Last Thursday morning I got a call from our post office at 7am - "Your chicks are here, please come and get them as soon as possible!" said in a very pleasant way, but I could hear the peeping in the backround and knew they really meant ASAP ;) I also knew they weren't chicks but poults, baby turkeys, my very first turkeys ever! Hooray!
I've read that turkeys are incredibly fragile - they get sick very easily, they die very easily, and they're much harder to raise than chickens. So this batch of turkeys is my "practice run" - these guys are Broad-Breasted White (BBW) turkeys, a hybrid, fast-growing breed. They'll be ready for slaughter in 4 months or so, and by that time, my "real" turkeys will be ready to take their place outside - I'll be raising Bourbon Red heritage turkeys in time for Thanksgiving. *drool*
This is the turkey's current home:
It's a small stall in the barn - they can't go outside until they're about 6 weeks old and it's MUCH warmer outside. I had planned to put them in a stall that's about 3 times this size, but the bacon was in there. I'm poult-sitting for a friend who ordered 5 Black Spanish turkeys along with my 10 BBW, so once she takes those guys away in a couple weeks, I'll move them into the bigger stall.
See how cute they are? :) They're much leggier/ganglier than chicks, but otherwise they look almost identical - adorable fluffballs They're very friendly - they like to climb all over me - and VERY energetic - they're not even a week old yet and they're flitting all around the stall! Adorable. ... ahem... I mean, delicious!
Last Saturday, Dave and I went to a neighboring town to pick out our piglets. We sold 1 pig (2 halfs) and are going to raise one for ourselves, and we decided to start slow, so we only got 2 little piggies this year. I didn't realize how small they would be - for some reason I was picturing lab-sized pigs, but these guys are 2 month old puppy-sized! They're also adorable:
The girl pig is black with white feet - she's a Berkshire mix! The boy pig is black and white - he's a Hampshire mix!
Because they're so tiny, they're living in our barn right now instead of outside - they need to get bigger, and the weather needs to get warmer before they can go out on pasture. They love their little house though:
Their bedding is a layer of pine shavings covered in hay (they eat the hay too, but they also nest in it). There's a trough in one corner with grain and veggie scraps, and another corner has a nipple waterer, which they don't know how to use yet, so there's also a doggie bowl of water there. Piggies are actually very clean, and they chose the empty corner as their toilet - they pee and poop only in that corner, which makes it really easy to clean up after them!
The barn smells like summer now thanks to the fresh hay, and it sounds "real" with the little grunts and snorts from the piggies. I love life :)
Jen & Dave Paul, owners & operators of Old Post Farm