Friday, May 7, 2010

Talkin' Turkey

Ever since Tessa was attacked by the coyote we've been trying to figure out how to keep those birds in their yard. We observed that they never take off directly from the ground over the fence. They seem to have to fly to a rock or ledge then fly over. With that in mind we thought that we could net just the backside of the enclosure leaving the front as it was. We used netting that the Whitehalls had left behind, thankfully no rats were nesting in the piles!

We got the netting up but the hens were out of the yard on their nests. Keith had found Penelope's nest a few day's back so we knew we could get her in, Winnie was the problem. He had searched all over that hillside and could not find it. After we got the net up he and Cinder went on another search. This time Cinder was the lucky one. She stopped and pointed at a brushy area under a pine tree. Cinder didn't bark or jump, just stood her ground and pointed. Keith looked and there was Winnie!

I set up two lovely nests, at least I was hoping the hens would find them satisfactory and then off to get those girls and their eggs. I grab the hen and Keith grabbed the eggs then we put them together in the barn and crossed our fingers.

They didn't like the nests, but they did stay inside.
For one day.
High winds came and blew down a section of the nets and out went the hens.
Luckily Keith had anticipated that they might get out and had the great idea of putting one egg back in each of the turkey's nest, so they would go back to them, just in case.
Which they did.

Next plan was to put sturdier netting on the blown down side.

The turkey hens still get out, but we know where they are. We are not exactly sure how, because when we watch them they act innocently. We turn our heads and out they go!
Penelope isn't broody so she comes back every evening. Winnie has become broody so every night before I milk Tuffy I climb the hill and bring Winnie home. We gather all but one egg, saving them for the next hatch.

Before we put up the orange netting, the roosters would get out and head to the Ladies Palace.
These three hang together, from the top down they are: Andrew, Ernesto, and Eugene.

Now all the males, Turkey and Rooster stay in the yard.
We've come up with another idea for the hens, but that will have to wait. In the meantime we go fetch them and wait for the broodiness to end.
Thought you might like to see how the little birds that were hatch by their mama's are doing.

Mama and the two chickies behind.


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