Here I am feeding my sweet little turks – I’ve got Bourbon Reds, a heritage breed, Broadbreasted Bronzes and Broadbreasted Whites all sharing a pasture and a shelter together at our farm. The idea is that they’re all ready, more or less, for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners after having enjoyed a summer of being pasture raised/free ranged and getting a daily ration of their favorite treat of grain.
We have our challenges, though, of the smaller birds, mostly the Bourbon Reds, flying out and truly free-ranging. Yes, they like to visit the pool, hang out in the barn, the tack room, the surrounding fields and I’ve even found them in the woods. My husband suggests clipping their wings, but I’m not sure I’m up to all of that. They all do show up when its grain-time, and being a very social bird, anytime I’m out and about in the yard they find me to sing pretty little tweeting songs.
Turkeys are one of my favorite birds to raise, perhaps one of my favorite crops at all. The only disadvantage, which Sarah Jane points out, is that they really smell! So when I raise them in a stall for the first part of their life (to keep them dry and safe from predators), it can become rather foul…
However, last year’s Thanksgiving dinner was unprecedented because of the deliciousness of the main entree which we all exclaimed over. We knew we had to raise more this year! I’d wished I’d had enough for the freezer last year because it was that good. So here we are in our second year of raising bunches o’turks and it is going well.