Monday, April 12, 2010

Blind Turkey Poults!

So it's been a really, really crazy week. I got swapped mid-week into night shifts while interviewing for another, awesome job with a really awesome agricultural non-profit organization. This other job will be much, much more farm friendly. It will also give me an opportunity to help other farmers like me. I can't believe people actually get paid to do this job...How awesome is that?! We'll see how it goes.

In the midst of everything that's been going on our turkey poults came in. There was a problem with the heritage poults, specifically the Bourbon Reds. Half of the shipment was blind! Once we figured out what was actually going on, we contacted the hatchery, Welp out of Iowa, let them know, and they're sending us more chicks. We've switched to them exclusively, because they don't charge shipping, and their customer service is awesome.

So here's a group of normal looking poults.
These are healthy Bourbon Red and Broadbreasted white poults. Below is one of the deformed poults. The eyes are a solid, eerie greenish-gray color and there's no pupils. They were runtish, and completely blind, and they all started dying at four days old - they just couldn't find food or water.
At Bruce's suggestion, I tossed in an older chick to help the little poults figure out how to scratch and find out where the food is. One of the poults took to snuggling under its wing.
Here's a shot of the Cornish Cross Meat birds heading out to pasture here in the next couple of days. They'll be food on May 19th. The growth rate is incredible in the Cornish crosses, growing so fast their feathers can't keep up.
Ugly Duckling, err Tasty Chicken!

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