<< Back to main

Turkey Breeding and Buffalo Sightings

Posted 5/2/2012 10:49am by Jacob and Katie Mullane-Bach.

Last season we grew a few turkeys in support our bodies’ energy needs. They are very enjoyable animals to have around the farm. Jacob developed such a deep relationship with the rafter of turkeys that the internal debate about whether he could slaughter them actually ensued…briefly. We did decide to keep six turkeys back for breeding: two toms and four hens. Three are a heritage cross of Bourbon Reds and sweet grass, two are an absolutely beautiful breed called Blue Slates and the remaining solo is the traditional broad-breasted white, fatty. We converted an old corn crib into a functional turkey house for the turkeys to roost in at night and to stay warm throughout the winter, but they wildly choose to sleep and roost outdoors in trees, even throughout the winter. We created three nesting boxes for the hens to lay their eggs. We collected the first few dozens and incubated them for a controlled hatching. The hens have since begun loyally sitting on their eggs, three hens sharing one nesting box.  We are excited to see if any sit to hatch them out. A quick update before posting this…one of the nesting Bourbons Rds was killed last night. It had been sitting on over 20 eggs. Only four remained after whatever animal had had its fill…there possibly are some coyote tracks nearby. The Grey Slate hen is still loyally sitting on the remaining four eggs.

Above are two turkeys nesting. The grey slate in on the outside and the Bourbon Red is closer towards the wall. Since we're talking animals here, below are two pictures we took from the back tree line on the farm. Our neighbor has a herd of buffalo. Often they come close to the fence that separates our property. It's always a welcomed presence when they hang around while we're harvesting, weeding or planting in that field.