Glenn & I spent several hours working together in the gardens over the weekend. Sunday afternoon, while we were mulching tomatoes, a parade of turkeys came by. Two of our hens and all the babies came traipsing down the hill, between two of the gardens, making a hesitant procession towards the hayfield and the woods beyond. We were somewhat unsure where they were headed off to, as it was a little outside their usual territory.
After a few minutes, Captain Thomas came down after them gobbling and scolding, trying to gather his wayward flock back up the hill towards the barns. He was pretty insistent and Glenn intervened on Tom’s behalf, helping him herd the girls and their small ones back up to more familiar territory.
Shortly afterwards, we heard a tentative gobble-gobble? coming from the boundary of the hayfield, in the shadow of the tree line. A solitary wild jake was making a bid for a harem of his very own. Our turkeys have just enough of that natural instinct that a wild tom could draw them away indeed. In fact, the Narragansett turkey was originally bred using the Eastern Wild stock, along with the Norfolk Blacks brought in from Europe.
Needless to say, Thomas has been keeping a very watchful eye on his flock since he heard that competitor trying to seduce his girls! (And I’m counting hens when I lock them in at night!)