For the birds

We raise laying hens and, occasionally, turkeys on our farm. Last year, we kept

Can't help thinking our Narragansett turkey hen's feathering would work better as camouflage among sand dunes and driftwood--and we're hoping there are eggs under her in addition to the one that's rolled out.

a few turkeys after the fall sell off: a tom and four hens, hoping to hatch some of our own turkey chicks. Finally, one of the Narragansetts wandered down the road, settled in and has been on a nest for the past few weeks. I’ll let you know if we have any success. (By the way, these turkeys are now totally pets.)

In case you’ve forgotten, Cornell is still tracking the great blue heron nest on live webcam. Here’s the link.

My favorite bird is the chickadee: friendly and, most importantly, stays all winter. I also love the common crow: smart and an iconic feature of our landscape.

Your favorite bird(s)?

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2 Responses to “For the birds”

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  1. Lucy Martin says:

    A chicken story that’s sad, then happy:

    We kept chickens a couple of times when I was a girl on Maui. The first small flock were leghorns – not very tame, and hence not very fun. Kinda mean and selfish, actually. They eventually became dinner.

    The second bunch were bantams. Very cute, very tame, quite adorable!

    One morning I went to the coop to let them out and the beautiful rooster only had one leg. A dog or a mongoose had ripped the other leg off through the wire overnight. (Those are the predatory usual suspects in Hawaii.) There was a lot of skin missing on the body as well, enough so the poor thing had to be put down.

    About a month later one of the remaining hens went all broody and set up a nest against the side of the house. She wouldn’t leave it, so I built a roof and cage around her.

    More weeks passed. One day I am sitting next to Spreckles telling her she really needs to give this business up, it’s hopeless. At about that moment a fuzzy little chick head poked out from under the new Mom and said “peep”. Then a couple more. Spreckles casually stood up to show off her chicks and prove she knew what she’d been up to all along.

    I could not believe it. Chicks, almost two months after the rooster had been dispatched. It seemed like a minor miracle, but of course, that’s chickens for you. Apparently they can store sperm for a while.

    Good luck on those turkey eggs!

  2. Ellen Rocco says:

    Lucy–Bantam–or, colloquially, banty–hens are notorious “setters.” We have a few and all hatch a brood each year. I assume this “broodiness” is because it hasn’t been bred out of them as it has with the larger laying breeds which are kept for their egg production. Bantam eggs are quite small–just like standard eggs in terms of eating and baking qualities, but half the size.