June 25, 2022

Tiny Turkey's New Friends

After the tragic loss of three of our four our turkey poults, we had to figure out what we could do for our one survivor. 

It was understandably stressed out, and spent the entire day calling, calling, and pacing back and forth. The logical solution seemed to be to contact the folks we got them from and see if they had more. Dan heard back, and they did. Could we get a few more? And then things got weird and they stopped responding to our emails. Problem? Glitch? Maybe we failed their turkey parenting test? We didn't know.

After communications came to a halt, I thought maybe best thing was to find a new home for our little guy. To give him to someone who had turkeys about the same age. I got a craigslist ad ready, and Dan contacted the Buff breeders again. The reply was prompt this time, and suggested that maybe we could meet somewhere in the middle to get the turkeys. Dan said okay, when? Silence again. Finally, an email came that evening asking if Dan could meet them that morning. Yes, that morning. He got the email hours after the suggested time, which points to the fact that computer communications are not always as instant and efficient as we assume they are. Dan replied that he just now got their email, and that was the last we heard from them.

I had wanted to stick with the same breed if possible because I liked them. But also, because they would be the same age and size, and hopefully, coming from the same breeder, there would be some sense of familiarity for our Tiny Turkey. But for whatever reason, we were hitting a dead end.We needed a Plan B because it was no good for our little guy to be so stressed out.

One thing that helped was a trick I learned from when we
had guinea fowl. A mirror! It gave him a "friend," and he
calmed down quite a bit, but it seemed to puzzle him as well.

Occasional visitors helped, but Tiny Turkey really missed his buddies.

Dan hit craigslist again and here's what he found.

Black turkey poults. They'll lose their white feathers in their first moult.

This is another heritage breed, known as Black, Spanish Black (because they were popular in Spain) or  Norfolk Black (because they were popular in England). They can be traced back to Europe in the 1500s, but I don't know when they were brought to the New World. The breed was admitted into the American Standard of Perfection in 1874 and are now on the Livestock Conservancy's threatened list. They are said to have friendly personalities, quick growth, and are tolerant of a large range of temperature conditions. Like all heritage breeds, they can breed and rear young naturally.

We put the new poults in the chicken tractor's coop, but left the door open. Tiny Turkey remained in the run. He panicked when I removed the mirror, so I tried to place it to entice him to go up the ramp and check out the coop.

Finally, he did and discovered that he was no longer alone. It didn't take long for his new friends to follow him out and into their new world.

The newcomers are still a little skittish, but I think Tiny Turkey will help them calm down and adjust. They're about the same age and size, so even though this didn't work out the way we thought, I think it worked out well.

We still have no idea of their sexes, so for that we'll have to wait and see! We're just hoping we don't have three toms! Dan's already making plans for when they outgrow the chicken tractor, which may be fairly soon as they are growing well. For now, though, everybody's happy and that's a relief.


Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Yay! A Happy Ending!

Electronic communications are not as instant and trouble free as we often assume they are, both from a practical operational (getting the message through) as well as people checking their messages (I am one of the worst on this. Although very responsive on my blog, I pretty laid back about other forms of electronic communication).

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning, you two are good turkey parents-hugs I have an author friend that lives outside of Yellowstone park and she raised allot of turkeys from eggs this year and sold quite a few this spring
good luck to the little turkeys hugs from the Lake Kathy

SmartAlex said...

That's too bad about the buffs. When I saw your tractor my first thought was "that needs a wire skirt around it". I'm glad you got the little guy some fun new companions. Now you can compare the two breeds. Aren't computer communications a PITA though? My husband's sum total of text (via my cell) and email communications is generally "Call me at this land line. It is not a cell. Please leave an actual message." It seems like we are at the point of the communication age where we are backsliding.

Leigh said...

Kathy, thanks! I'm hoping that next year, we'll get a few mom-raised from eggs too. But it depends on what we've got!

