Saturday, March 19, 2016

Gobble Gobble Gobble: A Turkey Rant

Ah, turkeys.

They're a special type of fowl that's for sure.
But there are just some things about them that rub me the wrong way.
Don't get me wrong, I think turkey's are awesome.

The turkey hens I have are some of the friendliest birds I raise.
(Turkey hugs are the best by the way.)
 And I love seeing their wild counterparts.
Group of wild turkeys I found in Kentucky.
But you know, long ago when we decided to domesticate those beautiful bald birds, the poor turkeys lost something of great value to their wild cousins.
Oh yes, those wild ones may be smart, I've heard several of stories about hunters who were outwitted by wild turkeys.
But domestic ones? Not so much.
When we turned to making turkeys bigger and fatter, all the brains were tossed out the window.
You want to know why a typical turkey chicks averages at around 10$ at your average hatchery or breeders?
It's not because of their limited laying season. Although that's certainly a factor. Turkey hens will usually only lay from march until about July or August and they only lay normally about every other day.
You know why they're 10 bucks a pop?
Because they're stinking hard to hatch.
When I first started hatching turkeys I was really surprised how many needed my help. At first I thought it was me and my experience but after conferring with others who hatch turkeys, they have difficulties too. Some even straight up said they hated hatching turkeys because they often need a lot of help.

And it is also recommended if you have turkey chicks to also keep some chicken chicks with the turkeys because the chicks are smarter and figure out the whole eating food and water business faster than turkeys, they in turn help teach the turkeys how to eat and drink.
Another thing, when I watched the baby turkeys and chicks together I kept seeing the turkeys pecking at the beaks of the chickens and cheeping. I was puzzled by this behavior when it hit me.
You know what that behavior is called?
The turkeys were begging for food from chicks that were the same age as them! SERIOUSLY? The food is right there, just peck at it genius! Whats the chick going to do for you? he's still got a hatching hangover!
Turkeys are awesome.
They're cute.
They're sweet.
They make cute noises.
They taste good.
They can be friendly.
Turkeys are great, I'm not gonna lie.
But sometimes,
I really wish they were smarter.

Gobble gobble gobble.

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