Terri’s Turkey Adventure

I realize as I prepare to tell this tale that it would be much easier if the turkey’s had names. So, I’ve made up a couple of names to help you follow along.

I love my turkeys. They are beautiful, entertaining and, for the most part, pretty well behaved. They strut around showing off their stuff and they don’t bother with me. We have three turkey hens, one of which is a perpetual sitter. “Sam” sits on her nest from April until November. I rarely see her off of it. It appears though, that Sam has lost her social skills since she is hardly out in general population. She hisses every time I approach the nesting box and lately she’s even started pecking at me. Occasionally one of the other hens will join her in the nest and keep her company. I feel bad for her because she has never hatched an egg. The third hen, “Momma” (for lack of a more creative name), has been relatively successful the past year – a male in the fall, a female (I hope) this past April and then  …

Here is where my story begins.

We have a baby barn set up as a turkey coop. There are two nesting boxes which are located in the back corners. My access to the box on the right is inhibited by the roost (a board across the corner that the turkeys can perch on).

Oh wait. That was just background info. Here is where my story really begins …

Knowing that there are girls on the nest I keep a watch out for babies. August 1, in the morning, I discover a hen out in the pasture keeping an eye on a new turkey chick. I head to the coop so see who hatched out and to see if there are any more. With mixed feelings I see that it is Momma who has again been successful. Sam and her buddy are still sitting on the other nest. As I move closer I can see a chick in the nest frantically trying to get out and find its mother. Of course, Momma’s nesting box is the one behind the roost. So here I am, crouching down and crawling under the roost trying to catch the chick when suddenly the two hens in the other box come flying at me. I am basically trapped! I frantically try to stave off insane turkeys with one hand while reaching for the chick in the other. Somehow I manage to get the chick and crawl back under the roost. I’m not the most agile person at the best of times so I’m not sure how I did it. Sam bothered me right out of the coop. Fortunately no one was hurt and the chick was safely and successfully reunited with its momma.

But that Sam sure has a hate on for me now. She was off the nest this morning so I wanted to go and see what was going on … I’m not even sure how many eggs she has under her. Well, as soon as she figured out I was on my way to the coop she came at me in the pasture. In all the years we’ve had these turkeys I have never had a problem with them being aggressive … until this morning.

Baby Pictures. The other day I went out to get pictures of the babies. We have this lovely grassy pasture but for some reason Momma Turkey likes to walk the chicks around close to the fence line. Oftentimes the chick will wander through the fence but it usually makes it way back into the pasture. On this particular day four of the barn cats were hanging out on the other side of the fence (the farthest point from the gate I might add). One of the chicks went through the fence and made its way into the midst of the cats. Darn! That chick is a goner because there is no way I can make it in time. So, I’m waving my arms and hollering at the cats trying to shoo them away. The cats are all curious about the wee critter that just wandered into their midst. Rascal (the Brave) makes his way over, reaches out and sniffs the chick. He looks at it then looks at me and then he turns and trots away. I’m glad the barn cats never figured out those chicks are food.

And no, I didn’t get a picture of the encounter. It would have been a sweet shot.

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