Saturday, October 23, 2010

Turkeys

Spent today sorting through the turkeys; into three groups.  1) thanksgiving.  2) Christmas and 3) breeding.  I'll be penning the breeding flock separate from the market birds to prevent unfortunate accidents.  the turkeys are a little lighter than last year at this time; the record-breaking cold spring and summer slowed their growth.  The Christmas birds will be a bit bigger -- but they'll have an extra month to put on weight. 

I'll be glad to reduce the size of my flock.  While it's visually amazing to have a few hundred turkeys, making sure that they're in their coop every night is a bit of a chore.  I've finally started feeding them late in the day, and using the buckets of feed to lure them back into their coop. 

I put them in the coop at night to save them from being a coyote dinner.  The coyotes have been more present the last few days. 

6 comments:

Across The Creek Farm said...

I'm looking forward to next year's turkeys. We had about a 95% mortality due to Blackhead this year, but we've got it figured out now.

Bruce King said...

We had a very tough year with turkeys this year, too. The issue around here was weather; very cold, wet spring and summer increased mortality rates and retarded growth rates, a double whammy.

Here's to a good turkey year in 2011!

Across The Creek Farm said...

I'll gobble to that!

theadalynfarm said...

Likewise Bruce! Looking forward to 2011, we found some royal palm breeders....

Any plans to thin the predator pack?

Across The Creek Farm said...

Bruce, the coyotes seem to be a reoccurring problem. Is there anything you can do to fix it. We've had no problems so far this year in our main pasture despite some huge coyote packs and various other livestock loving critters.

Also, nailing the dominant female coyote can cause the whole pack to go into heat...

Bruce King said...

I haven't had any problems with coyotes since this spring. There's a theory that coyotes breed more if you remove some, but I think that they'll breed more if more food is available, too. I just refuse to be the coyote buffet, ya know?

I've been improving my perimeter fencing, keeping a pack of dogs and encouraging the animals to sleep away from the field edges, and between the three of those I haven't had much trouble. With coyotes. I'm getting more raptor (hawk, eagle) activity however.