and 4 months.
We are trying to beat that record... yes, we are.

Our old Tom Turkey will be 11 years old this June.
Amazingly, he is still pretty spry.
He ventures out and about every single day...
unless the weather is so frigid or snowy that it would be dangerous to him-
then he is confined to his quarters.
Fred, our youngster, often stays in their house - up on his perch - on cold
and rainy days.
Not Tom.

No, Tom has lots of business to attend to - mostly gossiping with the hens.
And, if he didn't come out of his house,
he would miss all of the tasty treats that get thrown into the chicken yard.
Tom holds the "top of the pecking order" position here on the farm.
He is respected, revered even.
After all, he's been here longer than all of the other birds.

Lately, though, Tom has stopped returning to his house at night -
roosting on the fence across from the chicken yard instead.
We think he's getting a bit confused.
We shoo him down from the fence and walk him back to his own house,
but it's not as easy as it used to be.
He tends to wander and lose focus on where he's going.
Turkey dementia.
Don't bother Googling it... all you will learn about is the
incidence of dementia in the country of Turkey.
We just might have the first case here on the farm!

It looks as if this farm is destined to be a retirement home for
the critters who live here... including us, God willing!

It was a cozy weekend with our days spent mostly here at home.

I did a little knitting by the fire...

starting this super chunky stocking for next Christmas...

after finishing this stocking hat (with gnomes on it.)

I swear, there is never a single moment during the day that at least one pair of eyes
is not on me!

We had a big farm breakfast on Sunday morning as is our tradition.
I tried out a new recipe for cinnamon rolls.

Good, but way too sweet... and way too big!
(I don't think I will be making these again... just too excessive.)

It was a great weekend for the animals.
Temperatures dipped way down below freezing, so the ground dried
(and froze),
making pastures much more easily navigated.

The sun shone both Saturday and Sunday.
(Two days in a row has been a rare occurrence of late.)

I am not sure if I shared with you that Amanda and her hubby Tim
are moving to Colorado.
We are happy for them... it will be a great adventure, 
but we are sad for ourselves.

Amanda lived here on the farm for five years before marrying Tim
(here on the farm... a big farm wedding... check it out HERE)
and since that time they have been living in Philadelphia.
Because her job was in Harrisburg, she was able to spend a night each week with us.
So... her moving to Colorado will be an adjustment.
We have been lucky (spoiled) to have ¾ of our kids close to home up to this point.

Tim leaves tomorrow to start a job there,
but Amanda is staying behind to spend some time with family.
So, she will be arriving this week.


Louise Stopford said…
What a marvellous age Tom the Turkey is. Perhaps it is dementia, sometimes these animals are a mystery to me. Coincidentally I have had a funny problem with one of my hens and I wondered if that could be dementia. She is only 4 years old, but elderly now for her breed (Hybrid - unfortunately just breed to produce lots of eggs). She has not been wanting to jump down anywhere, even a couple of inches into her run from her coop. She is showing no signs illness and eating well and I have treated her with a scaly leg solution as her legs seemed a bit scaly and I wondered if this was causing discomfort. She seems a bit confused and lifts her legs high when walking. I have googled everything and checked with some lovely people on my Chicken Forum, but it remains a mystery to me. Any ideas Bev? Your knitting is so lovely, I love the gnomes on the hat - you are such a talented lady and I still don't understand how you have the time for everything that you do. Good luck to Amanda and Tim on their new adventure. It's always hard for a parent to let go, no matter how old they are. I am sure they will share some exciting times with you though. I'm hoping that Tom beats the record for the oldest pet turkey.
Bee Haven Bev said…
Louise....does she have any swelling on the sole of her foot? Hens can get an infection called bumblefoot that causes those symptoms.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
it's so tough when a kid moves away. i want my kids around me all the time! i hope tom breaks the record too!
That gnome hat is soooo cute!! You are a very talented knitter. I am trying but so far I am not very good. But I try. Lol.
Katmom said…
I want to live at BHA,,, I know I will live to a ripe old age and get lots of attention and well, as well as healthy fed.!
That gnomish stocking cap is just too cute!
Karen said…
I am in love with Tom . . . I just love turkeys! And hasn't he had the MOST wonderful life with you all. Give him a hug for me . . . .
Could the hen have a vision problem?
Bee Haven Bev said…
I didn't consider that possibility... good suggestion.
Louise Stopford said…
Thanks very much Bev for your reply. We have checked her all over and her pads on her feet seem fine. Thanks also, Joanne in MA. Your suggestion is very good and I was wondering that myself. I'll just keep an eye on her and we will see how we go. These chickens are a mystery to me!!! Thanks again.