My Flock Had Some Visitors Today

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by MickWithChicks, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. MickWithChicks

    MickWithChicks Songster

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    I have 2 broody's on some 26 eggs in their own separate aviary, which apparently isn't quite as protected from the elements as the main open-air coop.

    It has been raining pretty heavily here for the past week or so. The food I had out for the broody's got drenched, so I put it out of their aviary and sorted out another food source and hadn't thought much of it again (understandably, I'm trying to spend as little time as possible out in the rain). The food has been out of the coop/run and in the open for at least a couple of days.

    Anyway, over those past couple of days, some of our natives have come to visit, have found the food and they seem to be hanging around. They're a flock of four great Australian Brush Turkeys (aka Scrub Turkey, Bush Turkey). Three of the four flee when I approach, the other is quite a cheeky male and has been running to me when I throw scratch for the chooks.

    I thought I'd share some pictures and information of these fascinating creatures, as most of the BYC users are based in the United States and have probably never seen or heard of them.

    [​IMG]

    "Hey Mrs Clause, who the heck is that fella, and what's that yellow ring 'round his neck?"
    "I dunno Baby It's Cold Outside, but I think he's quite handsome!"

    [​IMG]

    The male Brush Turkey has a distinctive bright yellow ring around his neck. This one is a juvenile, likely in his first year of breeding, and his yellow ring/wattle hasn't quite dropped yet. Those toenails/claws are long and strong and used to scratch and forage, and to build the signature egg mound.

    [​IMG]

    Side on view of the same male. He was the only one game enough to hang around when I went outside.

    The male Australia Brush Turkey builds a mound of about 2m wide and 1m tall, and uses the mound to attract female mates. They breed with up to 5 females, and the mounds can hold up to 60 eggs! Once the female lays her clutch, she leaves the mound to never return. The male tends to the mound, checking moisture and temperature levels and making adjustments where required.

    The incubation process takes approximately 50 days, and gender ratios depend on temperature and humidity levels of the climate in which they're laid. Once the Brush Turkey chick hatches, it's on its own to fend for itself and survive. They immediately leave the nest and run for cover.

    The Brush Turkey isn't actually a Turkey! It is part of the Megapodiidae family, which is predominantly found in Australia and the West Pacific.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    That's one crazy looking bird. So cool.:thumbsup
     
  3. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crossing the Road

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    Wow! Wikipedia said that they hatch out with fully feathered wing's? I guess you learn something new every day, huh? Thank's for sharing!
     
    NoFlyBackFarm, Melky, Debbi H and 7 others like this.
  4. MickWithChicks

    MickWithChicks Songster

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    Very cool. They've been around my whole life, so I've never really thought twice about it. As they're a very unique ground dweller, I figured they'd be of interest to plenty of BYC's patrons :)

    That's correct, but only the wings. The rest of them is still super fluffy :love

    [​IMG]

    (note, this is not my picture, I've never seen a brush turkey keet in real life :( )
     
  5. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    Awesome thread!

    I hope they stay around for a while
     
  6. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crossing the Road

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    That's amazing!
     
  7. MickWithChicks

    MickWithChicks Songster

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    So do I. They've been hanging about one of the upper paddocks this afternoon, so they seem pretty contented at the moment. Their numbers have increased to 5.

    They're scratching about the lantana I downed through winter and roosting in the trees. They're pretty decent flyers and like to roost quite high.

    See if you can spot all 5:
    [​IMG]
     
    NoFlyBackFarm, Melky, Debbi H and 9 others like this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    What a beautiful chick. Thanks Mick, for teaching me something new. Never too old for that.
     
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  9. DobieLover

    DobieLover Free Ranging

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    Wow! How cool are they? Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. BY Bob

    BY Bob Proprietor, Fuffly Butt Acres

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    This is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. I learned something new! Very cool.
     

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