My turkey girls turned one year old on April 1, just a few weeks ago.
They are both from local parents, but my Royal Palm girl, Cricket, is the offspring of one of my dearest friends from Georgia. He lost his 47 acres to foreclosure two years ago, and I drove down there in a borrowed van to help him find a rental property and pack. I brought back nearly 40 of his animals to place up here. Among them were his three rare heritage breed Royal Palms.
My Bleu Belle is a Spanish Black hen, and is a total "momma's girl", she has been this way from the first. I got them both as under 24-hour-old poults, and while they are not "imprinted' in the Konrad Lorenz sense of the term, they are most certainly bonded to me.
These girls are both Rare Heritage Turkey breeds, which are breeds that hearken back to what Pilgrims brought over and have been improved with wild turkeys for their hardiness, taste and dual purpase abilities - egg production (less so than chickens) and meat. I have been having so much fun on my rare heritage turkey list, meeting people and learning about these birds.
I don't have a tom, but can't rule that out at any point in the future, and the way my girls hearts right now (ahhh, Spring ... ) I think that I would be the most popular Turkey Mom in the world if I brought home a boy.
What strikes me most about my girls are their personalities. They are unlike ANY bird that I have had, not the ostrich or emu that I worked with in CO in pre-vet school, nor my chickens, ducks, geese (both wild and domestic), swans, parrots, etc.
These girls are into EVERYTHING–they are inquisitive, intelligent, interactive, and more like people than other birds. They have funny quirks–when they were three months old, Bleu Belle tried to get up on a chair that Cricket was sitting on, had a hard time landing on the back, finally got up there, then the weight of both of them tipped it over. Cricket gave Bleu Belle the BIGGEST dressing down, clearly blaming her–and she was right–for the fiasco! They were hysterical!
I would have to describe them as more like dogs than birds. They come when called, do Turkey Tricks, love to be held and petted. They snuggle, purr, and have to be personally involved in whatever I do, especially gardening and weeding. They will freely run into the house, and when they do, Cricket "files" (any paper or book within reach is instantly thrown over her shoulder) and Bleu Belle organizes–she carries things from one area of a room to another. No shiny object or colourful object is safe from interactive scrutiny, and ususally the end result of the interaction is a very creative one. Whoever coined the term: "Bird brains" had not ever met turkeys!
Do any of you readers have turkeys? If so, what kind, and how old, and share your stories - I would LOVE to hear.
Dorene, Cricket and Bleu Belle–gobble gobble, purrrrrrrrrrrrr