Babies are the quintessential sign of Spring. Horses, goats, dogs, cats, you name it. So, when our turkeys started to set on their eggs, we were pretty excited. But, NOW, we are ecstatic! Why, you ask? Because SPRING is here aka the babies!! Yesterday, we noticed one of the mother hens walking around. We thought this was just her occasional stroll out of the nest to get some water and food and stretch her legs in the sun a bit,
but then we noticed these... :)
There are 10 chicks from the black hen, and at least 5 under the blue hen(the chicks under the blue hen just hatched and have stayed put in the nest so far). They are the cutest, aren't they? Soon enough, they will be as ugly as their parents, but for right now, ahhhh...we are basking in their cuddlies... from afar. We decided that we would leave them with their mother right now as we wanted to see how their mothers are. Are they protective? Are they concerned for their welfare? Do they feed them? We wanted to witness whether or not the instinct has been bred out of turkeys as it has for many chicken breeds. Turns out the instincts are still there! This black hen is ultra protective - not from us - but she has no fear when it comes to a dog straying too close, or a hawk, or another chicken.
We were also surprised to learn that the male turkeys are very protective as well (in fact, the above picture was hard to take as the toms collectively decided they didn't want us taking pictures anymore and kept positioning themselves in the way gobbling at us - "Darn paparazzi! Can't we get some privacy here??"). We didn't know what to expect as they got closer to the chicks, but when one ran right under the tom's legs for protection, we knew it was a good sign. Our two males strut back and forth in short circles all day long on guard as the hen and her babies eat the pasture grass between them. They let out warning calls to alert the hen who immediately gathers her chicks under her. It's all very amazing to witness.
Soon, we will all start holding them to get them used to us. Then, we'll have to decide what we want to do with them...anyone need a turkey for Thanksgiving? (I'll refrain from posting a pic here for your sakes!) :)