Turkeys!

Baby Turkeys!  Other than watching a chicken raise a wild turkey, this is my first experience with turkeys.  They seem to be more curious than chickens, even coming towards me and out the door of the brooder house.

I drove to Abendroth’s Hatchery, near Waterloo Wisconsin, to pick up the poults on Tuesday.  They were very lively, peeping nonstop in my car until I was nearly crazy.

I was told by the owner of Abendroth’s that turkey poults need it very warm, 95-100 F.  If its not warm enough, turkey poults don’t huddle up like chicks, but don’t eat, and start dying by about day three.

I put a third heat lamp and 250 watt bulb in my brooder house and only lost one poult the second day.  By day ten I had made a pen and was turning them out in the yard.  And by day seventeen I had moved them to an old cattle trailer without heat, which I plan to move around the farm to give them fresh paddocks to graze.

My secret weapon, which you may not be able to see unless you click and enlarge the photo is the raccoon fence I put around everything to keep all the critters at a respectful distance.  I have a tighter mesh metal fence inside that to keep the turkeys in.

I have no protection for aerial predators, and have noticed more birds of prey flying around, but don’t believe I’ve lost any to predation.  My partners were having trouble in previous years with owls taking chicks at night, so I’ve been locking the poults in the trailer at night.

One night an owl woke me up hooting in the tree which is only a few feet outside my window.  So they are around.  One morning several years ago I was out early before sunrise and a Great Horned Owl scared the shit out of me as it coasted above my head landing in the same tree.

If you are in the area and would like to visit, let me know.  We are farrowing and calving right now.  The turkeys are a fun addition and won’t be little for long.

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