Fowl Friends

pastured turkeys, humane farming,

Image credit: bigredsharks.deviantart.com

“I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country…The turkey is a much more respectable bird and withal a true, original native of America.”   Benjamin Franklin

Who knew turkeys had compelling personalities? Someone seems to think so.

Our turkeys live in an enclosure called a tractor. Mark and Ben custom-designed it to be comfortably tall and spacious for the quickly growing birds. It’s open on the bottom and can be moved to give the turkeys new foraging ground. We try to move it twice a day. The turkeys learned quickly to move along with it as long as they can see us pushing it.

All day, every day the flock has a visitor. A little brown hen moseys up from the back to visit with her fowl friends. She stays close. She pecks at grass and bugs, sometimes a few feet away and sometimes a few inches away. When I go out to give the turkeys a treat from the garden (they love monster zucchini) she clucks at me but doesn’t leave. Quite often the turkeys, in their zucchini-enhanced exuberance, toss out flecks of what they’re eating almost as if to share. Their friend the hen is right there waiting to gobble up the offerings.

Yes, gobble. The turkeys are too young to make that characteristic sound. But they’re not too young for a fowl groupie.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she's a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, ponder life’s deeper meaning, talk to chickens and cows, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art. Blog: lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/ FB: facebook.com/FreeRangeLearningCommunity FB: facebook.com/SubversiveCooking FB: facebook.com/laura.euphoria Twitter: @earnestdrollery
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