Just worth including a photograph of one of the Christmas turkeys, which are now almost six weeks old and appear to be going from strength to strength. They are starting to behave more recognisably like turkeys, and the velvety down on their heads is starting to thin, revealing pink scalps underneath.
Fed on high protein game grower pellets, the birds are growing quickly, despite having a tendency to stand around and look as if they are about to die. I understand that this impression of morbidity is a turkey characteristic, and that it shouldn’t be taken as any indication of ill-health. After all, they have looked like they are about to die since they hatched, and they seem to be doing rather well with it.
During the awkward hatch, I thought that only one of these birds was going to survive. In an attempt to make rearing that single bird a little more worthwhile, I went to a turkey farmer nearby and asked to buy some day-olds. Like most turkey farmers, he told me that he didn’t deal in day-olds because they are notoriously fragile, choosing instead to buy birds in at six weeks. Feeling desperate, I committed to take half a dozen Devon bronze turkeys at six weeks old, then came home to find that I actually had three perfectly good crollwitzer chicks and didn’t need any more. I have to pick up these superfluous Devon bronzes in the middle of August, and am treating the situation with the old and surprisingly relevant expression “in for a penny…”