I never wanted turkeys.  And I’ll be honest, they’re about the ugliest things I’ve ever seen.  But Arlis’s brother wanted our old tractor tires, and Eldon traded us his turkeys and guineas.  He had to get rid of them, they were getting too close to the street, and going into neighbors’ yards.  So off we go, 60 miles west, to get a truck load of poultry.

We decide to take a load to the dump since we’re having to drive the behemoth anyway.  It’s closed.  Soooo….we add another hour to rid our truck of horribly smelly garbage.  It’s time to go shopping, and we thought maybe prices/selection would be better in Algood, so we decide to do some grocery shopping while we’re at it (when going to town, do it ALL).  Nope, high prices….sigh.  Bought them anyway.

Get to Eldon’s and drop off the tires.  At this point I realize we only brought one pair, and we try to make a plan to bring the other set later.  Now, he free ranged his birds, but was getting worried as they were going towards the street and bothering his neighbor.  He, less than gracefully, put five Royal Palm turkeys, and one dark breed of turkey in a good size cage for us.  We set it aside and go for the guineas.  They don’t like being caught….at all….it was so difficult it wasn’t even funny.  That being said, we got them, loaded them up, and mannerly got out of there as half the day is now gone (we left the house before 9) and it’s a LOT hotter than you would have thought.  Poor things were not happy.

Since we were in town anyway, we had to visit as many relatives as possible.  We also had 10 panting birds in the truck bed.  So we quickly visited and got home late afternoon.  (At this point we’re all running on reserves as breakfast has long left us).

When introducing new livestock of any kind, there are certain rules to follow.  We keep our poultry cooped up for a few days, then in the run, then free range.  That way a pecking order can be established, and they know where home is.  We let everyone out into the coop while the chickens were out ranging.  We then took some pics

A few days of being cooped up (and a good wing feather trimming) led to a few days of being allowed in the run.  Below is a vid of our new birds being allowed in the run for the first time.
A few days of that led to free ranging.  We were fearful, but other than one small mishap (one of them tried to roost on our front porch railing), they took themselves back home without help.  The extension office told me to use guineas for my potato beetle problem.  I’ll let you know how that pans out.
Btw, all that old moldy hay has been wonderful.  Not only does it supply our birds with bugs, and cats with mice, but the shrooms that grow on the stacks are eaten within SECONDS of the chickens being back there.  They LOVE the wild mushrooms.
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