White Turkeys

That is a wrap on white turkey growing for the year.
Yee. Haw.
We learned some things, have plans to improve those things, and yup, will definitely grow them again next year.

First thing…
Remember I said I wanted to keep the hen for the breeding program with the Narragansetts?
HA!!
Good thing we decided against it.
The one I thought was a hen…wasn’t.
In fact it was the only male in the group of 6.
That’s right, the massive 30-40lb birds were actually the hens.
So I would have been keeping the wrong bird!
And clearly, the size of the hens would have made long term health for them all but impossible.
But they’re not bred for health, they’re bred for fast and furious growth and off to the freezer.
Still, mine went 24 weeks without issues, where most commercial turkeys are done at 16.
I figure as long as they’re running and hooting looking for their morning hard boiled eggs, they’re good to stay.

Which brings me to the 2nd thing…
Size.
Oh my word.
Those hens I thought were toms were huge!
I don’t have a final dressed out weight yet, but they did not fit the restraining cone.
And even though we tried to make it work, the cone completely split on the 2nd to last bird.
So we need to invest in metal restraining cones.
Whether Hubby makes them or we buy them, doesn’t matter.
Also, thankfully we had the turkey fryer pot for the scald to pluck dip.
Our regular pot we use with meaties and roosters is waaaaay too small.
And!
Our plucker, which says it can handle turkeys…can’t.
Or, at least not the size these hens made.
So we either grow them smaller next year (😂😂😂) or we hand pluck.
They are easy enough to hand pluck.

Of course the other thing about size is the rest period after butcher.
They have to stay in the fridge for 24-48 hours afterwards and before packaging.
We have our regular food fridge up stairs and the basement beer/butchering fridge.
Um, the basement fridge is really, really full with 6 turkeys.
😂😂😂
If we grew more than 6 (we had 10 but had a 40% loss over their growing season) we’d have to do processing for more than 1 day.

Finally, feed costs…
Turkeys are expensive to raise.
There’s no getting around that.
For the first 8 weeks, they need a quality high protein feed.
For us, that meant buying the gamebird feed from the local feed store…and supplementing with hard boiled eggs.
Each poult eats an average of 3 ~ 55lb bags in their first 8 weeks.
They grow fast and need ample protein and energy to do it, so feed is out for them 24/7.
After the first 8 weeks, I transition them to the fermented barley/wheat chop that we feed everyone else.
But they still get hard boiled eggs.
Both for protein and to help the transition.
Once fully on the chop, they get that with garden weeds, thistles, greens and kitchen scraps.
And hard boiled eggs. 😂😂😂
What?
They really, really, really love hard boiled eggs!
Plus the next poults will learn what the goodies from Loop are sooner, rather than later. 😉

So, 6 whites go through roughly 55-110lbs of fermented feed a week.
That fluctuates with the amount of green/weeds and food waste from Loop.

Cost wise?
$6.70 for each poult.
3 x $27.50 for gamebird feed.
16 weeks at 2 x $8 for chop/6
**edited to adjust the chop costs since I forgot to divide the 16 week total by 6 for 6 poults.

Which gives us a total of $131.86 to raise a poult to butcher.
It’s that upfront of almost $100 in feed, plus that we pushed them out to 24 weeks.
But their size shows that 24 weeks was fine.
And to get size like that in 16 weeks, you’re feeding more bagged feed than the chop.
See?
Turkeys are just plain spendy to raise.

So why do it?
Well, it’s because happy food tastes better.
This growing your own food thing isn’t always about saving money.
Hell, I’d say growing food animals is almost always a money losing activity.
BUT
I say this so often…we are what we eat.
And eating poorly raised, never ever see the light of day, no delight in weeds and greens tossed to them, no space for turkey races and fun, turkeys has an effect on us.
Never mind that it’s cruel, in my opinion, to keep birds locked up away from the sunshine and the ability to act naturally.
So we raise our birds on the ground, in the sunshine, giving them the foods they love and that help them grow. Anyone who’s been here can see, my birbs are happy af.
Just watch ’em come running when they see me…because that means The Food Lady is bringing *something* good. 😉
That’s worth the cost.

