As a warm up to this post, we'd like to point you to some of our previous turkey related posts:
- Turkeys make their first appearance on the blog in 2009 - Animal Dreams
- Our first reference to not going "paltry on the poultry" occurred soon thereafter, much to your chagrin.
- A mention of their new roosts in 2011 along with references to ducks and chickens appear in Bird Brains II
- Last year, Jake the turkey gave us a look into their lives - The World According to Jake.
- We also uncovered some interesting documents last year that caused us to be a bit more careful this season!
Stages of Turkeyness!
Turklets (also known as BEEPS)
We do not hatch turkeys at our farm. We have enough going on without having to maintain a year-round flock. So, it is a big event when we pick up the little birds. Of course, people should remember that when you deal with us on our farm, we do not necessarily bow to convention when it comes to names.
We initially called the baby turkeys "Beeps" in reference to the call they make when they are chicks. Baby chickens "peep", baby ducks "queep" and baby turkeys "beep." That's all there is to it.
|Three Beeps in the hand is worth... three beeps in the hand.|
|Turklets do NOT drink coffee.|
Now wait for it.... this one REALLY sounds professional.
Well, most people who take turkeys seriously will stick with "poults." We like "turklet" and we're sticking to it! Hey, the Urban Dictionary lets us get away with it? Why not? And no, we didn't look it up before we started using it. That's just how we do things at the Genuine Faux Farm.
Turkle (We're still just kids! Really!)
As the birds grow up, they exhibit a good deal of curiosity. They can be like a younger child that keeps asking "What's that?" "What's that?" The biggest difference is that their retention is MUCH shorter than most human children.
But, it is clear that these are no longer babies, so the designation as a "Turklet" no longer applies. At our farm, they graduate to being 'turkles.'
You may ask us why and we'll make something up. But, the most obvious reason is that by the time they get to this size, we are getting busier on the farm. Tired farmers save their breath by removing the second "t." That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
|What are you doing? What's that? Why?|
|Turkles learn to respect electric fences - usually without touching them!|
|Turkles know they should eat their greens!|
Once our birds get close to full size, they graduate to "turk" status. Yes, the farmers are tired enough that they can't include the "le" any more.
|We're thinking about fanning - but maybe not at this moment.|
You might be able to see it in the picture above, but it may not be clear enough. The females usually have much shorter legs than the males and typically are smaller, with a rounder body, slightly shorter neck and/or less 'shoulder.' Once you've been around them, you can easily see the difference. It's just less easy to put it into words sometimes.
|This IS my good side.|
At some point after the birds approach adult size, they change from "Turks" to "Knuckleheads." In this case, the farmers find new energy for extra syllables because the birds sometimes find ways to elicit extra energy from the farmers.
|Muck and Myra were very good at getting the farmer's attention.|
|Jake is not entirely serious about fanning in this picture.|
The funny thing about fanning is that we see three week old turklets trying to fan. We try not to wound their pride by laughing too much.
We have noticed that the males will fan and gobble more when there are visitors on the farm. Essentially, you have been identified as a rival flock. So, they're trying to impress you (and show you who is boss).
Ok, ok. I realize some of you don't like seeing the birds go from cute to impressive and then have us talk about eating them. But, that is the reality of it. We do enjoy raising these birds (most of the time) which is why we keep coming back to it every season. We are also glad we can give them a decent place to live and be turkeys.
Now, excuse me, I have to go put the knuckleheads back into their room.