Monday, 25 October 2010


We had the first hard frost of the Winter this morning. All the animals' water bowls were frozen, but not the outside tap fortunately. But it is still jolly cold on the hands - time to call back those gloves and scarves from their Summer hideaways.

The sun has been shining all day, though, as a consolation prize. Crisp and cold is good. Let's hope it stays that way long enough for me to get the leaves raked up from the lawn and cleared from the gutters.

I am feeling a little more positive about Winter today.

The wood store is full, I remembered to have the oil tank filled. The garden is half-way to being shut down for the Winter; perhaps another couple of weekends will get it sorted so I can get off to a flying start next Spring. The freezers are full of food, the lambs are booked to go off next month which will leave me with the bare minimum of animals to look after and feed.

Apart from the turkeys, that is.

Every year about this time I wonder whatever possessed me to buy in turkey poults. Well for a start they are probably the only animals around here that actually turn a profit. But that profit comes at a price. Turkeys are quite the most brainless critters I have ever encountered. Their worried curate expression and gentle peeping noises go some way to making up for their lack intelligence. But only some way.

Every evening - and I mean every evening - from the day they arrive in August to the day we say goodbye in mid-December I have to physically pick them up from the fence where they have decided to roost and carry them to their shed for the night. It isn't so bad for the first couple of months while they are still small, but those birds are starting to get heavy now. Nor do they cooperate. Not one little bit.
The novelty of chasing around the paddock after renegade turkeys in the dark and bitter cold quickly wears off. Particularly after the fifth night in a row.

That is one job I shall be very happy to see the back of.


  1. I have heard that turkeys are a real pain in the petoot!

    We've had a couple of frosts already. Last night in only got down to -1C but we have had a couple of -4C nights. The morning dawned bright and fair but clouds moved in around noon and now we have a bit of rain ... at least it isn't snow ... yet.

    We are high enough that our growing season ends the end of August. So I've gradually been putting the garden to bed. Still have some spring work to face though!

  2. Hi J, 23:44 hmmm, I seem to be up at this time lots lately. I remember the turkey chase but it was many years ago now. Dad decided to rear a few as an extra, sell them but keep one for the family. Unfortunately for him we wouldn't let him kill Tommy. We had tommy for four years and then I think the fox got him. Don't remember what we had for Christmas dinner that year.

  3. This post brought back memories from the times we kept turkeys. They were the only birds we ever raised that had to be herded to safety each night. But, yes, they have such soft, gentle voices. My neighbor used to raise a dozen each year and I remember seeing her sitting on her lawn chair, reading a book, with the turkeys lying quietly on the grass nearby. Shevsaid their company made it hard to consider their eventual fate. One day, she went out to get groceries, leaving bedsheets on the clothesline to dry. One fell off. The turkeys gathered atop of it and spent the afternoon there. My friend returned home to find quite a mess. Suddenly the turkeys were not quite so endearing.

  4. We kept turkeys for two years (bronze breasted) until we finally got sick of picking them up and moving them onto their roosts out of the hailstorms or the coyote-infested outdoors. It was so tedious, and turkeys get big and heavy! And they take an eternity to grow, compared to chickens . . . they sure look impressive though! Glad to hear you can at least get a decent price for them.

  5. Oh well, it is good to know that other people have suffered from turkey frustration as well. I really do like them - they are so gentle and innocuous - but I might have to break it to my family that they will have to find something else for Christmas dinner next year!