13 February 2009

Turkens

I think I just found the bird that meets all my chicken criteria:

cold hardy
heavy-bodied
calm
winter laying
weird looking



1 comment:

Lausanne said...

This past spring we purchased 30 day old ducklings and raised them in the livingroom for the first month until it was warm enough for them to live out doors. What a delight! (though I did lose a bit of sleep as a new mom in the beginning.) I fell in love with them, but still could feel ok about their ultimate destination...We managed to keep three from the flock to keep over the winter-- every day I visit with them and keep their water thawed out. They are such a joy to have around, I want to get another batch this spring, but probably not quite as many because our freezer is still pretty full (not only with the ducks but chickens from our flock,2 goats that Brian butchered, and venison from Brian's hunting this past fall....
We don't have a true pond but a fairly sizeable splash around/swim spot that I created last summer on the ledge pocket below our house.
We've been keeping hens for the past three years--since Brian came home with a feisty Auracana rooster under his arm that a friend didn't want to keep. All of our birds have been given to us as two year olds. Last September we were give 26 hens that had been pecking on one another . They looked pretty bad--big bright red bleeding butts where they should have had feathers...But somehow the rooster brought them in line, and they are all looking healthy once again. Clearly their recovery is not linked to their housing since they had a spacious warm light house before, and here, over the winter they have been cozied into a very small cube of warmth without windows and with only one roost. Hard to figure!
At this point we have 15 hens and a rooster and we can't keep up with the eggs they produce , even in the winter! As with the ducks, I enjoy catering to them (in the deep subzero cold I bring them laying mash that has been made into hot grits, with bits of deer suet leftover from the scraps of butchering added, garnished with meaty sunflower kernels...they go wild with excitement extracting the bits of suet as though they were fresh worms from the ground!
Yesterday was quite warm, our first thaw since December really, so I brought out the wading pool and filled it for the ducks (Yo! a bath!!) All the ducks and chickens roamed about the edge of the woods and the open yard scratching and dabbling with glee in the moist open ground. Alas, this morning we awoke to a winter wonderland with snow coating the branches and all the bare ground which had been so enticing to them yesterday. How many more weeks of winter???
What are these Turken's and where have you heard or seen of them?
I looked in the Murray McMurray catalogue, but no such critter.
I never would have imagined getting so much pleasure from keeping flocks of birds around! Go for it April!