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Mainely Tipping Points

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Turkey Tracks: Wild Turkeys in Spring Video

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Turkey Tracks:  March 9, 2015

Wild Turkeys in Spring Video

 

I know I’ve put up many videos about the wild turkeys and the chickens.

But, it’s spring, and the turkeys have formed a large flock again–and will start mating.  I am encouraged by how many have survived February 2015.  I can’t imagine what they managed to eat–beyond my bits of sunflower seeds.

The chickens are wild with delight to be allowed out of the coop/cage.  This time of year is ALWAYS a risk for them.  You saw the shots of one getting stuck in the snow pack posted yesterday.  Her feet, by the way, seem to be hurt, but not lethally hurt.  And fox is having babies now and will need to feed those babies.  Life is always already risky, isn’t it…

 

 

Written by louisaenright

March 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Turkey Tracks: Mid April Update

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Turkey Tracks:  April 18, 2014

Mid April Update

 

I’ve had a busy few weeks, and it’s been fun.

First of all, Rosie, my Copper Black Maran has decided to lay her super dark brown eggs again.  Aren’t they pretty?

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Rosie is the last CBM I have.  Remember that we lost her rooster to the fox last spring…

CBMs are not great layers, but they are big, happy hens and very social.

It might be time to think about getting some more from Tom Culpepper in Georgia…

Along with the beef broth–which is on the blog post just before this one–I made a shredded veggie lacto-fermented mixture, as mine is all gone now.  I used cabbage, including a red one which will make the mixture such a lovely red in a few days, garlic, carrots, and a bunch of kale.   Here it is in the bowl, all kneaded until it is juicy and ready to load into jars:

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I have two kinds of jars I like to use–a regular old wide-mouth Mason jar and a fancier Fido jar with a bailer and rubber sealer.  I thought I’d have enough mixture for a half-gallon jar, but no.  Thus the quart jar:

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Here’s a little video of Pumpkin, my rooster, who is amazing with the hens.  You can hear him telling them to “come eat this food,” and if you watch carefully, you’ll see him pick up food and hold it up for them to see that it’s “ok.”

 

 

I make a run up to Belfast to the Belfast Coop every ten days or so.  The Coop carries the dog food I use:  raw ground WHOLE chicken–bones, skin, organs, the works.  The girls THRIVE on this food.  You’d never know to look at them that they are 11 and 12 years old.  Here’s what their good looks like:

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I have an old pair of boots that I bought for $10 at a kind of shoe-thrift store back in Virginia over 15 years ago.  They are my “chicken boots”–and survive ice and mud in rough weather.  I think I’ve gotten and will continue to get my money’s worth.  I’m still using heavy gloves when I go out for chicken duty morning and evening:

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Remember this rug I braided on the fashioned loom?  It’s still going strong…

The wild turkeys have broken up into small bands now.  I have one male who is hanging around with his band–probably because they are still feeding on discarded coop bedding and the odd treats I throw to the chickens.  At night he roosts in one of the pines just beyond the stream.  And he calls to me when I come out to lock up the chickens.

Here’s one video I took of him the other day.  He’s perpetually “puffed up” these days:

And one of him with some of his hens.  His tail is looking a bit ragged.  I heard two males fighting at dusk up on the hill last week–they seemed to be hitting heads/necks/wings.  Hard to tell :

 

Soon the hens will sit on eggs, and I will not see much of them until next winter–except for the odd crossing across a road here and there.

Turkey Tracks: Wild Turkeys and Chicken Bedding

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Turkey Tracks:  March 6, 2013

Wild Turkeys and Chicken Bedding

With all the snow, I’ve had wild turkeys around the house a lot this winter.

There has been a group of males, from five to seven in number, almost every day.  They are hungry.

There was so much snow that I had to put discarded chicken bedding in piles on top of the snow several times this winter.   The snow was just too deep for me to carry the pails further into the edge of the woods where I have a passive compost pile.

That bedding is filled with food that the chickens have “billed out” of their dish.  And, you know what else.

I cleaned out the coop a few days back, and the turkeys were ecstatic.  They will pick at the bedding until there it is pretty much all gone, even the wood shavings.

I took this video this morning.  It isn’t great as the turkeys start to leave the moment they see me.  But, you’ll get some idea.  And you can see how often the snow does not hold their weight.  You will hear my chickens fussing in the background.

Later, the hens came, and the males came with them.  One male spent quite a lot of time fully displaying all his charms.  I will try to get a picture of that one of these days.  It’s actually pretty spectacular.  My knitting group was fascinated, especially with the way the tom’s head turned bright, cobalt blue.

Written by louisaenright

March 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Turkey Tracks: Big Snow in Maine

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Turkey Tracks:  December 30, 2012

Big Snow in Maine

We have at least 2 to 2 1/2 feet of snow on the ground–from two separate storms I think.

The plow/shovel guys have been here three times in three days.  By late afternoon yesterday, they had us all plowed and shoveled out.  But, it snowed all night, and when I went out to let the chickens out of their coop and to feed them, the snow was almost to my knees again.

This last snow was light and fluffy–the earlier ones were heavy, wet, hard to shovel, and packed down almost right away.

Here’s what our back deck looks like now–I had cleaned the hot tub top yesterday and will have to shovel a path to it and get that snow off the top today–otherwise, as it melts it forms a heavy sheet of ice that is murder to get off:

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Here are our back woods–coated with snow and looking like they are decorated with spun sugar.

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Here’s John’s funky bird house and the blue birdhouse Bryan gave me last year.  We hang lots of birdhouses around our woods as the birds go into them for shelter in the cold.  Often, the birds will cram themselves into one birdhouse so they can share warmth.

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More spun sugar.  When the snow falls straight and light–with no wind–you get upright, thin layers of snow on all the surfaces that will hold the snow.

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We love WINTER in Maine!

Written by louisaenright

December 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm