Monday, September 04, 2006

Thinking Ahead to the Holidays...


Here's a shot of our newest additions with Ivan and Angus, they are turkey poults from the Minnesota State Fair Miracle of Birth Center. My friend Denise's daughter worked there five days and was awarded with several babies to take home afterward. When Denise stopped by my house Tuesday night looking for chick feed, I told her I was desparately in need of newly hatched chicks for my broody hen. (I don't keep a rooster so my poor broodies set on empties unless I buy them some fertile eggs.)
Denise and I decided that I should take the turkey poults and see if the hen would accept them. They were already 5 or 6 days old and picking at the smaller chicks.
I picked them up the next morning. When I got them home ,they were sleeping pretty hard and the hen happened to off the nest eating. They stayed quiet and sleepy when I put them in the nest with a few eggs. Then I chased the hen back in. It was so cute, one of the poults started peeping when she came in and she looked and looked in her nest at the peeping stranger. Then she hopped in an adjacent nest and settled herself over those eggs. So I put the peeping poult under her wing. That went well , so I popped another one in and another and another. They were quiet as mice and poked their heads out of her feathers. I wish I had the camera then! After a few hours I moved the new family into a dog kennel on the floor and all has been well since. The hen kept her new babies in that kennel for three days before taking them out into the big, beautiful world. That's when we realized that they are imprinted on humans and have a tendency to follow us as we do our chores. They also love being near the rams, much to their mother's chagrin. Fortunately, the rams are curious about them and none have been hurt yet.
Our kitty may be their biggest threat. But so far she's been good.
If all goes well, Denise and I will each have two turkeys for our families in time for the holidays. Just so we don't get too attached to them in the meantime...