Friday, May 17, 2013

Baby Turkeys

Henny’s eggs started hatching.  Her nest was not in a good place for her to have her babies so I planned on waiting for one of my kids to help me move her into a “maternity pen”.  I couldn't wait for help. I am too impatient so I set up and moved the maternity ward pen by myself. Then I got brave and moved Henny and her poults to the new area. She was not happy with me - tried to bite me a couple times succeeded once. At first we had 11 baby turkeys and one working frantically to get out of its egg. Then Henny sat back on the eggs and told me to give her some privacy.
I was so thrilled.  Day old turkeys are easy to sell for $10 each.  I was thrilled.  One of my animals might actually start helping pay for herself!  I wanted to wait until they were at least a week old just because I have read that baby turkeys are so fragile.
13 poults hatched.  One died the first night.  The babies thrived.  The eggs that the other turkey hen put in her nest never hatched.  When the poults were 6 days old my son discovered 4 dead in the pen.  We cleaned out the pen, made sure the rest were healthy, and continued checking on them throughout the day.  One died after escaping the cage.  Everything was fine at 2:pm, then we got busy. 
When we went to feed the animals and put everyone in a pen for the night, we discovered 3 more dead.  Henny appeared to be trying to protect the poults from the wind by grabbing and stepping on the babies. 
We put the 4 surviving poults in a small cage with a heat lamp.  I was very worried when we went to check on the babies but they seem to be thriving. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Problems With Growing Fodder

Trying to grow fodder in a room that is not climate controlled has it’s challenges.  It’s our weather.  We are blessed to live where we have very few days that freeze.  BUT as soon as we set up my fodder room outside we had a record cold wave.  Durring winter/cold weather it was taking 10 to 12 days to grow the fodder.  We kept a heater on at night but that just kept everything from freezing.  Then we had some hot humid weather and I started having mold problems.  They were taken care of by adding H2O2 to my routine.  Last week we had near record high heat with humidity in the low teens and I couldn’t keep my seeds wet enough.  The seeds that had sprouted already LOVED the warmth and grew to record (for us) heights.  I tried setting empty seed trays on top of the seeds that had not sprouted to keep the moisture in and that seemed to help but also started some mold growth.  Then our hot weather was followed by a late storm.  It was cold and wet, but not wet enough to help with our rainfall.  The fodder growing slowed down with that weather change.  That was followed by record heat again.
The fodder room has 6 shelves long enough for 12 trays of fodder.  I had been putting the trays for each day going across the shelves horizontally but because of not being able to climate control the room for probably months now I need to figure out how to keep everything growing.  Keeping the seeds and early sprouts moist has been my big issue; so I am in the process of moving all the trays so each day is vertical.  This way when the seeds need extra water I am not giving it to the trays of fodder that do not need it. 

Add to that problems with both well and city water and I am just thankful to keep the fodder growing.. but that’s another story.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Brooding Turkeys

Our turkeys are amazing fun animals.  I do not know why everyone doesn’t have one.  They are so fun – we have only had them a few months so that opinion could change. 
When we got the turkeys, Penny, one started laying eggs the first day.  The problem was she would lay them in bad places.  When she lays the egg or makes the nest she looks like she is dying.  My cats have learned to leave turkeys and chickens alone but when they are laying with their neck stretched out flopping about in the dust one of the cats couldn’t help herself and jumped on the poor hens head.  The hen walloped her and the tom then chased her away from their area for a few days.  She also placed them under trees that cannot be fenced around or under a stack of building scraps.  We would find these eggs sometimes after they had been broken but IF we found a whole one we put it in the turkey coop and hopefully she would eventually start having eggs in there. 
The other hen, Henny, started laying eggs after they had been here about 10 days, in one of the nesting boxes we put in the turkey coop.  Yay! One of my animals is behaving properly.  After she laid 17 eggs she started sitting or brooding on the eggs.  She gets up once or twice a day to eat and drink then goes back to her nest.   One thing I started noticing was Penny would sit on top of Henny for a while and push her around and then walk away.  So I did an egg count when Henny was up for a short walk and we have 24 eggs in Henny’s nest.  Penny has been putting her eggs there!  Some of those eggs will take an extra week to hatch.  I could find nothing on the internet about if the last ones that were put there will hatch.  
We moved Penny into the chicken coop, gathered up all the eggs we could find of hers and put them in a nesting box in the chicken coop.  The first night Little Palm chirped and cried for hours.  The second night we put Palm into the chicken coop too.  At first the chickens were not real happy but when the temperatures dropped down at night they moved over on their roost so they could enjoy Palm’s extra heat.  

I am working on getting a camera again but it is back ordered.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fodder and H2O2

I love H2O2 or food grade hydrogen peroxide!  As soon as weather warmed up I started fighting mold.  I tried fans, bleach in the water and still mold problems.  Currently there is no way for me to a/c my fodder room.  Then I remembered when I first joined a fodder discussion board on Facebook they were talking about H202 and ordered it.  I have been using 4 drops in my soak water and 1 drop in each tray of seeds once a day.  Twice during this time the door to the fodder room has been closed so the air couldn't circulate causing the room to get over 100 one day and high 90's another and still no mold.

I apologize for no pictures.  My husband took the new camera on a kayak trip.