To sum up:
Turkeys are expensive.
The end product is huge and worth it.
Need metal kill cones.
And a 3rd fridge (or a walk in) would be nice.

17

17.
That’s the number of roosters…full sized boys…who went to Freezer Camp this past weekend.
Whew.
That’s a huge chunk off the feed bill.
Add that to the 5 geese we did last week.
And that’s more than 10lbs of feed *per day* we’re saving.
And we’re eating good this winter.

17.
Gave me 7 packages of breasts for the freezer.
Supper last night and 2 lunches for Hubby.
8 2lb bags of ground for the freezer.
Plus, today and tomorrow are carcass roasting/bone broth making days.
So that will give us another 10ish meals.
And bones will go either into the fire (ashes go into the garden) or ground and into the garden.
Depending on my energy levels.
lol

I still have 4 full sized boys to do.
A really good amount of younger boys (who are the size that we’d normally do them…the bigger 1st hatch guys got left too long), a bunch of older hens, plus the turkeys.
The plan was to do turkeys, but they’re huge and I have to find bags to get them in the freezer with…huge.
Like pretty well the 5 white boys are at the 30lb mark live weight, and the hen is pretty close to 20.
Huge.

BUT

It seems we have hay.
There was a quick text conversation with our Hay Guy on Saturday that ended with him saying “okay” and us saying “thank you!” and yeah, we have hay.
Thank frickin’ Epona.
That’s a load off the mind.
Plus we have straw…now that our line is fixed, I can figure out where to put stuff and start getting in on the yard.
I say “we have it” but until **we have it** we don’t really “have it”.
If that makes sense.
But we deal with amazing, honorable people.
So when they say “you have it” I can pretty much say “we have it”.

Thank goodness for those last rounds of rains, because I’m sure that’s what made it so that we’d have hay.
It saved our pasture, for sure!
And it’s been letting my garden continue.
The weather is good, we’ve passed the couple of sketchy nights and it’s looking good for the next 2 weeks.
Good.
I’m busy with birbs, so I need the garden to effectively tend to itself for a bit.
We’re in the rhythm of Fall…
Butcher, process, roast and can.
Lather, rinse, repeat until all done.

Afterwards, maybe I’ll have a chance to take my camera out for some work.
Maybe.
If I’m not sleeping.
😂😂😂

Have a great week y’all!

It’s Fall Y’all

September 22nd, and so far, so good…we have not had a frost.
We better not for a bit yet.
I figure after hitting me with frost on the first day of Summer, Mother Nature owes me a long, warm Fall for things to ripen on the plants, before finishing the garden with a killing frost.
I’m hopeful.
I know better than try to demand *anything* of Mother Nature.
😂😂😂
Plus, we’re still working on building.
Building takes all 3 of us, so that only happens on the weekends.
Which is why The Kid and I are in full on butchering mode from here on ’til all the birbs going Camping are done.

Today it’s the geese.
I’m so done with their shitty geese attitudes.
Hey, they’re fun!
They have all sorts of hilarious idiosyncrasies, but…they’re dicks.
And I’m sure that’s because we didn’t handle them enough from the time we got them.
If we decide to get a small flock of them next year, that will change.
But for this year, they’re going Camping.
Still the best 5 turkeys I ever spent.

Then this weekend, we’re doing roosters and the white turkeys.
It’s time for those turkeys, it really is.
They are big, big, birbs.
And getting them into the freezer will cut down the feed bill immensely.

Of the other turkeys, the 5 of 16 who survived out initial issues in the spring (unbeknownst to us, mold in the brooder) 4 were hens, 1 was a tom.
Well, I can’t keep 3 toms.
Oscar and Dingus are my 2 breeding boys.
Jake was odd boy out.
So he was on the block…until we got our water line fixed and I promised a breeding pair to Joe the plumber.
On Sunday, Jake went to his new home, with a hen from his age group, at Joe’s place.
I think Jake will be very happy there.
After that, I have the littles that hatched out in June to finish growing out.
6 for a friend, then I’ll choose my extra keeper hens, and the rest go camping.
Unless Joe wants another hen to go with his current pair.
But we’ll see what happens between now and the time they get to size enough to run with the bigs.
Once the whites are done, that will happen sooner…those darn whites are just too big to let the littles run with the whole flock…they don’t understand their strength or bulk.
All in all, I don’t think the whites are cost effective (I’ll know better when I have an idea on carcass size), but they’re a lot of fun.
I mean, turkeys are just fun to raise.
I would raise them, the whites, again.
Next time though, I will give them more scraps and veggies as options, earlier.
These guys were freaked out by watermelon.
But they love, love, love hard boiled eggs.
But scrambled eggs are scary.
And bread/bakery stuff?
It’s gonna kill them. Jump up off the ground and murder them.
I call them my stupid children for a reason…
lol
So yeah, having them less picky feed wise, especially with Loop as feed supplement, would be soooo nice.
But I can work on that next year. If we order whites.

Once all is said and done, everyone who needs to be in the freezer is there, then I’ll sit down and run the numbers, figure out what was worth doing, what needs changing and, if we have a white turkey or two for sale, what the cost will be…
I *know* it’s not going to be anywhere like grocery store prices.
Ain’t no $0.99/lb birds here. Ever.
But, well raised food shouldn’t *be* that cheap.
The only way we get food that cheap is by cutting corners, or by raisers and growers losing money.
Well, neither is a good answer to me.
Sorry.
Food is life, and we need to be willing to pay what it’s worth.
And yes, I do understand that some cannot afford my prices.
At some point though, I think we need to shift our perspective on what whole, good nutrition is and what it’s worth.
My turkeys might go for what some feel is an unreasonable price, but if you make the most of the entire bird, you’re coming out ahead.
A friend mentioned, last time she was here, she got 50 meals for herself and her husband from a 25lb turkey. 50!!
That’s what we have to return to.
Slow food cooking, hands on preparations, no more convenience (or make our own convenience) foods…
Real.
Whole.
Well raised.
Humanely dispatched.
Beak to tail feather consumption.
Not just the choice parts and toss the rest.
That’s not healthy. It’s not sustainable. It’s not ethical.

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll keep saying it…
I will shout it from the rooftops!

Happy Food Tastes Better

And I guaran-damn-tee my food animals are happy right up until their one bad day.
The way it should be.

Down Sizing

This past weekend we got the news that our regular feed guy did not have good returns on his fields.
Which means, he doesn’t have as much to sell to us for feed for the birds for winter.

Now, we had already been discussing downsizing some of the birds, simply because the bulk of our feed money is going into The Merry Mares.
Hay prices are…well I don’t know exactly what’s doing with our regular Hay Guy.
He says things have been real bad (that was back in July) but he didn’t say he wouldn’t have for us.
I’ve been looking and trying to get bales elsewhere, just in case.
One of our other connections had an entire field of hay stolen.
That’s the new thing this year.
Stealing hay.
Hell, she didn’t even get it cut!
They came, cut and baled in a 24 hour period.
Which means it’s either gonna go up in flames or it’s going to mold.
Either way, if they sell the stolen bales, the person buying is fucked and if they try to use it themselves, their animals are gonna suffer.
What a fucked up year.

My straw connection has bales for me.
In fact, she says she has a fair bit extra, so if we had to use straw and supplement with grains and hay cubes, we’ll be able to do that and keep The Merry Mares healthy.
Her prices have gone up…almost double.
But, we also have to consider the low yields on fields, the rising gas prices, repairs to equipment, etc.
It all adds up.
I will not begrudge someone needing to make a living.
And you know, both my straw connection and my Hay Guy have been fucking awesome with us.
I have no complaints about them at all.
Besides, that’s the joys of having money eating shit machines.
In years like this, you pay through the nose to keep them.
But realistically, there’s no market for aging mares who haven’t been ridden for years and who’s only job it has been is to be pretty. Besides, I told them all that they’re here for life.
That’s it, that’s all.

