Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Turkeys are Here
Our little cuties arrived last Thursday and they're doing very well. Of 45 birds, we still have 44 and they look great. The first week is tenuous for baby turkeys - they're susceptible to pneumonia if it's drafty, they need to learn to eat and drink, the temperature must be consistent in the brooder. So, when we have a cold snap, it can be difficult for the equipment to keep up. But, the brooder that Dave and I built two years ago is working well. We found the design online and made a few modifications. It's basically a 4' x 4' piece of plywood, with 12" plywood sides and 2" x 4" legs that keeps the structure off the ground about 18". There are two heat lamps in it - one (or both) connected to a pancake thermostat which is adjustable to your temperature of choice. The interior is lined with sheet metal, to help decrease the risk of fire. Currently we have it sandwiched into a corner of the stall where we're keeping them and it's covered with a blanket so that it stays warmer and cuts out drafts. In a week or so, we'll probably be able to take away the blanket. If I'm remembering correctly, the design for this brooder says it will house 200 + baby birds. So, 45 is no problem. They run around and peck at things and eat and drink and sleep. Soon they'll be strutting and trying to fly.
I input a table on our website which discusses the varieties and the price for each. Click on the page titled Our Poultry and you'll find a bit more info. To recap - we have White Hollands and Naragansetts, both heritage breed turkeys which are listed as threatened according to the ALBC, Broad Breasted Bronze, listed as study by ALBC, and White Giants which are the biggies used in commercial production.
So far we've pre-sold 7 birds. The Naragansetts are going quickly. But there are still plenty available so let us know if you're interested in buying one.