Turkey Logic, aka "What was she thinking??"

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Blisschick, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    Let me start off by saying that if you own or have ever owned any, you know turkeys are goobers. Turkey logic is an oxymoron. They never do anything that makes sense to anyone except themselves.

    The scenario: My chicken pen is constructed on slope, so the netting that hangs over it is lower on the high end, which is where the flat-topped shelter for my chickens sits. Any bird that chooses to walk across the net will inevitably be walking on top of the shelter as it droops under it's weight.

    Next to the pen is a tall dog kennel that I converted into a chicken pen, which has plastic lattice secured over the top. My loose roos and sometimes a turkey will roost there at night. Since the top is open, I once put a couple of sheets of green corrugated fiberglass sheeting on top to try to shield my birds from the rain. At some point, the wind blew the sheeting onto the neighboring pen's netting, and I was just too lazy to move it. Consequently, the turkeys and a couple of roos walked across it, breaking it into several pieces. (It was old and becoming fragile.) The pieces ended up in the low spot of the netting over the shelter.

    Today I'm making my rounds, and I notice that one of my turkey hens is sitting in the pile of pieces on the netting, her butt touching the top of the shelter. I go in the pen, check for eggs, and as I'm walking out, I see a broken turkey eggshell sitting on the netting by the door. My first thought was "How did that get up there?" My second thought was that the realization that the turkey hen didn't squawk and move away when I approached the shelter to check the eggs. Then I thought "No way." I checked around her, and sure enough, she's made a nest way up in the netting and has about 8 eggs in it! [​IMG]

    Who said turkeys were ground nesters?!

    Her mother had made her nests in places that were so openly obvious, yet well hidden, that I nearly stepped on her the first time I went looking for her. One could think her daughter learned a lesson from her mother after her mother got eaten on her third nest, but I seriously doubt it. Turkeys hens normally like a secluded hiding place where they can watch everything, not in the dead middle of everyone in the open! [​IMG]
  2. elliemb

    elliemb In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2007
    No, not such a clever bunch are they?

    I had a bronze pair at one time. The little mama was such a cutie and would follow me around the yard like a puppy. Mr Puff on the other hand would have liked to kill me on several occasions!! Because I live in a cold climate I would try and get them to go in the coop at night, but nooooo..........they would perch up on their roost in the middle of January with the wind howling around them. In the early days I tried to carry them in, but after a few floggings from him I decided to let them do their thing!

    Hope you hatch out some little babies from her!!
  3. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    Wanna give me some turkey...chicks? or poults? or whatever they are called? You can see how experienced I am! just kidding [​IMG]
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    Her mother had made her nests in places that were so openly obvious, yet well hidden, that I nearly stepped on her the first time I went looking for her

    Yes, very sneaky about being obvious. Early during our hen's second spring they'd always seem to be around. Never out of the yard and off in the woods. We had no idea that both hens were flying over the six foot fencing - going off to lay, and then flying back into the run! They worked towards the magic number of eggs (presto! BROODY hiss/bite - resulting in painful extraction of the `dragonesses' and the eggs from their twisted thorny redoubts of multifloral rose and Gooseberry) with not so much as a glance at the woodline when we were here to free range `em in the afternoon innocently dustbathing in the fire pit scrape and begging for grapes.

    Our Royal hen was mortally wounded by a raccoon one rainy afternoon the following summer. She had a shared nest with the Slate hen in our predator-proofed covered dog run, but she was sneaking off to a second nest just inside the wood line.

    I read a report, online, by a wildlife biologist who observed a Wild Eastern that had made her nest about twenty feet up in a big oak snag! Poor poults!

    Our hens always seemed so innocent, they'd roost in their shed on particulary warm spring afternoons (box fan blowing through west window - the fan seemed to trance `em), but they'd spent their mornings out working on their clutches right under our noses.

    Sam Clemens wrote a short `parable' of sorts in the Mysterious Stranger: Hunting The Deceitful Turkey Hen. It can be found on page 71 of the Online version over at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3186
    very curious little riff.​
  5. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    I've never seen a turkey fake being hurt, but I totally understand about them always being within a finger's grasp and never catching them. It's almost like they tease you. They also don't herd worth a flip without a stick to guide them on one side. It's like trying to steer a canoe from the front. [​IMG]

    I checked up there yesterday when I got back home, and sure enough, there were 8 eggs there. They're in my incubator now.

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