Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The turkey trap

This is a turkey trap.

Actually it's a prototype of a field pen that I built a couple of years ago that's sitting in the front pasture. I haven't bothered to pick it up, and walking by today noticed that the turkey trap has caught 5 turkeys.

As far as the turkeys are concerned, they're completely caught. It doesn't matter that there's open air right behind them. They were walking by, on the way to the gate, and stepped into the turkey trap, and that was that. I noticed them in the morning, about 10am, and they were still in the turkey trap at 3pm, pacing back and forth. You see, they can see the gate where they want to go, in the direction of the corner of the turkey trap. They want to go there. They are fixated on going through the gate. But the turkey trap has caught them. At 5pm, after they've been stuck in the turkey trap for 7 hours, I finally go over and shoo them out the other side.

They panic as I approach. "Oh dear! we are completely trapped and must ESCAPE! RUN!" and they try their hardest to strain themselves through the fencing in the corner that they've been staring at for 7 hours.

30 seconds later they're all on their way to the gate, relieved that this time, the turkey trap failed. They don't notice me laughing at them as they traipse off, all in a line.

This is the turkey trap.


StefRobrts said...

Wow, I always thought the stories of Turkeys being 'not very bright' were exaggerated, but that turkey trap might convince me.

MMP said...

I found guineas to be very similar. The whole pacing back and forth at a fence hoping an opening would appear in front of them. When I wanted to catch them to clip wings or what have you, I would set out a box made of 2x3 welded wire fence with a flap open on one side. I would just use a pair of sticks to increase my reach and direct them in like a ground crew at the airport. I always figured since the bars weren't moving and there was an image behind them, they just didn't register in the guineas mind.