Alex, yeah, my experience with cell phones, both calling and texting, has been only negative. I guess for some people, it's convenient to have a mini-computer at their fingertips. But for us, it was more nuisance than it was worth. I don't have time to be frustrated.

That's very true about comparing the breeds. We did that with our chickens and settled on a few favorites.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Just because we have the ability to communicate much more quickly does not mean that the communication is any better.

Glad that there is a happy ending. Looking forward to the adventures of Tiny Turkey.

Leigh said...

TB, happy endings always welcome!

I think with communications, we expect more because it's all so high tech. While technology can be a great benefit, I don't think it always lives up to our expectations.

Renee Nefe said...

My friend tried to text me the other day to let me know that she & her dog were going to the dog park earlier than we had agreed on because she had forgotten another appointment. I never got that text...weird because we both use the same cell phone carrier.
She was coming home as I was leaving. It was a bummer because my dog was very upset that her friend wasn't at the dog park.
I'm glad you found some buddies for your tiny turkey. It looks like they'll get along just fine, I hope that at least one is a gal.

KateB. said...

Those new Black turkey poults look very interesting. Glad Tiny has some company other than the mirror pal, although that is a neat trick that I hadn't heard of. Hopefully Dan's security renovations on the coop prevent another home invasion tragedy.

Leigh said...

Renee, makes you wonder what happened to it, doesn't it? One of the most common cell phone problems we had, was that it would send people directly to voicemail without ringing. We'd have the phone on us to wait on a call, and suddenly see there's a missed call. Huh? It never rang!

Sounds like your pup is doing well. :)

Kate, if it hadn't been for having guinea keets, I probably wouldn't know about it either! It'd definitely discouraging to loose animals, but hopefully the varmint is now gone.

daisy g said...

Oh, poor sweet lil' thing. So glad he found some new friends. Hoping they will stay safe.

MTVA said...

I was drawn to your blog to find out what happened with tiny turkey - hope he is happier now with his new friends. Then went on to read about your new cooling blanket....I had to get one, too! Thanks so much for the discount, and for your nice blog!

Ed said...

Yes, people seem impatient on websites these days. I sold something via Marketplace a couple weeks ago and despite my ad saying price was not negotiable, they attempted to negotiate. I said no and went to bed. During the night they changed their mind and left a dozen emails about wanting to pick it up yet that night (sent at 10:30), wondering why I wasn’t responding and then a few with just question marks. When I deal via emails, I count on a day at least for a response and don’t assume they will read it in the minutes after being sent.

Retired Knitter said...

Aww, my heart goes out to that little guy who survived! So glad you found a fix!

Lady Locust said...

Oh yay that they are all now friends. Online communication can sure be frustrating~ ug. Glad there was a good solution even if not ideal.

Leigh said...

Daisy, keeping them safe is our number one job. I think poultry have been the hardest. The ones we've lost have all been to predators: skunks, 'possums, hawks, and rats. It's never easy.

MTVA, thank you and welcome! I very much appreciate the comment!

Ed, that's the best way to approach it. Having a stressed out little critter didn't help things. We heard again this morning from the guy with the Jersey Buffs, but it's already been resolved. So Dan is going to thank him and tell him the little guy was too stressed out to wait. We want to keep that door open for the future because the Buffs seem like a really nice breed.

RT, me too! As soon as he found his new buddies he was happy. They, of course, didn't know where they were and were peeping to go home! They're all settling down now, though, so all is well.

Lady Locust, I know some people prefer phone calls, but neither Dan nor I are phone people, so email is always preferred. Until it doesn't work out!

Cederq said...

All's well that fowls well...

Cederq said...

Shoot! Talk about technology and mess ups... I said after my pithy comment, "I will be here all week..." and blogger daned not to text it forward.

Leigh said...

Kevin, LOL! Thank you for helping me start my day with a smile. :)

Yeah, blogger is pretty good at comment mess-ups. Just another "oh well" in our technological lifestyles.