Almost a week has gone by and all but one turkey poult is still doing fine – even Ailiss (pron. eye-less). Ailiss is a deformed turkey poult. Its beak doesn’t match up and it is missing one eye. What is amazing is that the little bugger eats and drinks right along with the others and it seems to be growing.
It will be interesting to see how long this chick lives before it becomes too hard to stay alive. It seems to have quite the will to live at this point. I have read many things stating that it is hard to keep turkey poults alive. Apparently their immune system takes a while to kick in. I am putting a bit of apple cider vinegar in the water, and someone told me that Echinacea in the water helps the chicks to handle challenges. So Ailiss might just be my poster child for hanging in there and staying alive no matter what.
38 little broadbreasted bronze turkey poults arrived last night at midnight at the post office. I had ordered 36 and the hatchery sent an extra few “just in case”. One was slightly deformed, but the others are all perfect. It is amazing that newly hatched little baby birds can handle a trip across the country in a cardboard box.
We had our brooder all set up. I used chipped up Douglas Fir branches for bedding, so it smells divine in there. I was told that the turkeys have trouble in the beginning learning to use the waterers and food. One suggestion was to use the little waterers that attach to a glass canning jar. The shininess of the jar attracts them. Sure enough, I put in a white plastic waterer and one of the glass ones. Several of the poults came right over to the glass jar and learned to drink. So far I haven’t seen any at the white one. I guess I’ll put a few glass beads in there to attract them.
I bought an old motorhome and gutted it hoping to use it for a brooder. By the time the turkeys arrived, I had electricity to it, and most of the trash was hauled away. It still needs to be leveled, though, and I need to build and enclosure. So the babies are in my shop in a watermellon box for now. They seem happy there, which give me time to get the motorhome ready.
These turkeys have a short amount of time to grow for Thanksgiving. At butchering time they will probably be between 8 and 12 pound. Do you want one? You can order one at this address: http://www.denwallyfarm.com/pasturedpoultry
New babies just arrived