I brought home my turkeys today. They are pretty calm now that I have them in the bathtub brooder. I bought four one day old Royal Palm turkey poults, a heritage breed, and four two week old Barnevelder chicken pullets. The pullets will help teach the turkeys to not forget where the food and water is, because turkeys can be quite stupid when they are very small and have been known to starve to death next to a full feeder. If they have the chicks to watch they will follow their example. And we needed some new pullets anyway as the two year old hens are not producing very well anymore.
Barnevelders are a very old breed of chicken, but I am not sure if they are classified as heritage. I chose them because they lay chocolate colored eggs. Since I couldn’t get a hold of Black Copper Marans who lay the dark copper colored eggs, I thought these would do. They are very friendly and laid back, which is supposed to be a trait of this breed. I have named them Buffy, Anya, Willow, and Tara after BTVS.
The Royal Palms are being called Thanksgiving, Christmas, George aka Gobbles, and Gina aka Mrs. Gobbles. That is assuming we end up with a male/female pair. They were straight run so they could all be males or all be females. If I get one of each I will be happy, though. It takes even longer to tell what sex turkeys are from appearance, especially these guys as they are slower to mature. Names may be subject to change. Well, not Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is what they will look like as adults:
I picked out 2 that would reach up and peck at a hand above them before running off and 2 that would lower themselves away from the hand above them and run off. I have heard that is a possible way to determine sex, that the males will reach up and peck and the females will squat. I am not sure if it works, and that might be for chickens and not turkeys, but I figured I’d try it at least. And the running off part meant they could run and were active. If it does work though, I could have two pairs and then could pick the best of each sex to keep for breeding. Royal Palms are supposed to be very capable of breeding naturally.
They had the cutest Silver Fox rabbit kits at the farm store. They want too much for them, though, and they are only 7 weeks old. I couldn’t just buy one as they are too little to be in a cage by themselves yet. Anyway, I still have that red doe kit on hold when she gets old enough in six and a half more weeks. That kit can go in with the ones I will be starting to wean right around then. I also found a breeder of Black New Zealands in Auburn and will get one black breeding doe when my knee heals up enough to drive that far or when the husband gets back and can do the driving.
My duck/turkey/chicken vitamin packs from Metzer Farms came in the mail today so I put the appropriate dosage in the turkey/chicken waterer. I will put some in the duck water in the morning. Special Pekin has still not had any seizures in front of me for 3 days now. I asked them at the farm store while I was there getting the turkeys and chickens if the ducks had been different ages, but they said no, they had all hatched on the same day, so I guess some are just growing faster. I am starting to hear quacking from at least 2 different ducks, so that means I have at least 2 females, since the males don’t quack, they make a different sound. Whether they are Welsh Harlequins or Pekins I don’t know. I never catch which ones are doing it.
We had a close call with one of the newborn rabbit kits. Lola usually nurses around 7, which is when we are usually out there, but we were a little late getting out there tonight. One of the kits held on when she jumped out of the box. When we went out she was hovering over it and it was crying. As soon as we could get Lola to stop defending it, my son scooped it up, handed it to me, and I stuck it in the warmest place I could think of, the middle of my bra. It was cold, but it started to warm up there while we checked on the rest of the litter. I left it there until it was squirming, then we put it right in the center of the kit pile and piled them around her. We held the kits in place for a couple of minutes until she no longer felt cold. They didn’t like it much, but it needed to be done. Hopefully she will recover and be fine by morning.
Lola was a little frantic. I’m not sure she realized at first that we put the one kit back in with the others. She did seem to calm down after poking her nose in the nesting box a few times. I will check on them in the morning. I usually just check them in the evening so as to disturb the mothers as little as possible, but I need to make sure this one makes it through the night.
The clover got planted last night. It was a lot of work, but I am glad it is finished. Now we just have to wait for it to grow. The hens are not digging being shut out of that area at all, though. It will be nice later on though. They will just have to wait.