Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Letting Nature Take Its Course...

Spring 2010~After finishing the book by Barbara Kingsolver, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle", my Mister and I determined to start our own free-range heritage breed turkey business. Our customers would come from miles around to pick up their pre-ordered Thanksgiving centerpieces, and would rave about how delicate the meat was to their friends, who in turn would rave about it to their friends, who....well, you get the idea.

Turkey farming was in our blood; it was our destiny.

We brought home our first turkey poults and named them Ricky, Lucy, Fred, Ethel, and Thomasina (formerly known as Tom...she was a late-bloomer). Fast forward through some rather nasty run-in's with a rabid raccoon, a cunning coyote (who my son insists opened the turkey yard door!), and a certain November holiday, and we were left with 2.

Our dreams started to fade like a bad hair-coloring job on an August afternoon.

We assumed that our first turkeys were just stupider than most and decided to try a different approach. Especially since each poult at the farm store was about $10/poult!

This spring, we had the brilliant idea to incubate our own (free!) turkey eggs. Since turkeys are notoriously clumsy, we figured our intervention was needed in order to secure future generations of Bourbon Reds on the farm. (Ethel attempted to hatch her own, but ended up squishing the newly-hatched birds.) We ended up hatching 7 poults. Through a series of unfortunate events, only 4 made it to adulthood.

A couple of months later, in a moment of weakness, I brought home 2 chocolate turkeys, which turned into 3 as one life was cut short (and needed to be replaced) from a "swimming accident" in the water dish.

Then the unthinkable happened. Lucy, our last remaining adult female disappeared. For days we searched for signs of her; a nest hidden under a fallen log, a trail through the blackberries, a pile of feathers...

We came to the conclusion that dreams and destiny are two very different things. Our dreams came from reading too late into the night; our destiny, a small flock of backyard pets. So we locked the remaining 7 turkeys in the yard and just hoped to keep them from becoming another wildlife snack at the all-you-can-eat-buffet.

And we decided that we didn't really like turkey on Thanksgiving anyway.

Until today.

It's Lucy!

Lucy hatched 12 perfect little poults.

And they were practically under our noses the whole time.
~*~"One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it."~*~
~French Proverb~

Now they tell me.

At 20 turkeys, does this mean we're officially turkey farmers now?☺

This post is linked to Homestead Barn Hop!


Carolyn Renee said...

What a great ending! Guess Ma Nature DOES know best (at least this time around!)


Candy C. said...

Sounds like a turkey farm to me! :)

Mountain Home Quilts said...

YES IT DOES!! Too cool! :)

Kris said...

Oh my goodness! That is so sweet! I think the answer is yes, you might be a turkey farmer now. I just sold my last 3 turkeys. They were getting a little bit obnoxious for me and my sheep to handle. I wish you great turkey farming success! They are adorable when they are little, aren't they?

Farmer's City Wife said...

I think this is my favorite of all of your posts :)... I actually had to show it to my husband and by the end he involuntarily let out an "awwww". hehehe

So awesome! So sweet! So inspiring :). I'm inspired to go get some turkeys and raise our own little I Love Lucy clan.

Kim said...

Raising turkeys has been the most fun, especially since each of them have their own personalities! I just need to remember to not name the new ones anything too cutesy...maybe Tettrazini, Noodle, Stuffing, and Cheese? :)

chipmunk said...

Way to go Lucy! (she has some 'splainin' to do!)

PaulaB52 said...

Lucy is a better mother than our Valentina was to her clutch!

Mona @ Healthy Homesteading said...

Nice story. I was thinking of hatching my turkey eggs too but after reading your story I might reconsider. Maybe it's best to let the mom's hatch their own. My turkeys are still young so we will have to see what happens next year.