• stacy

Turkey Boys



It’s been almost four months since we brought home four tiny turkey poults from the feed store, and they have grown up into huge 10 pound boys already. Yes, that’s right, they are all boys. I seem to have bad luck in the male to female poultry ratio, and regardless of whether we are hatching our own, adopting, or buying baby chicks, I always seem to end up with more males than females in the bunch. Turkey poults are sold unsexed, which means they cannot determine the sex of the birds at hatching, so you take your chances when you buy them regarding what sex they will grow up to be. We decided to buy four, which is two more than we intended to keep, to give ourselves better odds of winding up with a hen or two. A couple of the boys were slower to mature, and I kept hoping that perhaps one or two may still be a girl. I had recently decided to name my favorite turkey Gladys, but at this point the turkeys are all strutting and displaying male traits, and I can no longer deny that Gladys has in fact grown up to be George. I have another favorite in the bunch that is my best lap turkey, who I’ve decided to name Ringo. I allowed Ringo to jump up on me at will when he was younger (and when I thought he would grow up to be a hen), and I thought it was sweet when he would jump up on my shoulder. Now that he’s about 10 pounds, I’m realizing that this was not the best habit to get into, as having a huge bird launch itself toward your face is a bit disconcerting to say the least. He is a good boy though, and I am still allowing him to jump up on my lap, let’s just hope I can train him to give up the shoulder jumping!

The boys have all grown up to be very handsome, and so far they get along pretty well. There has been a little bit of fighting, but nothing too serious. I recall from our days of too many roosters that there comes a point that you either need to give the boys more room to roam, or reduce the number of boys living together in close quarters in order to keep everyone safe and happy. We don’t have the room to keep four male turkeys, and I have realized that it is time to rehome a couple of the boys. I am also on the lookout for a turkey hen or two to add to our flock, and in keeping with the Beetles theme for turkey names, hopefully we will soon have an Eleanor Rigby or Prudence to call our own.

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