April 4, 2016

Passing Through

The other day Dan and I had just sat down to lunch when we heard our rooster send out an alarm. Those of you who have chickens and roosters are familiar with this, and also that not all alarms sound the same. Some of them are just alerts for the hens to know a human or a cat is approaching the area. Others are more urgent, such as when a hawk is somewhere overhead. Dan and I have learned to heed these alarms, and if something doesn't sound quite right we check it out.

This time Dan went out to take a look. Within seconds he called me to come see.


It was a wild turkey passing through the yard. This is only the second wild turkey we've seen on our place since we moved here. Every single homestead critter stopped to stare at this odd, lone bird. None of them knew what to think except Meowy. It didn't matter that it was twice as big as she is. She immediately took off after it and chased it away.

Meowy the turkey chaser.

And that's the wild critter report.


41 comments:

  1. I dont know if wild turkeys are good or bad for you, its not something we have in this country, when a buzzard is spotted the hens go berserk the ducks used to as well

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    1. I don't think they're either good or bad. They don't prey on anything and don't bother anything. Our biggest problem is hawks, but our rooster is a good lookout for that.

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  2. Our cats too think about stalking the wild turkey's. They pay very little attention to them, but then again, we do have more than one. Since I don't keep fowl of any sort I do appreciate the wild turkeys, one because I don't have to feed them, two because they take care of themselves, three, I get the tick/insect eating benefits and four, they are quite entertaining.

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    1. Not having to feed them is a huge plus! LOL

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  3. The Turkeys rarely come up to our barn lot. Too exposed for them but we have a few down in the wood that mess around.

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    1. I'm actually surprised to see them passing through, because even though it open on the sides of our property and wooded behind, across the street is a small subdivision. They turkeys we've seen are either coming from or going across the street.

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  4. I have a friend here who has 15 acres and he keeps wild turkeys in a pen, like pets, but I am not sure what else do you do with them besides raise them for meat... can you keep them for eggs like hens?

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    1. I think I'd rather get a heritage breed domestic turkey than try to keep wild ones. Interesting he does that. I don't know anything about turkey eggs, but that's a good question.

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    2. Yes, you can eat turkey eggs! I just sold two piglets to a gal who has turkeys and she said her kids love the eggs. Not sure if taste is different from breed to breed, but they must be good.

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  5. I'm fortunate that we have an entire flock of turkeys that travel through our yard every morning and evening. At least two of the young ones from last year that survived are Tom's with beards and have been displaying their plumage. In fact, I probably have 50 photos of that on my camera that I need to download and then add to my blog at some point.

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    1. I've seen flocks of wild turkeys from the car, but never near the house. Makes me wonder what one lone bird is doing!

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  6. We had to stop for one crossing the road on our way home Saturday. And, turkey hunting season opened this weekend. That one wasn't trying too hard to hide.

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    1. Oh my, I hadn't thought about hunting season. Not that I am against hunters, but obviously I wouldn't want anyone shooting into the yard. We already have someone who hits golf balls into the pasture and our woods.

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  7. There are many flocks of turkey in my area, but I rarely see them at my place as it's mostly woods. Once in a while, though! I enjoy seeing them, but Piper doesn't think any bird should be that big and that many.

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    1. I'm sure Piper is as opinionated as Meowy about such things. :)

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  8. Up until a few years ago we hardly ever saw wild turkeys. Then a lady up in the bluffs started tossing out a little corn for them when they came through her yard. Now we see huge groups of them, sometimes 30 at a time, wandering down out of the bluffs, crossing people's lawns, roosting in the trees. They are lovely to see but can be a pest in the wrong places.

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    1. If you feed them they will come. :) Too much of anything can be a pest, but maintaining balance is a challenge!

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    1. I have no idea. Maybe I should find out!

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  10. For almost 2 years there have been a group of 4 wild turkeys coming through the gardens here, 3 toms and a hen. They are really big birds. 2 days ago just the toms were nosing around. I hope the hen is on a nest somewhere and not injured. It's a treat to see them graze on grass seeds and grasshoppers in the summer. Glad you got to see another one before meowy stepped in. :-D

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. For LOTS of turkey info, check out this blog: www.crazedcattlewoman.blogspot.com Here turkey tales are VERY informative and entertaining.

