Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blue ribbon turkey hen

This turkey hen deserves a blue ribbon. She managed to go outside my perimeter fence, hoard 12 eggs, hatch them, and then return with 10 turkey poults, all alive and well. I'm a little amazed she made it given our recent issues with coyotes, who hunt by smell mostly -- so camouflage isn't effective at all.

If you click on the picture you can see an eastern wild poult, a royal palm, a couple of spanish black and two blue slate poults. The turkeys will all lay in a nest for few days, and then one of the hens will sit on the groups eggs. The other turkeys go lay in another spot, and so on.

Her prize for managing to hatch these poults is that she gets to raise them herself. When we discovered her we caught her and the babies and moved them into a calf shelter that'll provide security for her and the poults and all the food and water they can eat. She's very protective of her poults. My leaning into the calf dome to take this picture caused her to call the alarm and go to gather the poults to her.

I like the heritage turkeys for this sort of thing. Natural nesting, good mothers.


StefRobrts said...

Good girl! Saturday or Sunday I'm getting my BR turkey poults. I've got the brooder all set up. I'd rather let a hen do the work!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's great! She's a keeper.