Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Turkey Killers

The turkeys are growing great.  They're eating lots of grass, weeds, and really enjoying the comfrey, which is apparently good for them and high in protein.  They're also eating a mixture of corn and commercial duck grower.  The duck grower is high in protein, but cheaper to buy than turkey grower.  It's also non-medicated.

They're friendly little guys.  Maybe a little too friendly.

I bought a pair of ducks at the auction.  They moved in with the turkeys.  There was some arguing between the drake and goose for the first few days.  The hen is laying an egg a day, but she's not setting on them.  Her former owner took her eggs and put them in an incubator.  we're sticking them under chickens. :-)

So everything was going really well.  Until I did a head count one night as we were putting them away.  22.  Three turkeys were missing.

We found one body that night.  It was only about 15 feet away from the turkey shack, still in the pen.  It had a small hole in the chest, and it's heart and some of the innards were missing.  I was thinking weasel.  A fox would have taken the whole bird.

#2 was my go to guy for peeing on the fence.  Human urine reeks to wild critters, making them think twice before entering the premises.  Since he's been away at camp for nearly three weeks, the pee supply has gone down.  I've asked #3 and #4 to pee on the fence when they're out there, but for some reason they've been playing shy.

We found the other two bodies the next day.  The boys did a few patrols with Waldo, in the hopes of scaring off the vermin, and spreading our scent along the fence line.  No luck.  Another dead body that night.

Then my dad spotted the culprit as he was driving by.  An owl.  We kept the turkeys in longer in the morning and put them to bed earlier at night.  That only worked for one day.  The owl was out waiting for them one morning at 11 am.  We scared him off, but he had killed another turkey by 3 pm.

In all he's killed 6 turkeys.  This morning we got him.  Now to wait and see if he has a mate and if she plans to be turkey hunting.  For now we're keeping the turkeys locked up, except when I am in the garden with the .22 handy.

1 comment:

  1. Too bad. I guess pee has no effect on My hens run for cover when any large bird flies over. Thankfully, there are few owls here, if any. A hawk flew over the yard and they knew it was not just another mockingbird! The turkeys are cute and gawky.