So we’re downsizing where we can.
That’s with birds.
But the good thing with that is, birds are food.
I’m going to go through my hens and take out the aging girls (except for a choice few older gals who will get to die of old age.) Once I have an idea of how many older girls are going, then I’ll see how many roos will stay.
I want to keep 40 hens, so that means 3 roos.
Frank, Blue and probably Darryl (or is it Larry?).

Geese will go to Freezer Camp.
I had hoped to be able to keep them, but…
They’ve been complete assholes to the ducks (they were in the duck yard) and have been picking at new growing wing feathers on the duck hens.
The geese aren’t lacking anything, their just dicks.
😂😂😂
We’ll get more in the spring.

Turkeys will be whittled down to Oscar, Dingus, Emma, 12, 13, and at least 5 other hens.
The boys do best with 4 hens minimum each.
So 8 hens (for sure) and the 2 boys will stay and they’ll easily replenish the flock come spring.
I had thought about keeping a white hen, from the hatchery turkeys.
Those hens do get kept for breeding, but as I thought about it, I worried whether I’d be allowing not-so-hardy genetics into my flock.
Yeah, I might get interesting colours, I might get a faster growing bird, but I might also get the worst of the whites too…
So nope, all whites are Freezer Campers.
In my littles flock, there are 4 Sweetgrass turkeys and the rest are Narragansetts.
6 of that flock belong to a friend.
She’s the one who gave me the Sweetgrass eggs.
I want to keep 1 of the Sweetgrass for my flock, so we’ll have crosses that way, and Sweetgrass are hardy like the Narragansetts, so that works.
Size wise, they’re the same, so it’s just going to be colours that the Sweetgrass will bring to the genetics.
I’m not dead set on pure Narragansetts, so that’s a good thing.
I want hardy, decent layers/mothers, pretty, and tasty.

And then there’s the ducks…
Well, we did just buy 19 bebes, then had another 8 hatch out, so we have a lot of ducks.
😂😂😂
But, we have drakes going Camping, and any drakes in the 19 we bought will go Camping too.
By the time November rolls around, we’ll know who is who and who’s not staying on.
Hens (for the most part) will stay.
We have 4 older gals, the foundation 4, who will be kept because they hatch clutches happily.
Hell, they’re trying to hide nests now!
Ya, no…no nests allowed now!
And the younger hens have been doing just as well too.
Plus, out of those 19 we bought, there should be a few hens, and it’s always good to bring in new bloodlines every few years. Once their coop is renewed (Hubby is working on that and the greenhouse at the same time…the Man is *busy*!!), we’ll see how many fit and go from there.
We have 2 drakes that stay on, Cricket and PoopMachine.
Drake (our main guy) should be staying too…we know he *works* 😉 and then we have Howard and another 1 who looks like Cricket. The Cricket look alike is being replaced with PoopMachine.
We try to keep 4 working drakes, but can go down to 3 if we have to.
That gives us a hen flock of 15-20, depending on space.

So we’re eating bird this winter.
That’s always been the plan, but some of the ones I had originally thought about keeping (space permitting) are now on the table.
And y’know what?
I’m not going to feel bad about that.
Thing is, birds, as much as we enjoy them being here, are food.
For us, for the cats, for the dog.
The rule is they get to live a good life being birds, then when it’s time, they feed us.
That’s just how it is.

Happy Food Tastes Better.

Cricket the Duck. He’s a handsome fella!

It’s Raining!

