There have been many discussions about the animals we all want on this homestead of ours. After all, we're not embarking on this adventure of homesteading without all having ideas of the life we want to lead. We want to be as self-sufficient as possible. We want to raise all that we put into our bodies. From each one of our varying personalities sprouts varying ideas of the ideal farming life. Bella wants horses and ponies. As many as she can get her hands on. This daughter of mine has a lot of me in her, she does, and gets her horse-craze genes honestly. My mom has even told her she'll try to find her old horse collection for Bella when we have moved upstairs where she will have her own safe space for them. Yes, horse loving runs in our family. Kane wants more dogs. That's all he has expressed. He is a quiet, easy-to-please soul, he is. Max wants anything that is orange. I think some orange hens will do. Laini wants 5 baby cows and 5 baby sheep. There's no doubt about that. She tells us every day. Papa wants to raise rabbits. Fast, easy food source. And I may have talked him into pigs. Mama wants her chickens, goats, bees, pigs, sheep, alpacas, oh, for a cow or two... (really, it is my dreams that need to be cut down to moderate expectations, not the kids) And on and on we go. Chickens and goats were first on our list, but as it goes, we don't always get things just as we plan them in this life.
Adam came home one night, many moons ago, and asked "Would you like to raise turkeys?" Honestly, I'm not sure that sentence could end in many words that would make the answer no for me. Maybe snakes. Don't get me wrong, I love snakes, we've had many, but I don't think I would want to raise them. But turkeys? YES! I would love to raise turkeys! We had a friend who was raising them, and she could spare us a mating pair. Our mating pair ended up being pardoned from butchering day several times before they came to us. Adam decided it was best to get us living at the farm before the turkeys, logical as he is. So after we moved in, the focus was on the turkeys and getting them here. We took our old, well worn building and made it acceptable for a short-term coop for them until we build a larger barn area this summer. Then we brought them home. After months of awaiting our turkeys, we brought them home. So in the falling snow, on Sylvia's first birthday, with the little girls napping at Nan's and Pap's house, all it took was a quick capture, wing clip, and crating, and we had our flock loaded up and heading home. (Any photos with me IN them taken by Bella, my budding photographer)
Headed home, that is, after chicken catching by Max and Kane. It took awhile and some cunning plans, but they finally caught one.
Then all had to feed the birds that were left.
And of course Bella had to visit with the horses.
I had to admire the other breed, the Narragansett. What a handsome bird.
Our first venture at self-sufficiency and farming was underway in one short trip. These turkeys are sweet, gentle, much-handled and well-mannered birds. Tame as a turkey can be. They are settling in well, and getting used to us. We named them Muslo y Pavo (Drumstick and Turkey in Spanish). They are Spanish Black turkeys, an heritage breed, and they will produce many babies for us, growing our flock, providing us food, and giving us the opportunity to sell some of the poults to offset their expense (which really is little - you'd be surprised how little a turkey eats). I couldn't be happier that this is the way we are beginning our homestead farming life. Now for that chicken coop... It's in the works, y'all, as is another project that will come along with the Easter bunny, I do believe.