Thursday, March 24, 2016

The turkey path

The track the turkeys wear into the gravel of the driveway
 I have a small flock of heritage turkeys, mostly bourbon red, and I let them free-range in the back yard of the house.  This time of year they're laying eggs, and while there are good places for them to lay where they usually hangout, the hens almost always want to go somewhere else to lay.  In this case they hop over the backyard fence and are laying in a row of bushes in a fenceline.
They march back and forth for hours
So they manage to get out of the back yard pretty easily, but for some reason they cannot figure out how to get  back in.  What they do is come back, and then march back and forth at the gate.  They can easily fly over the gate, or walk around the gate, but for these turkeys, the gate is the only way to go.

So once or twice a day I'll notice two or three turkey hens pacing the gate, and I'll go over and open it up for them, and they'll walk through.  They have marched back and forth so many times they've cut a path into the dirt just outside the gate.

I wonder how turkeys can even have the brainpower to walk, sometimes.  I imagine them struggling with it.  "right...  uh.. uhmm..  left!  yes left!  right ... um... ah,  left!  yes, left!"


ellie k said...

Won't something eat the eggs outside the fence?

Bruce King said...

I watch where they go, and then go collect the eggs and incubate them for our next turkey crop. I'll take all the turkey eggs but leave a chicken egg in their place. The turkeys won't keep laying in the same place if I take all the eggs. They can't seem to tell the difference between turkey and chicken eggs.

ellie k said...

When we had chickens we used glass eggs in the nest to keep them coming back to the same place.