So yesterday we rounded out our meat-bird experiment with the early-morning phone call from the post office. There are now 22 birds chirping at my feet in my office on the back porch.
My gosh, are baby turkey poults CUTE! It’s their wild googly eyes, I think. The goslings do not so much cheep as twitter and sing. And the baby meat chickens are, well, quite adorable too. (For those who care, the turkeys are Bourbon Reds, the goslings Toulouse, and the meat birds are a slow-growing Cornish Cross.) I will be keeping the poults with the goslings for a while. The poults think the goslings are their parents, and peck at their bills for food. The goslings groom them, and then they all fall asleep in a pile. The chicks, well, the chicks eat drink and then fall asleep in place.
The ducklings at 2.5 weeks are quite huge. I think they are Pekins after all and not a Pekin/runner mutt as I previously supposed. These guys are doing time in the chicken run, and seem to adore trying to swim in their water bowl. So far their chicken/guinea room mates don’t seem too terribly bothered about them. The ducklings are terribly skittish, though. Tom has taken quite the fancy to them (always a good thing). I promise to get more pictures of them today. The battery in my camera died before I could take them.
Baby ducks couldn’t be cuter if they tried. 🙂
p.s. And a little one holding a little one? Cuteness squared. I adore your photo!
Congrats on all the new life on the farm!! Such cuties! I forgot how small and fluffy they are! You’ll have to keep me updated on the geese. I so want some but Eric is unconvinced.
Oh man, I’m in serious poultry envy!!!! They are gorgeous…can’t wait to see more pics 🙂 🙂
Hi! This is my first time on your site. The turkeys are so cute! So you use your turkeys for meat? And if so, how do you get the meat processed. I want to start keeping chickens and turkeys for meat and eggs, but I don’t want to have to do the killing myself.
ohhh, man! I was up way late last night reading about keeping turkeys/geese/ducks and wishing and wanting…. and now here you are, with photos of my fantasy!
I’ll be watching for more – they are soooo cute! (and yet despirte the cuteness there is a separate part of my brain that is thinking “mmm, yummm!”)
Hi Anne: yeah, it’s so total Cute 24/7 around here. Wait a week or so though!
Hey Ang: I have a feeling deep down inside I am a goose girl. I adore these guys! From what I have read, they’re pretty easy to keep, as mostly they eat grass. You would have to let them kind of free range, then; not quite sure you have that setup on your busy road. The Toulouse are the most calm/least aggressively hissy of the breeds I looked into; they’ve been barnyard birds for a long time so they’ve needed to get along.
Hah, Robbyn, will do!
Hi, Bobbi, welcome. Well, there will be no outsourcing of the processing, as tag, I am it. There’s a post you can read that will let you in on the reason for my decision. I was a vegetarian for 16 years, so this decision did not come lightly.
Hah, Hayden: what a coincidence. Yep. Here they are. It’s funny: I have, and the child has repeated in her funny way, the salutation “Hello, Dinner!” when we see the meat birds. Keeps things honest.
So, what kind of meat chickens are they? The link you gave refers to Silver Cross, Cebe Red & Black, etc. Are you keeping the breed a secret? 😉
I have to go visit our turkey tomorrow… it’s tractoring at our friend’s farm with it’s siblings. We thought one lonely turkey around here would be a sad sight.
Yea, those are so cute! I got my birds this week too – quiet different – Light Bramah’s.
I want to check back and see how it is going with the birds.
Liz, no. This article was just some food for thought regarding pasturing meat birds. If I had 5 months, I would simply have heavy-breed cockerels in the tractor right now, and that is what I am planning with next year’s harvest. As it is, these slow-growers are still so much quicker than heavy breeds, and will be ready to go in Sept. I guess what I am saying is meat blobs have loads of problems. I “harvested” my last 3 yesterday. These were the three who never grew as quickly and had always had leg/wing problems. You should see their knobby knees, their malformed wings, very disturbing. I did allow them free range though in the chicken run and they were able to develop strong legs and nice yellow fat. At 12 weeks.
Hi Verde: You were quite ahead of us in terms of getting the coop going. Ours were laying their first eggs by the time our coop was built! oops. Have fun with them.