In the beginning of July, I purchased 24 turkey hatching eggs.
With a whole lot of hope, I brought them home and set them into the incubator. 27 days later, we started to hear the tell tale chirps and scrabbling around of hatching poults.
We were very excited!!
Then on the 29th day, we opened the incubator to find 13 poults.
Oh, but one had it’s tiny wing somehow caught between the plastic grating and the edge of the incubator!
With a whole lot of patience, I managed to free that little wing.
But that wee poult was having trouble standing.
We think in it’s attempt to free it’s wing, it may have wrenched a leg.
So I picked up this little poult and cuddled it close to me, while the other 12 were whisked off to the brooder and placed under a heat lamp with food and water.
I held this little one for a while, whilst using The Google to see if there was a way we could fix the legs.
It’s wing tip seemed fine, once they were able to get it back against their body.
What I found was that most birds can do okay if you can keep their legs together.
Okay then…I found a small twist tie and made a hobble of sorts…with help from The Kid, because that poor turkey poult panicked everytime I moved them onto their back!
And then, we found a small dish for food and water and a box to put them in, then tucked them in under the light in the brooder with the other 12.
It really was a hail Mary sorta thing, because I didn’t know if they were ever going to be able to use that leg, but I felt like I had to try to help out.
Even being raised as a potential food animal, they deserved the chance at a good life.
Being that they were the 13th poult, they were given the name 13.
And y’know, once you name them…
The urge to make the birb all better was heckin’ strong once a name was bestowed.
It became clear, fast, that this wee twist tie was precisely what 13 needed!
Within a day, there was weight bearing on the leg.
By the end of the 2nd, 13 was full on hopping from one side of the box to the other.
Oh turkey songs are the sweetest of the birb songs!
I love having them around just for their songs.
Then came the day I took off the twist tie and set 13 down to see what happened…
Up came those little wings, that fluttered so hard and out of the box leapt 13 to join their 12 hatchmates!
And this is our lovely 13 now…
I had told The Other 2 that no matter what, 13 stayed.
If they were a tom, but not breeder potential, we’d have to build a separate pen.
If they were a hen, hopefully she’d be breeding potential, but if not, she’d get to have her own space and we’d have turkey eggs to eat.
Well, as it turns out, 13 is a hen, and she’s a lovely hen who is absolutely (IMO) a good foundation breeding hen.
She’s tough, having survived her early days after hatching.
She’s pretty…I mean, just look at her!
She’s friendly. Because she was handled so much after hatch, she likes to be handled, and does like to cuddle (on her terms of course…;) )
She take no guff from the boys. Which is a good thing. Boys must behave or else. 😉
And poor Oscar…he’s so smitten and she just isn’t interested.
Probably because right now Oscar isn’t “husband” material.
He’s just a horny teenager tom who wants to get it on with any hen.
Even those duck hens.
13 is more interested in Dingus, the other tom we kept for breeding.
Dingus isn’t quite the horny boy Oscar is, so they’re taking things slow. 😉
We’re looking forward to spring courtings between them though…I do believe they will make for some lovely poults of their own.