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    3. Oh yes, Fiona's blog has been tops for poultry. She's been doing an excellent job of analyzing the various breeds. I've especially been interested in her turkey reports and am now leaning toward the chocolates, although no one anywhere around here has them. That would mean mail order and I'm not sure I need a minimum order of $150 worth of turkeys, LOL.

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  11. We have a flock of 30 or so who love the pasture where we are going to have sheep. Yes they are the ones that tease "Double Chocolate" with their vivacious charms!
    Your cat is amazing!

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    1. Those are the ones I'm especially interested in, thanks to you. :)

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  12. Ha ha Meowy is sooooo cute - little tough kitty chasing away the big old turkey! I bet he was looking for a mate - it's the right time of year and that's mostly when I see the 'lone' turkeys. You can hear them calling in the woods, their mating call. It sounds so cool!

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    1. Interesting! I've actually never heard them, which makes me think there are no permanent residents anywhere nearby.

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  13. Leigh,

    Meowy the trained cat guarding her homestead!!
    Beautiful wild turkey, usually they travel in pairs.

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    1. She likes to chase anything that moves, including us! Her favorite game is "tag," where she zooms by and gives a leg a clawless bat. :)

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  14. We have lots of wild turkeys in the southern part of Minnesota where hunting them is great sport, but none up here in the north.

    Meowy, the guard cat! Good kitty, good kitty!

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    1. I'm guessing they must be almost everywhere in this country. Did you know Benjamin Franklin wanted to make them our national bird?

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  15. As you know, CT is Turkey Heaven. Tom Turkey woke us all up the other morning, calling out to the ladies. They think they are part of my herd, and vice versa. I have pictures of them all grazing together. They taste good, too! My hunter took a wounded one for me. Coyotes wounded it gravely, so we harvested the breast meat. It is amazingly like pork.

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    1. Like pork, interesting! I've never had wild turkey, but then no one in my family has much interest in hunting. Dan only does it out of necessity, but we've never needed to deal with a turkey.

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  16. Hi, Leigh. We have lot's of wild turkeys here in NE Indiana too, but not often in the yard (at least while I'm home). Thus far, they haven't been in the yard while our birds are out of the run. Not sure what Ivan the rooster and his girls would do!

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    1. Mark! Good to hear from you. I'd be curious as to what Ivan would do too. Our rooster let out an alarm and every chicken, every critter stopped in their tracks to stare at this turkey.

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  17. What's the difference between a wild turkey and the ones you serve for Thanksgiving? I don't know much about US wild critters, but thought the big, fat fancy ones (eaten for Thanksgiving) were wild too. Or is it that they were introduced into the wild, after being imported or selectively bred?

    We have brush turkey's as our wild ones, and had a little baby one, wonder into our lives of late. It's not a little baby any more though. They grow fast!

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    1. I think most Thanksgiving turkeys are farm-raised (wild ones are stringier, at least in the drumsticks!), but some of the farm raised ones look similar to the wild ones.

      There are wild turkeys that are native to the US, and some of the same strains now have domestic counterparts. Some breeds were also imported from Europe, and I think (descendants of) the imports probably make up more of the farm-raised birds. I'm not sure what the percentage is, though.

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    2. Yeah, the domestic turkey has be super-bred to gain weight fast and produce a lot of meat. They are referred to as "broad breasted" whites or bronze. Heritage breeds, like Jake is talking about are becoming very popular, because they have not had the instincts to breed and forage bred out of them. Commercial turkeys are like commercial meat breed chickens, they get too big too fast and only know how to eat.

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  18. Hopefully she doesn't find your chicken feeder! I'm sure she would return frequently, and they eat a lot. Some of my family feeds the wild turkey in Wisconsin, and they get flocks of 10+ coming in.

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    1. Good grief, that's all I need! I already get Muscovies, goats, and little pigs in the chicken feeder, LOL

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  19. A wild turkey passing through the yard would excite Poppy as turkey season comes in this weekend. Meowy looks pleased with herself for chasing that big bird away. Cats are so funny.

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