The real kind. Not the drinkin' kind.
We've had three wild turkeys start hanging around in the past couple of weeks. It's not unusual to see a flock of these beautiful creatures cruising through the farm every now and then, but what is a bit unusual is to have a group take up residence for a while. I call them the "three amigos," and they appear to be toms (males) because all three sport rather impressive beards. (A small percentage of the hens can have beards, but they're also not generally very prominent.)
I took these photos on Wednesday morning from the back deck. The turkey in the photo above had been scratching around in some of the leftover hay on the snow. Even though I was a good 100 feet away and slipped out the back door without making a sound (or so I thought), he instantly knew something had changed and turned to head for the woods.
You can see our chickens were out on the ramp of the eggmobile, sunning themselves and watching their larger cousins. If you click on the photo for a bigger image, you should be able to see our rooster, Duke, at the front of the ramp, standing guard. He is foolish enough to try and take on a tom turkey weighing two to three times his size, but the fence protected him from himself. We know he's foolish enough because he will also take a run at us on occasion, which results in a dust-up that he loses every time, much to his diminished pride. Current score is something like Steve/Alayne/Kate 21, Duke 0. We keep a rooster not because you need one to get hens to lay (they'll lay just fine without a rooster), but because we'd like to hatch out our own chicks this spring.
After the tom in the photo above skittered off, about 10 minutes later the other two amigos came out of the woods to check things out. The same thing happened -- as soon as they sensed my presence, they left for the safety of the woods:
One of their favorite spots is the half-acre cornfield I planted last year. They scratch through the snow, hunting and pecking for corn kernels in the ground.
I'm not sure what to make of the fact that if you search for "wild turkey" on Google, the bourbon is the number one search result and counts for two of the top four results:
We prefer the feathered one, thank you.
The new Shelter Challenge started Monday, January 9 and ends at midnight on March 18. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** Okay, this is important, folks: We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.