|The turkey-heads at 2 1/2 weeks. They don't hold still very often!|
|They always come over to see me when I get near the coop.|
|Poor little Igor the Narragansett with the neck problem. His foot has since gotten better :) 2 1/2 Weeks|
|Bourbon Red Poult at 3 weeks|
The turkeys are now 3 weeks old! I have been so busy that I missed the two week update. They have grown! At a week and a half old I moved them out of the indoor cage and into the outdoor tractor/brooder. They just didn't have enough room to move around as much as they needed to in the one and half foot by 3 foot ferret cage they were in. They peeped a lot and wanted a lot of attention, which I attributed to them being bored. The new set-up has a brooder box which measures approximately four feet wide by two and a half feet deep and has a slanted roof which is two and a half feet high at the tallest point and two feet high at the shortest. I moved the brooder lamp out with them but had to change the bulb from the 200 watt bulb I was using inside to a 60 watt bulb because it was so much warmer outside. The brooder has a hinged door which doubles as a ramp so that they can access the outer run. The run is completely closed in with chicken wire and measures 4 feet wide by 6 feet long and is approximately 2 feet tall. They have plenty of room to run and flap their wings now! I close them up in the brooder at night and open the hatch and allow them to move outdoors into the run but they still always have access to the brooder, where the food and water are located. At around 2 weeks old they started really playing with each other. They seem to try to tie each other up with their necks. They stand up super tall and chest bump, reminding me of adolescent guys when they get in each others faces. Some of the poults have started hanging their wings down to the ground, puffing their feathers up, and marching in little tiny circles around other poults which hunch down on the ground. They look like little tiny adult turkeys when they do it and I have even heard the faint sound of them drumming. I am assuming that the puffed up turkeys are the males and the ones that assume the more passive role, hunched down on the ground, are the females. I am looking forward to finding out if my assumption is correct. They have feathered out more extensively. They now have not only their wing feathers fully in, but also have tail feathers and are feathering out on their backs. Their tummy, chest, and neck are still covered only with baby fluff. The turkey-heads know my "call" of "turkey, turkey turkey" and come running to where ever I am closest when they hear it (funnily enough, so does the mocking bird who resides in my yard. He has started calling the turkeys too!). It makes it much easier to put them away for the night. I open the brooder, call them, they run in, and I shut the hatch. Much easier than the old way of picking each one up, putting it inside, and watching helplessly as it runs back out while I am picking up the next one. They also look forward to their daily treat of watermelon, which they get during the hottest part of the day to cool them down. The brooder is located under a large oak tree, in an area of my yard that is shady all day long, but it still gets warm in the southern Mississippi heat. I put pine chips in the brooder to absorb any waste that the messy babies leave. In the run I cut feed bags into long sheets and covered the ground and then placed hay on top of it to keep them from digging down to the soil. I am still worried about them getting blackhead from the chickens, or any other disease as their immune systems are not fully developed until they are around 8 weeks of age. I had to place wood and tin roofing over the run to keep the chickens from pooing down into the run since they insist on perching on top of it. They were living in there just a few months ago. The chickens have taken to standing outside the run and watching the poults. The roosters, especially, seem fascinated by them, and stand very still, right up against the wire so the poults can pull at their feathers. Surprisingly, they don't seem to be the least bit aggressive towards the turkeys. One of the turkey heads has something wrong with it's little neck and one of it's legs. It keeps its neck pulled all the way down to its chest and while it can extend it down to the ground to pick stuff up, it doesn't seem to be able to stand up straight.One if it's feet (where our ankles should be, a bird's ankle is actually what we would think of as a knee and it bends backwards) is swollen larger than the other. It just hobbles around, but is still eating and drinking properly. I've been keeping an eye on it but have decided to name it Igor and hope that it continues to function normally. The neck issue appears to be a permanent issue and although I think I would have noticed before last week, it looks like a problem that it may have hatched with. Only time shall tell how well it will do as it grows. As of now, they are all doing wonderfully and I am still really enjoying their bubbly little personalities.