First of all, like the title says, it’s raining.
We had some rain last week that really helped, and now we’re in for just about the entire weekend full of rain.
So while I’m frustrated that it makes butchering difficult (got 18 more cornish to go…turns out I can’t count,
I kept missing 2 of them 😂😂😂), I am happy af for rain.
And I’m praying it’s in time to save our pasture.
And our Hay Guy’s yield.
And doesn’t eff up our straw supplier’s harvest.
*sigh*
But rain, right now, is a good thing.
😉

First jars of chicken are ready for the shelf.
Only 85ish more to go.
😂😂😂

This year I’m trying to do them with a bit more stock in them.
Last year they were jammed full of chicken with as little stock as I could safely get away with.
Which was great when I opened a jar for Hubby, but not so great when I opened a jar for the old Calico cat.
Yep, I fed the damn cat home canned chicken.
A. Lot.
But when you’re the feline equivalent of 128 years old, you eat whatever the eff you want…and she wanted home canned chicken.
It always had to have stock with it though and she drove me nuts screaming when the liquid ran out…so this year, a little more juice and a few extra smaller jars of just stock to supplement when the bigger jar runs out.

Before the rains came, I headed into the garden to pick beans (canning those tomorrow) and pull some weeds.
‘Round here not even the weeds go to waste.
First bin of them went to the geese.
They get crazy excited over weeds and cut grass.
They’re gonna be my garden clean up crew this year.
I figure they should do a great job of eating down everything left once we’re done.
I will have to protect a few things, like the black currants, the chives and the grape vine, but they’ll have tons of stuff then can eat and enjoy.

2nd bin went to the turkeys.
It was mostly thistles and those white turkeys sure love thistles!
Thistles are good for liver health, so they can have as many thistles as I can give them.
This year I’m going to try turkey liver.
I hate liver.
Really, really hate it.
But it’s because growing up all we ever had was over cooked, grainy af, vomit inducing beef liver and onions.
And when it was put in front of us, we got nothing else until our plate was clean.
Even if it took days.
I uh, learned to fast for long periods of time…real young.

But now as an adult, who is trying to work a little harder on nose to tail eating (not that livers or other offal were ever wasted…we’ve always found someone who wanted those bits) I’ve committed myself to trying to eat poultry livers.
I have a few duck ones in the freezer from our last duck days.
I just couldn’t convince myself to try them.
Yet.
I’ll get there.

There’s 5 boys, and 1 hen here.
The smallest one just above the Farm logo is the hen.
I have researched and learned that white hens are often kept for breeding purposes in big barn settings.
So I figure I’m going to keep her and see what happens.
Either she’ll mate and lay or she won’t.
If she does, it should add some size and maybe some speed to the growth of poults…or maybe she’ll only add a different colour shade to the next gen poults from her.
If she doesn’t, we’ll send her to Freezer Camp in the spring.
But she’s already doing the sit down and flirt thing with Oscar, so I’m hopeful. 🙂

The boys will all be going off to Freezer Camp soon.
They’re at 16 weeks now and just about the size of Oscar and Dingus.
For reference, Oscar and Dingus are a year old now and are just about 35lbs each.
Yeah so, you can see the whites grow a lot faster.
If we could keep them going, the white turkeys (Nicholas turkeys) have been known to make 70lbs live weight…which is why the toms aren’t kept for breeding.
It’s all A.I.
Yup, someone in the world has the job of extracting turkey semen and artificially inseminating hens.
😂😂😂
Can’t say it’s a job I’d want, but I guess someone has to do it.
How else do ya get those cheap turkeys at the holidays??
But seriously, I much prefer my Narragansetts who do the joyful deed themselves and quite proudly.

