Boy? Girl?

Politics is an entirely depressing topic for me now.  How about turkey sex instead?

When one is pregnant, one spends a fair amount of time wondering what the child’s sex might be.  It’s a giddy time.  I wouldn’t say this time is AS giddy, but…I am still somewhat in the dark as to the sex of my geese and turkeys.

This is the goose…or at least I think it is

These six birds, mere babies really at nine weeks, are our start at a new phase of bird ranchery:  breeding.  If we have a boy and a girl, that is.  Statistically, I figured having three birds of one sex would not be so great.  (The hatchery does not sex the ducks, geese and turkeys they sell.)  And so far, I think I have one goose and two ganders.  The turkeys, though?  Not a clue!  The turkey poults do look a lot alike.  When we had the other turkeys come to visit, I did notice that two of the baby turkeys imitated the toms’ braggadocious fluffing-out.  And two of the birds also have bigger wattles below their beaks.  Hmm.  Only time will tell, I suppose.

These birds are on the American Livestock Breed Conservancy’s list of endangered barnyard animals, and both are listed as “watch,” meaning their numbers aren’t dire, but are endangered.  The geese are Production Toulouse (bred for meat, generally) and the turkeys are Bourbon Reds.  Both breeds are active foragers, and the geese, especially, are known as quiet, calm birds.  (Having hissy mean geese was a deal killer for me because the kid is active in their care.)  I LOVE them all.  They are all so curious and sweet, the turkeys especially.

I really do not know what I will do if I have three toms, though.  I still intend to breed, so I am wondering how adult toms do with little poults around, does anyone know?  Am I heading toward disaster if I go get more babies next spring to (hopefully) mate with the toms?

Oh:  the odd girl or boy out of each set, should I be so lucky to have sets?  Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  Yes, it will be hard.  But here’s hoping next year we’ll have our own home-hatched little poults and goslings running around…

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9 responses to “Boy? Girl?

  1. Bummer for the extra peeps.
    Won’t a pair of geese be aggressive when they’re nesting?
    I try to have only girls around here; it makes life so much simpler, since I would be unable to give away babies. That would eventually make me like those sad people who hoard cats.

  2. I would be unable to give away the babies too which is what has me shy away from incubating chickens or even attempting to breed. I would be the crazy chicken lady. I love chickens. I love them so much I’d keep every one of them and then we’d have the rooster wars for sure. Best for me to buy girls and watch your blog!

  3. so cute el!! If you wanna send me some photos of the turkeys I can try to sex ’em for ya. Is the one front and center the one you suspect to be female? I forgot how unicorn like they used to be!! 🙂

  4. They are so cute, maybe you could try to trade them for a girl if they turn out to be to many boys. Here in Mo. We have an animal swap 2 times a year at Jacobs cave.

  5. Aw, c’mon, El. The pink ones are girls. The blue ones are boys.

  6. How exciting is that! Those are exactly the breeds of geese and turkeys that I hope to have! I’ll be watching for your updates. Maybe next year (or the year after, when I’m better settled) I’ll be turning to you to see if you have some extra babies to sell.

  7. Pamela, well, I thought we were going to be boy-free here too until Himself (the aggressive guinea) came along. I swear that bird had Tourette’s too constantly annoyingly calling and clucking. But, well, if they’re nesting I suppose we’ll give them wide berth. Seriously, these geese (so far) are just sweet. The goose is a bit shy but the two ganders let me pet them and scratch their backs and necks. But I guess my trial will come re: the babies. Sigh. (And we’re getting there with our 3 cats so I know what you mean.)

    Alecto, funny you should mention chickens: next year is Chicken Breeding Year too. I plan to get and hopefully raise a batch of rare-ish chickens called Chantecler, which are both meat and egg birds, and supposedly are calm. So yes stay tuned!

    Ah Angie! Thanks my dear but at this point I really do think I have three toms. Sigh. The one dude I thought might be a girl really is just a bit different but not, well, double X different!

    Grammy, that is a great idea. Truth is, I am kind of a sucker with my birds and think nobody could raise them as well as me, so I would fear getting some badly treated mean-ish hen. So I will just wait until next year and hopefully I won’t get 3 toms again.

    Hah, CC! I wish it were so simple when they’re little and look exactly alike…

    Hiya Hayden. Boy you must be getting excited, eh? Yes I can recommend these breeds; the geese are pretty heavy and not terribly tall, the turkeys are on the med. tall/skinny side; they won’t be big roasting birds, certainly. And sweet, and know how to fend for themselves…which is quite nice.

  8. Those are just THE BEST pics of your birds! So funny! I hope to have chickens maybe sometimes next year. 😦 Wish I could get it going sooner.

  9. Ann, chickens are the best. Or maybe turkeys, or maybe geese. Heck I love them all but…chickens are probably the easiest.

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