The Turkey Inheritance

A little back story here- My great uncle was needing a little hobby. Nothing strenuous, but something to get him out and about. The idea came about to get him a few chickens to tend. We had more than enough to share so once his boys got a coop assembled for him we brought a handful of hens.

Each Sunday after church we would get an update on how they were doing. I tell ya’ what, he must have been talking sweet to those girls because he got an egg from each of them every day. They were decent layers at our house but never that consistent. I was glad they were working out well for him. He seemed pretty happy too.

After a year or two of chickens he moved on to turkeys. I don’t remember how many he started with exactly but after losing a couple along the way there were two hens left.

This summer at the age of 94, he passed away and the hens were needing a new home. That is how we came to inherit a couple turkeys. To be later named Lucy and Ethel.

They are about a year old roughly and gracing us with an egg or two day. Uncle Bill had mentioned before that he was hoping to have a few hatch (when he had a tom with them). Since they are part of the family in a different way than Gus and Humphrey, the steers that went to butcher, the ladies will live happily ever after with us. I don’t know if saying “in honor of” is quite the words I’m looking for, maybe “in respect of” or “in remembrance of”, I’m not sure that’s right either but for Great Uncle Bill I posted an “In search of” listing asking for a tom turkey.

It wasn’t too long after that I got a reply. A gentleman had a couple that were the same age and the girls and was willing to part with them. I told him I’d take one and made arrangements to make the hour and a half drive to go pick the bird up. The day we were to go get him I received a message from the gentleman asking if we were sure we didn’t need the second one as he was the last turkey they had  that needed a home. Of course I said we’d take the second one too. Imagine that!

Mike met me at work with one of our large dog kennels in the back of my little SUV and we continued our turkey adventure. This wasn’t our first time hauling farm animals like this. We started with chickens, then ducks and goats and in hindsight we could have fit a calf in there. We figured we were prepared…

Well, these boys were used to free-ranging and from what I understand, were not willing participants when it came to getting in the kennel they were arriving in. So much so that there owner suggested we just take his kennel too rather than trying to move them kennel to kennel in the Dollar General parking lot. That was all fine but even with ours disassembled it took a little rearranging of kennels and car seats. But we got it all in.

We weren’t even out of the parking lot when our noses were wrinkled. Even with the windows open those turkeys were smelly. Exceptionally smelly. What an adventure! At least it was only an hour and a half home and after the first forty five minutes we didn’t seem to notice any more.

I don’t have a problem with the boys, now named Ricky and Fred, flying in and out of the coop as they please but before they start doing that I wanted them to know that that was now home for them. Lucy and Ethel were outside when we got home so I closed their door so they would have to stay out for a day or two. Mike and I carried the kennel to the coop and squeezed it into the feed room. The boys had settled considerably and all I had to do was pat their backs and they hopped out and into their new room.

That went as good as it possible could have!

A couple days later their door to the outside run was opened and they have been happily wandering the yard ever since! They have even made friends with our last surviving duck!


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