Our Crazy, Crazy, Morning…

Turkey babies (who are not so much babies anymore, but teens) needed their brooder cleaned.
So I set up a yard within the big turkey yard, put out food and water and opened them up…and they proceeded to panic and fly here, there, and everywhere whilst screaming angst filled teenaged turkey anthems of woe and abuse because the whole wide world is scary and The Food Lady was murdering them.
*sigh*

So they ran the big turkey yard (the big turkeys were still in their coop because they are too big to run with the teen turkeys who are still mid-sized and no match for a full sized hen, let alone Dingus or Oscar) while I scooped their mass of straw/feed/shit out…
With this being the stenchiest part of the job, my Kiddo went off to feed the ducks and chicks in the Little Red Shed, only to come back to tell me 10 (58) chicks had popped their door and were now wandering around the building here, there and everywhere.
*sigh*

With that, we rounded up the teenaged angst filled turkeys and put them back into the brooder…and let the big adults out because they were convinced that they were gonna starve to death.

If Oscar doesn’t eat 65.3 times a day, he will die. He is happy to regale you with tales of how I starve him and how he has died so many times for lack of food.
*sigh*

As I cleaned out the next brooder (which is a half full combo of cornish and first hatchers), Kiddo let out and fed the ducks, geeses and big chickens. Geeses are mad that I haven’t dropped every single goddamed thing to get them some weeds right fucking now…and they are happy to tell me that in no uncertain terms.

😂
😂
😂

I have not listened to them, other than to laugh and say “You’re on the list, I’ll get to you soon”.
The next brooder got lined with shavings (because I’m out of straw and I don’t have the energy to chase anyone for any quite yet) and we set out to capture 10 (58) chicks and move them to it.
1 Wheelbarrow, a dog crate, 2 women, a dog and 3 horses…
This is what it takes to move 10 (58) chicks out of the Little Red Shed to the brooder.
Well, the dog and the horses are more a hindrance than help, but that is no surprise. And then there were 10 (58) chicks in the brooder.
*sigh*

Finally, we got to the point of making sure all the feeders and waterer were topped up, collecting eggs (my turkey hens are trying to nest again and are rather put out that I keep stealing their smooth egg babies), the pools for the smaller ducks filled to warm in the sunshine for afternoon swimming and now?
Now it is finally coffee time.
While I play with money to pay the bills, buy some groceries and if all gets paid just right, maybe even a case of beer for Hubby.
*sigh*

My helper at editing earlier this week…
This is Homer J, our latest house duckling.
He was abandoned by the hen who hatched him, left for dead at night in the duck yard.
We found him and brought him inside.
Honestly, didn’t think he was going to make it.
But it’s been a week now, and he’s doing just fine.
Singing up a storm and pooping everywhere but on my desk.
😉

The Most Exhausting Time of the Year

This weekend we’re running our first Rooster Rehab of the year.
😂😂😂

Exhausting is the correct word for it.
But my first and second hatches have resulted in 28 roos currently in the bachelor pen, with a few extra wandering with the cornish meat birds…oh, it’s time for the 28 to go Camping.

Somehow, after a huge Loop pickup last week that has stuffed our 2nd fridge to bursting while the birbs, cats and Daphne have been eating like Kings and Queens all week, I have to find space to let the roosters we process rest for a day or two before parting for the freezer.
Lady Bless, I think I need a 3rd fridge for birb feed!

But, I’m sure not complaining!
The animals are loving this extra feed, and I’m loving keeping the food out of the landfill.

The funniest thing though, has been the turkeys with their watermelon.
😂😂😂
So after they nearly killed me for strawberries and raspberries, I really thought watermelon would be just as exciting.
I mean, how could it not be, right?
Well…as it turns out, watermelons are terrifying.
The turkey are beyond sure that it wants to kill them.
They circled it for a few days and decided “Nope, not eating that”
😂😂😂

Scroll through ^^^ so you can see how wary the turkeys were of that killer melon.
OMG.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
I ended up shoveling it up and giving it to the chickens…who demolished it in seconds.
😂😂😂

Anyways, I still have a bunch of produce and breads to dole out to the birds, and because it’s been sooooo hot, I have it stuffed into the spare fridge…where birds need to rest after butchering.
It’s a good problem to have, having more food than space.
Just means that the birds will be eating more produce this weekend, so I can fit Freezer Campers in for a bit.

