Life With Nine Kids

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The New Birds Arrived

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Charlotte, 15 and Everett, 1

Changes to the Order
We ended up getting one turkey instead of four and no meat birds. I chickened out. (ha!)  I felt like I was overloading my dear husband if I got them all. Two weeks before the chicks were due to hatch & ship we had: a retaining wall fall down, a bad rain water drain problem occur outside (which includes a newly found foundation crack/leak in the basement), AND a driveway patch and repair problem all come up...all in the same week. I could tell the very back, back yard where I had planned on raising four turkeys and 25 dinner table chickens was not going to get fenced in. 

So, I decided in a panic that we can't do any turkeys or meat birds. We have too much to do. So on the the phone as I'm canceling all the meat birds I immediately realize I need to add a couple birds to meet my minimum shipping amount (for warmth and safety). So while on the phone altering my order I blurt out, "I want one turkey.

(Hahah. I just wanted to raise a turkey so bad!) 

Getting one turkey is totally a dumb thing to do. Turkeys are not known for being very hardy or easy to raise. So now I have this one little turkey that knows he's different. You'd think he (or she?) wouldn't know, but "he" does. The poor little thing stands off by it's self all lonely like. The first day he arrived I even said he looked confused. I feel bad I ordered only one turkey, not just for it's social interaction and self-esteem (Aunt Sharon's laughing at this part right now :) but also because if it dies that's my only shot at raising my first turkey. I should have got at least two! Right from the start all the birds were super healthy and active. Things were fantastically great for two days, then Turkey-Lurkey starts laying around all sick like. An hour and a half later though he's peppy again. Now this morning he looks sick again. I start to think he is just a really lazy sleeper and really comfy on his heated area. I hope. After searching online I finally read something about baby turkeys being limp, crashed out, floppy sleepers. (Seriously he looks like he is dying!) So looks like Turkey-Lurky is normal -for now. 

 I'm giving him GSE drops in his water, which is supposed to really help with blackhead disease and anything else than can kill a turkey. So I'm hopeful. 
                                             He (or she?) is an odd and cute little fellow.

This brings me to another thought...if I spend so much energy keep this little turkey alive will I really butcher it? I should have bought more than one turkey darn it. Who buys just one turkey!!?? Sheesh. Ricky, a real farmer, calls him Butterball.

The Birds
All the birds arrived four days ago. We have goslings!  They. Are. Cute.

They are unbelievably soft and fuzzy! Especially on their underside.

 They are all getting along famously in their brooder house during the warmth of the day (no heat source needed).

 I bring them all in at night where they sleep on a heating pad in a pillow case inside a plastic tub, as pictured above.

I don't usually use heat lamps due to fire hazard and chance of kids getting burned while they help out. I like using a heating pad covered in a pillow case. It works for us. Some time 
soon-ish I plan on writing a post about the care of birds and how/why we do it that way. 
Note: you do have to check on them often though. 

The birds are so excited to be released in the brooder house each day. They run, skip and jump around. The chicks have already started scratching (but only in the brooder house, not in the plastic tub). It's really neat to see. They seem really happy. 

I change their water every half hour to hour (except overnight where I leave it for 7-8 hours, unless I get up in the middle of the night).  A few drops of GSE go into the water every time. I use purified water. I clean their plastic tub daily, their brooder house shouldn't need cleaned for a long time. Unless we have a sick or dead bird. I love this many birds. It's the perfect number. I had 40 at once one time and we lost a few. I think the smaller flocks are much easier to manage. You can tell if there are any trouble makers quickly, or sick ones. Healthy robust birds will pick on small, weak, sick, or pasty butt birds. 

We have one black chick with pasty butt. It's usually harmless, but the chicks were picking on him. He's separated for now and doing very well. 

Soon I have to write about my guinea hens! They have proven to be quite fun and the most satisfying to raise! 

Everett can't really hold them, for obvious toddler reasons, so after a while he gets upset at us not letting him hold them by the neck. This is a picture of  him crying WHILE simultaneously squealing in delight. Really cute and sad.
Poor little guy.

UPDATE: Turkey Lurkey died. Never will I get one turkey alone again, they need to be paired in even numbers. I have found nothing online saying this yet, but I have info now from people that says so. Bummer, poor thing.  This winter, if it's a mild winter, I'll work on their official pen and shelter and be ready spring 2013!

1 comment:

pmteet said...

U guys are crazy!!! lol JK I.L.Y.