Sunday, September 6, 2015

More Turkey Talk

OK, I'm laying out some details about this year. It isn't good!  We had a rough spring and early summer. It took us a while to figure out one of the problems - a bad batch of feed. If you recall the post about my rangers with splayed leg?  We were able to resolve that issue by supplementing with vitamins. We have 2 TONS of that feed, and are more than halfway through it. Thankfully.

Once the birds get outside, they seem to do much better, as they get some vitamin D from the sun, lots of extra nutrients from foraging grasses, weeds and bugs. However, they are still growing more slowly than their organic friends.

Here's the difference. The bad feed gave the chickens splayed leg. It was slowly killing off our turkeys. With no symptoms we could see, we simply had no idea. We kept changing the temperature in their brooder, we gave them vitamins in their feed and water, but it wasn't enough. The first batch we lost, we really had no idea - until we brought in those baby chicks and they developed splayed leg.

So we got more, but it's much too late in the year for broad breasted turkeys to get to 20 pounds. Or more, as we have had in the past. Right now, they are so small, I am struggling to judge their size by november. SO I have set up the reservation site to take turkey reservations, I only have 50 available this year. SO FAR. as the little ones start to get bigger, I'll add more reservations. It should be closer to 70 or 80. But I won't add them in until I see they'll be big enough. I am concerned I won't have anyone top  out over 18, and that's relying on heritage toms to be on the top end of the spectrum.

So, the folks looking for birds between 6 and 12 pounds, we'll have TONS of little ones. I am hoping the double breasteds and a few toms will start to fill in the 12 to 18 pound range, but no guarantee we'll have any big ones this year.

OK, reservation link has been sent out to my CSA members and my email list. It'll be posted to the facebook page in a few days, and here as well.

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