One of the other things we were given last pickup is honey.
Honey doesn’t go bad, but, in order to sell it in stores, it does get an expiry date, and stores can’t sell it past that date.
I, however, can still use the amazing containers of raw unpasteurized manuka honey we were given for our Palomino Princess. Y’see, honey is what I use for any cuts, scrapes, and booboos on our mare.
See the link below for why:

Honey in wound care

It’s perfect for healing those wounds without any scarring.
Thank goodness, or our Girl would be one big walking scar!
😂😂😂

The other type of honey we were given is golden paste honey, with tumeric in it.
Now this…this is valuable stuff for a horse with arthritis…especially that Girl who has an arthritic tmj which makes eating difficult in some weather conditions.
Golden paste is touted as excellent for treating arthritis in horses, dogs and humans.
Welp, we shall see how our Blonde Girl does on it.
All this honey and it’s perfect for her!
Plus, it’s not in the landfill.
I call that a win-win situation.

In other news, we had found 2 abandoned, don’t know where they hatched, can’t find any sign of their hatching anywhere, ducklings in the duck yard one night this week.
So we brought them inside.
One has since succumbed to injuries (because hens are assholes, and will happily kill baby ducks) but the 2nd is strong and loud. And kinda dumb, because he/she keeps getting their head stuck in the sides of the cage they are in.
So we’ve named him/her Homer.
😂😂😂

This weekend is also “clear out all the old eggs from all the nests we know of” weekend.
It’s late in the season now, and I don’t want any more surprise hatchlings.
Did I tell y’all about the hen who hatched out a clutch of ducklings??
Yeah so there’s 9 week old duckling in the brooder int he Little Red Shed.
*sigh*
So many birbs.
So much potential tastiness.
And 12 the Turkey is sitting on another nest.
I’m taking those away from her too…
No more turkeys this year!
I’ve got a brooder full that hasn’t gotten outdoor time yet because of the damn smoke from the wildfires.
No.
More.
Poults!
(she said with a quiet longing to scoop up the eggs and put them in the incubator)
😂😂😂

So there we have it…busy af, as usual.
And taking eggs away from birds who want to have babies.
That’s my life right now.

How are the rest of y’all doing?

Oh, plus here’s a picture for Feline Friday:

Maxamillion!

Catch more Feline Friday posts over at Sandee’s place, Comedy Plus.

And have a great weekend folks!
🙂


My Day with the Turkeys

Listen, I love raising turkeys.
They’re funny, they’re kinda cute in an ugly way, they like to sing which is quite endearing, and they call me all. the. time…it’s adorable, really.
Plus, they taste pretty good too, once they end up at Freezer Camp.

But, oh my gawd…
They’re so stupid. And they have absolutely no sense of self preservation.
Like yesterday for example…

So we’re set back about 200ish feet from a fairly busy gravel road.
The horse pasture goes to within 25 feet of the ditch, and right on the other side of the ditch is…the gravel road.
The turkeys have been ranging the yard and pasture mostly without incident.
Until yesterday, when they followed their stupid beaks, eating grasshoppers (YAY!!!) until they ended up in the ditch outside the pasture.
And then 2 whites ended up on the road.
Oh for fuck sake.

So out I go, yelling at these stupid birds to get their “feathered assholes back in that pasture or fucking else!”
And that worked.
For just about an hour.
🙄

It’s also super smokey here right now because of the winds blowing smoke from forest fires up north down onto us, so I had to do the bulk of the chasing by myself, since my Kid couldn’t breathe outside (oh the joys of asthma!)
But she did help catch a couple of the whites, who got their flight feathers clipped and tossed into the proper turkey yard with Dingus, Oscar and the gals.
No more nice Food Lady.
Time to get acquainted with the big boss turkeys on the Farm.
Like, right fucking now!

