This week we started our first batch of turkeys for the season. We’ll raise two more batches later during the summer. They’re a lot of fun at this newly-hatched stage, just fuzzy bundles of kinetic energy. Enjoy!
Hey I’m Dave, your farmer, from Wrong Direction Farm, just standing in the shade of the delivery van. It’s getting to be a pretty warm day. And it’s the beginning of turkey season for us. We’ll be doing three batches of turkeys this year, and today we received our first batch from the hatchery.
So today I’ve just picked up 420 turkeys we’ve got 380 white turkeys and we got 20 bronze and 20 black turkeys. We’ve always raised a few bronze turkeys with the white turkeys just to kind of break up the monotony of the color palette. This year we added some black turkeys in there, and they’re smaller and they’re much more expensive. I’m not really sure how they’ll do as far as production goes but it’s always nice just looking at a mix of different colored birds out there, to break up the monochromatic white.
There’s this interesting idea that spreads somehow memetically that turkeys are dumber than chickens, that they just, you know, have no smarts for surviving. And you’ve probably heard the turkeys would stand and look upward in the rain and drown. And none of that stuff happens. Turkeys do have some peculiar needs. They need to be treated as a turkey, and that’s important whenever you’re dealing with livestock. You know sheep aren’t just small cattle, goats aren’t just obnoxious sheep. There’s something particular about every class of livestock.
So we’re about to put the turkeys into their brooder. We’ve power washed one of the chicken brooders. We like to really clean things up, especially between batches of chickens, transitioning from batches of chickens to turkeys. Turkeys are a little more sensitive to some of the diseases that chickens are immune to. It’s probably because turkeys have really been domesticated for a shorter amount of time than chickens. Chickens have been in human domestication for thousands of years, turkeys just for a few hundred. So that’s probably the reason why they haven’t had as much selection pressure for disease resistance. That’s a theory. I don’t know that for a fact. But we’re going to move the turkeys into the brooder. We’ve sanitized it, we’ve gotten it all ready, and it’s warmed up to temperature, so let’s get them in.
The turkeys arrive from the hatchery in these boxes and these keep them warm enough while they’re in transit while they’re not in the heaters.
Turkeys need to be kept about 95 degrees, so they can accomplish that when they’re in these boxes crowded together during transit from the hatchery, as long as it doesn’t get below freezing or something they should be fine.