Farm & Animals » Turkeys and Eggs
I was so pleased when one of our turkeys decided to start laying. Finally at least one of them was earning their keep and not destined for the roasting pan. Now I've just got to work out which one it is that is laying.
Actually 2 of the 3 turkey hens we have are laying now, but we don't always get 2 eggs per day.
Turkey eggs taste pretty much like chicken eggs, they're just bigger. Ours have pale yolks and the membrane under the shell is quite tough to get into, but all in all taste good. We don't eat too many eggs, so 1-2 eggs per day is enough to mean we don't have to buy them at the supermarket anymore and when I eventually get chickens as well I'm going to have to come up with some more recipes that use eggs!
This is a photo of my royal palm tom, he's a big boy which we inherited with the other turkeys. You can just see one of the hens in the background, and either another hen or the white tom. He's all puffed up, showing off for another hen and struting his stuff. They actually look about half this size when they're not puffed up and the long red bit over his nose retracts in as well, which is still something that seems very odd to me because it points up in the air when it's not dangling down his face. It's quite amusing when they try to eat it while it's retracting back in.
My turkey conclusion is that they are really dumb animals. They will stand out in the rain, wet and cold, instead of walking a couple of metres into their coop where it is dry with a nice covering of hay on the floor. At least the hens lay inside now.
The hens are not that smart with their chicks, leaving them out in the cold or just abandoning them completely, so before I start letting the hens get broody, I need to set up a brooder box where I can put them to keep them warm and safe.
The funniest thing about these turkeys is the toms gobble at any noise. They are right next to the duck pen, where the ducks quack at any noise. So they get themselves on the roll, where you'll go outside to hear 'gobble gobble gobble, quack quack quack, gobble gobble gobble, quack quack quack' When the calves were down this end of the property we could add in 'moooooooooooooo' It's just a regular little farm here! Wait until I have a rooster doing his thing.
Our next step for the turkeys is to let them be free range. At the moment, they have a modified hen coop with a 4 metre by 4 metre run. We want to let them out into the duck pen which is quite a bit bigger area with a pond about the size of their current run. The only issue is the turkey hens can fly quite well, so unlike the ducks who can't, would probably hop straight over the standard height fence. Once we get some time to extend the fence up about another foot or so we will be able to let them out.
Lets just add it to the list of never ending work that you get out here!