Hoping For A Record

 Yesterday's blog generated a few comments about our lovely Steelers hen.  We actually have two of these black and gold beauties - gold-laced Wyandottes.  They came to us last year with the 7 chickens we were given by a friend who was moving across the country and could not take her flock with her.  We referred to them as the Russians, as their mama was of Russian heritage.

 As sometimes happens with chickens who are confined to a small, grassy yard... these two girls came to us with long, inward-curling toe nails.  This happens when chickens have no hard surface on which to scratch.  As a result, they walk a little funny and are hesitant to stray too far from their coop. Occasional cutting of their nails helps.

Another of our chickens that I think is quite striking is our Speckled Sussex.

As with birds, in general, it's the males that are the showiest and our Rooster, Elwood, is quite handsome,  as well as huge!  He's an excellent rooster and takes his job of caring for his girls quite seriously.  He also avoids all human contact, which is perfect after our history with roosters who would run us down and flog us!

Each morning, the last stop on our morning rounds is the turkey house.

 We open the door to the house and find Old Tom roosting on top of the nesting boxes.  At 11 years of age, jumping up four feet to land on top of the boxes is quite a feat.

Because he is quite elderly and starting to move like an old fellow, we gently lift him from his perch and put him down on the floor of the house so that he can collect himself and go about his merry way for the day, but not before giving him a little affection.

Because we raised Tom from a hatchling, 

he has always been extremely tame with us... and does not mind us in his space.

When Tyler was just a baby, he would crawl on the ground with the turkeys all around him.  In those days, Tom's brother, Chuck, and sister, Edith, made up his family unit.  We added Fred later on so that Tom would not be alone.

Tom's days are spent over at the henhouse sharing the scratch and treats that the chickens get and listening to all of their latest gossip.

While Tom contents himself with his female friends, his buddy, Fred, can often be found wandering the farm following the guineas, who, I believe may be a little more fun than then hens.  One day as we were returning home from errands, we spied Fred alongside the road in front of our neighbor's house. 

 As we approached, he quickly joined his pals in our neighbor's yard.

Old Tom Turkey has been an integral part of farm life for eleven years now.   He loves supervising every job around the farm and helps out where he can.

He loves a party and is always in the center of the action.

 We are hoping he makes it through the next year and can beat the record for the oldest domestic turkey.  The record stands at 12 years 4 months.  Fingers crossed.


colleen said…
I used to be petrified of chickens. We have 5 Speckled Sussex and 2 Rhode Island reds. They are the friendlies hens we have ever had. I go to collect eggs and they nearly trip me. We only let them out supervised and when its time to go in I call out, come on girls and they come as fast as they can to their run.... true story :).
I remember Tyler being that small...sure makes me feel old!!!...wait, I am that old....but not so old that I can't collect eggs. xoxoxox
littlemancat said…
Thanks for the updates - those are such lovely chickens! And I love to hear about Tom- he is wonderful and such a part of what Bee Haven Acres is. Tickled to see his baby picture and also the one of Tyler with the turkeys. Sweet memory.
This N That said…
I hope Tom Tom is a record breaker..He's one pampered Turkey..Enjoyed the pictures.HUgs
Karen said…
I was telling my husband about how wonderful Elwood treats his 'ladies' - picks out worms for them being such a sweet thing and I could hardly get the story out without crying:) I remember your post from awhile back about what a great fella he is . . . you treat all of your animals with such great respect and love - it's SO wonderful to witness. You're like my husband and I - how could it be any other way? xoxoxo
I have always thought your Tom was such a beautiful turkey, You just don't see those beautiful chocolate-colored turkeys around! I hope he can break that record! Love seeing all the different chickens too. Your place is such a fun place to visit...we never know who we'll be seeing on any given day. I love it Bev! I still chuckle about your old rooster tale but Elwood is a beauty!
Lynne said…
Handsome Tom’s you have . . .
Isn’t it wonderful how animals can sense the young . . .
They go in protect mode instead of attack.