Sunday, 8 June 2014

New Additions

Friday was the last day of egg picking - the daily chore of collecting pheasants' eggs from the laying pens. This means we can release the laying birds to go to wood. They're free to roam, but we still put out feeders for them.

This also means I can bring in new stock, without worrying about infecting our laying stock.

And yesterday was the big Spring Poultry Auction.

I thought of our lonely hen turkey at home. She will soon experience empty nest syndrome, quite literally. And turkeys are flock animals. There were a few pens of turkeys at the sale, but none as stunning as this pair of Narragansett turkeys -

When the first of the turkey lot - a scruffy looking lone Bronze stag - sold of £50, my heart sank. A pair of heritage breed birds in top condition would be out of my price range. When the auctioneer called "selling once, at £20" my hand and bidder's paddle shot up. I don't even think it was a conscious decision. A breed from home, well underpriced. It was meant to be. The hammer dropped on £22 per bird, my winning bid.

I worried that maybe other bidders knew something I didn't.

As I transferred the birds to the dog crate I brought with me - as a just in case, you understand! - two country-looking men stood back with their hands in their boilersuit pockets and nodded approvingly. "You got a good deal there, miss." said one. I don't know why two strangers' confirmation should allay some of my worries, but they seemed genuine. For all I know they were the sellers, and glad to be shot of this pair. Still, when it comes to livestock, I'm an optimist.

The pair are now in quarantine, in a spare dog kennel. I'm an optimist yes, but a cautious one!

Trevor never performed his reproductive duties with any real success. Perhaps because I gave him a name one might associate with a middle-aged dentist. So, I've called our new stag turkey Enrique. That's a name to make ladies (even the turkey variety) swoon. 

If it works, we'll have tiny turkeys this time next year.


Sara Rall said...

Enrique! Wonderful name. And I love the smoldering look he has, especially in that first picture. He's really what a turkey ought to look like.

Harvey Hedges said...

Lovely new turkeys I bet your lone hen will be happy whith them!

Seester said...

Ok- so when I read "we'll have tiny turkeys this time next year" I thought, good lord! How long does it take to knock-up a turkey!? Then I thought, I know- I'll look it up. So I googled "turkey gestation" which helpfully reminded me that EGGS are not gestated. I also learned that male turkeys and female turkeys tend to stay segregated until spring when (theoretically) they are drawn together like it's free margarita night at Señor Tadpole's.
Relatedly, I was going to suggest you name the new female turkey "Kitty" (wooo!) but realize you've now got a surfeit of Kittys up in Hereford.

Pam said...

Enrique....I love it! Of course, you have to say it with the appropriate accent. Are you good at rrrrrolling your rrrrrs? Just to pump him up, every time you walk by you should say "Enrique es muy suavecito!"

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a gorgeous pair! Can't wait for the reports on the tip tapping of tiny turkey trotters chez Montero......................

Fran in Oz

Jennifer Montero said...

I'll say it again - here at M&T we provide infotainment. What else could make you google "turkey gestation"? As always your comment made me laugh out loud. Please can you make me a Señor Tadpole's sign that I can put up on their turkey house come spring? I mean...SPRING BREAK! WOOOO!!

Jennifer Montero said...

Pam - I sound like a bad Speedy Gonzales when I roll my rrrs, but I try for Enrique. I have been telling him he's muy guapo y fuerte every morning. I think suavecito is mejor. My Spanish language skills are near non-existent but, besides complimenting the turkey, I like to sing Spanish pop songs to Kitty the horse when I'm grooming her. She likes them too, though her Spanish is as poor as mine.

Jennifer Montero said...

I saw Enrique "woo" (code for turkey sex) both his chicas this morning. I think tiny turkey trotters are definitely a possibility come Spring!