Poultry Uncertainty

My friend wanted to rehome three young turkeys she had hatched.  There has been predation in her area, and she wanted a safer place for them.  And I wanted to replace the turkeys I have lost.  When they arrived they were a little bit smaller than my older chicken chicks.  So then I started doubting my plan to put them in our pheasant pen where 7 of these chicks were killed by some predator, but we are guessing a weasel.  So I got Tom’s opinion.  I have never been this indecisive before but feel like I keep making mistakes.  We decided to temporarily put them in the weasel proof pen with all of the other chicks.  It is crowded but safe.  In the photos, it looks more crowded than it is since they are nervously hanging in the corner of the pen.

These new turkeys are mixed: Narragansett, sweet grass and black mottled.  This is my initial favorite.

This one is a little freaked out.

The one in back seems to be doing OK.

So my plan is to put a couple of the larger chicken chicks in the “peasant pen” and see how they do before moving all of them in there.  I feel bad that I pick two innocent birds as potential targets.  I chose the turkens because I am not a fan of the breed, but that is not their fault.  I hope they do well.  We do think it was a weasel that attacked these chicks when they were much smaller and shouldn’t be able to hurt birds of this size.  Here they are venturing out into their new space.

My Narragansett turkey is the biggest bird in the pen, but I didn’t want to move her/him to be alone.  So now there are some smaller turkeys to hang out with.

Here are the mostly older chicks that will hopefully be able to go out in the pen.  The next big decision is how long do I leave the test chicks out before I move these ones out.  I really do not want to see mass carnage of these poor chicks again.  I love the turkey head in the corner of this photo.

In this photo you can see the smaller chicks better.  They are all black except one is white and one is brown.  They will need to stay in this weasel proof pen for a while but hopefully will have more room soon.  This morning I did find one trapped (but alive) under an overturned plastic dish I was using the feed the turkeys.  I hope this is not an omen.

I also moved the larger White Midget turkeys out into the barn.  I put their food on a spool so the sheep and goats can’t get into it.  I just hope they find it OK.  They are not the smartest of creatures.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a chicken fanatic.  I never tire of watching them peck and scratch around.  But you may not know my house is decorated with lots of chicken items.  Most recently, I resurrected this chicken jar and put goodies in it.

On Wednesday I had already planned on making a roast chicken, specifically Lemon Balm Chicken (as our lemon balm is still growing like crazy).  We have green beans coming on strong in our garden so this is the first meal of them this year.  And we have Swiss chard and green onions as well with plenty of eggs so I made a crustless tart with them.  So here is our farm meal.

We also picked up Ryeleigh from the vet.  She was thought to have an intestinal infection with dehydration and electrolyte problems (her sodium, potassium and chloride were quite low).  They gave her antibiotics, anti-nausea medication and subcutaneous fluids.  We were instructed to feed her specialized canned dog food.  Here she is eating it for the first time, somewhat tentatively.  But way better than she had been eating.

The veterinarian also told us we could feed her chicken, rice and broth.  Conveniently I had just roasted a chicken.  So all I had to do was cook some rice and add some of the cut up chicken and my homemade chicken broth.

And she loved it.  Since then she appears to have recovered completely.  We are so thankful.  I was incredibly stressed, worrying about her.


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2 Responses to Poultry Uncertainty

  1. I’m the chicken lady around her but don’t have near the chickens you do. I sell my eggs when I have plenty and it pays for winter feed for them. Planning on turkeys again next spring and some guineas.
    Just a note though, weasels and minks will kill any size poultry. Them and the raccoons have killed some of my largest birds all in one night.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for the knowledge. Do you have advice for weasel control? The last ones we shot but whatever this is is not apparent to shoot. We tried trapping recently without any luck.

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