New Turkey Chicks

Our turkey hen hatched out 5 chicks this morning! We’ve kept an eye on her since she started sitting.

I was told that domesticated turkeys don’t do a good job of sitting because they are so big it’s hard for them to go without food and water for so long.

This is where she decided to sit, on the top of two 1-ton bales of hay.

We put water and food up there for her so that she would have some incentive to stay put and hatch out the eggs.

Once they hatched we were worried that they would jump down onto the cement below and die. This morning I found chicks hatched, and two on the floor already. They were fine, uninjured from the fall because they fell onto the hay that we intentionally left on the barn floor.

While the hen was down below watching the two on the ground, I used our old fishing net to catch the three left on top of the bales and brought them down to their mama.

This is one that I was able to catch and hold.

Running to mama!

Later today I’ll pull three of the chicks and hand raise them in a brooder. I was told that domesticated turkeys don’t do a great job of raising their own chicks. Wild turkeys do a great job, but domesticated turkeys aren’t quite as intelligent.

We try different ‘experiments’ on the farm so we’ll let her raise two chicks, and I’ll raise three. If she can keep two alive and well, then next time she hatches out a clutch I’ll let her raise all of them.

There are still 12 weeks until Thanksgiving…… I’m not sure if we will have one big enough for dinner by then. I wouldn’t be surprised if we did because we take good care of the animals here and they often grow bigger than expected.

Last year our turkeys weighed 40 lbs or more. That’s big!

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