“I am the Boss turkey!” says Oscar

After another hour or so, I had caught all but two of the Narragansett youngsters and had them clipped and into the turkey yard.
Happily, Dingus and Oscar were behaving themselves and not beating anyone up.
It helps that even though the whites are younger, they’re big birbs, and they look out for the younger Narragansetts, so even without a lot of experience, they weren’t taking any shit from the big guys.

White in the duck yard before he figured out how to get out of there…

It’s good for them all to be together though.
The whites showed the big Narragansetts the joys of the extra foods the Food Lady throws them, and they’ll be safer away from the fucking road!

Yesterday was out first Loop pick up, so there was lots of goodies for birds to eat.
And then this morning, before I let anyone out, I added extras to their feed trough.
We got a lot of bakery items yesterday, which the whites love…bread and sugar are their favorite things.
I mix it into their fermented feed so they couldn’t just pick out the stuff they like, but had to eat the good-for-them stuff too.
Just like little kids.
I *do* call them my stupid children for a reason!

But the whites will only be with us another 8-12 weeks.
Then off to Freezer Camp they’ll go.
I must admit, I am looking forward to Freezer Camp…

And then I’ll have to integrate the last 34 turkey poults with the big guys before winter.
lol
No, I do not have a lot of turkeys.
Not at all.
😉

All Out

All the plants are out of my house.
Not necessarily planted, but moved out to the garden and this afternoon, I’ll put in whatever I can.
And then it’s down to the weeding, watering, mulching and whatever Mother Nature decides she’s going to do…oh, and fucking cats.

This morning as I’m moving the plants out for the final time, I notice my zucchini is gone.
They were lovely seedlings passed onto me by friends…they were growing beautifully.
Up to 6 leaves and happy, happy, happy.
And then this morning?
Gone.
WTF???

Yeah so, I had started some pumpkins in the house.
I set those outside in the garden first, then went back for the tomatoes.
I guess I didn’t latch the gate…or she climbed the fence.
Either way, I came into the garden to find this asshole:

…eating the pumpkins.
Seriously.
Eating the pumpkin leaves…
WTF??

And then I look down to the end where the peppers are and see this one…

…lying on the pepper plants.
I say again…WTF???

And then, just to add a bit more insult to injury, Coal walks over to Trouble, does the nosy kitty kiss thing with him, looks straight at me and starts munching on a pepper plant.

*sigh*

I may have lost it right about then.
Screamed like a maniac at the cats.
Chased them out of the garden.
Threatened to make slippers from their lovely furry fucking hides.

And now the weather can’t decide if there’s going to be gale force winds, or if there will be no winds, or what it’s doing.
All I know is, it’s June 18th and the tomatoes are not coming back into the house.
They can live or die as they see fit.
Grow, don’t grow, what the fuck ever.

But I’ve had my first harvest of Lamb’s Quarters.
And I’ll be harvesting more this weekend with weeding.
And today I’ll be emptying the one incubator.
Some turkeys have hatched, some chicks have hatched.
And on Sunday the other incubator goes into lockdown with 41 Narragansett turkey eggs in it.
Then, one last round of eggs for the year.
It’ll be a big set…97 eggs.
And once those hatch, it’ll be mid-July.
Which makes it the last one.
I am so good with that.

But for today, all I have to do is get things in the ground.
Rains are coming this Sunday, so I want everything done and in.
I’m so very close.

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Feline Friday

Outside!!

Today is a milestone for the meat chickens and turkeys.
It’s their first day outside!

You can use the arrows on the sides of the pictures ^^^ to scroll through…
It’s scary and exciting and whooooo….they’ve been waiting so long (to them) and they really, really, really wanted out…until they could get out and then it was too terrifying…that’s where the food comes in.
😂😂😂

Once they knew the food was outside, they were much braver.
So for now they get the small yards, but as time goes on, they’ll get more and more space, until the turkeys end up in the turkey yard and the meat chickens just run with everyone else.
Until they go to Freezer Camp.

I tell ya, the real panic is going to be this afternoon, when I clean their coops out for them.
😂😂😂
**THAT’S** going to be terrifying.
😂😂😂