Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Dinner

So yesterday we at the first turkey. It was the large Royal Palm tom that was fighting last week. We chose him because he was the biggest.

Here's two videos showing what we did. The first one is everything pre-cooking and shows a dead turkey but no killing. The second video shows how we cooked it.

The turkey tasted good and fed 15 of us. The differences between it and a commercial turkey were that the breast was much smaller and the dark meat was much darker. I'm not sure if I would raise turkeys again to eat but it's been an interesting process.

Turkey Fight

Alex and I were cleaning out the chicken coop to make it ready to move the 3 pullets up from the chicken tractor. We were digging out 3 years worth of litter from the inside when we heard a commotion from the turkey coop.

The toms were fighting.

I had never seen them fight before and was a little taken aback at their hostility towards each other. It was like a switch had been flipped and they were no longer friends. I figure that the hens are finally old enough to be worth fighting for.

Although the blue slate tom has been the most assertive, the royal palm tom has at least 5 pounds on him and was easily able to overpower the blue slate.

They didn't show any sign of stopping so we finally moved the royal palm in the the newly finished chicken run just to get them away from each other.


The eggs that I was incubating never hatched. I'm not sure what happened to them. As I wrote last time, several of them seemed to be developing but it's hard to know what you're going to end up with.

I resorted to a much more dependable, and expensive solution. I got a box of chicks from a hatchery. These travel through the USPS and it looks like they made a stop at LAX, poor things.

They all survived the trip though. There are 20 Black Australorps and 5 Polish that I got for Alex.

As I moved each one from the box into the brooder I dipped their beaks in the water to let them know what it was. Some things you have to teach them, but they learn fast.

Once one gets the hang of it the rest copy it.

I started out with one box, but after a week they were starting to crowed it a little.

I added another box that doubled their space and gave them room to run around.

This is what they looked like a week ago.

And this is them now.

They grow so fast they'll need a bigger space soon. I'm going to move the pullets up to the coop and then the chicks can go in the tractor. I just need to move one of the heat lamps out there to keep them warm. I figure I'll give them another week inside and then they'll be a month old and will have a lot of their feathers. They will only need the heat source now and then to warm up in between running around and scratching in the dirt.