Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Goodbye Gobbles

The turkeys went to the butcher today. It was tough to see them go, but not quite as tough as it might have been; I have had it up to here with their troublesome wanderings, their voracious--expensive!-- appetites, their tearing up the lawn something fierce. It was a chore and a half to coach them into the barn at night (We'd sort of given up on it at the end here, leaving the flock to take its chances on the pasture fence and on the ground beside the water pump.) And I could have offed the group of them myself the day I returned home to find the whole flock up on the porch pecking at our freshly picked bins of apples and leaving a tremendous mess behind... So yes, the turks had outstayed their welcome.

But somehow-- there's always a catch isn't there?-- I miss them already.

Turkeys are kind of cool in a clueless, show-offy, wholly unexpected way. They are drama kings, prancing and sighing, sneezing and gobbling, and fighting-- oh the fighting!-- all the time. I'll miss the spectacle of our slate gray tom, smaller but full of game, bumping up against the bigger bronze toms. I'll miss "Blinky" who had some sort of neurological issue, listing and lurching in circles, bumping into trees and calling after her buddies. Blinky was so obviously in need that even our puppy Luka, nudged her in the right direction sometimes. I'll miss the gaudy colors, the toms' skin going from red to blue at the whim of some internal barometer, their comical snoods, the way the flock gathered around as I picked apples, toms gliding around at my feet like schooners at full sail. There might be a hundred apples on the ground around them, but turkey wisdom dictated that the only good apples come from the hand of a weary human.

I will miss them-- I DO miss them-- but it was time. (Long past time, according to Dan, who is right this minute cleaning out the tremendous stinky, turkey-fied mess that is our barn.) And I can console myself with several weeks worth of home-produced dinners and the chance to supply a farm-fresh, wholesome well-raised food to friends and co-workers. I choose to focus on this aspect today, the day our first turkeys went to the butcher.


Christy said...

I'm looking forward to having turkeys. Everyone I know who's raised them has enjoyed having them around. We actually don't like turkey very much but could manage to eat a few each year.

rooster said...


Do you guys have a butcher out your way or did you use the one up in NH?

Congrats on making it through your first turkeys!

P said...

Hi Ally,

We brought the turkeys up to Cavendish in Springfield, VT. This worked out pretty well for us.


Julia said...

Were looking to raise turkeys next year in addition to our existing chicken flock. Do you recommend a breed type for California? I would like birds that are nice to look at as well as good tasting, but maybe not so pretty then it may not be so bad when it is time for eating... I know there are many varieties but what is good for the amateur turkey grower :)