Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Turkey Days

Miss Turkey - Bourbon Red (Heritage Breed) 

I managed to get four turkey this year! Two Red Bourbon and two Standard Bronze. Both are heritage breads. The above pic is one of the Red Bourbons taking a dust bath in the bed I had just turned to plant fall kale. At one point I let them free-range, then someone told me that if a flock of wild turkey came along ours would join up with them. They now live in a big fenced run with lots of grass and bugs.
I won't be raising turkey like I had originally thought. I learned a few things that does not make it a wise choice for me!
One.. they are smart! Smarter than chickens.
Two.. they are personable, friendly and funny. Not at all like I thought they would be. They like being with people! That means it's going to be very hard for me to put them on the dinner table. Chickens are hard enough and they don't have near the personalities of turkey (in my opinion).
Three.. they eat a LOT and it takes them a long time to get to butcher weight. We like the way turkey tastes, but not enough to justify the extra expense above what it cost to raise a chicken. I know now why free-range, heritage birds go for 8.00 per pound!
In case your interested.. the standard bronze are bigger now than the Bourbon Red and they are two months younger. I can't believe the size difference in the breads.
On the garden front: I'm getting fall crops in, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, snow peas, carrots, kale, spinach and lettuce. I'm planting all the seed I have this year. The spring/summer garden was not at all what it has been in past years, the bugs came early and hit hard. The extreme heat and lack of rain in July didn't do anything to help. I shouldn't even mention lack of rain considering the horrible drought a lot of you are going through! Maybe fall will be kinder?

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