Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Meatball Version 2.0

We're on our second batch of meatballs here at Chicken Scratch, and they are doing just fine so far.  This Saturday is the day for them.  The.  Day.  You know what I mean.  We started off with 16, and had one get out of their yard and stuck in some fencing, where it dehydrated and died.  I cursed a blue streak at not finding it in time.

I am so ladylike sometimes. 

But besides that, they've been pretty good.  This batch, which is from a different hatchery, has been far more active than the last.  Unless their weights are low at the end of the day (THE day), I'll be ordering the next-and last- batch from them again.

Round birds=Meatballs
They range far and wide and spend less time at the feeders than their predecessors.  Though they sit down a lot, they actually get around pretty well.  Much less rundling with this batch than the last.  They use their legs much better than the others did.

I sometimes wonder if it's the turkeys influence on them.  They share their pasture with the turkeys, and though the turkeys don't stay in the pasture (they can fly really well, something I did not expect), they do hang out a lot of the day with the meatballs.

Comingling at the feeder, turkey and chicken butts together
I sometimes laugh at the "system" the meatballs have.  They have pasture, but I also throw weeds in the yard, too.  They like the greens, and there are always bugs.  They will dig a little and then sit down.  Then they let the others dig, like this:

And once something is dug up, they move in and gulp it down.

I know, they don't show a lot of action in these pictures.  But I thought it was pretty clever the way they know to wait until the others do the work for them, whether it be an egg layer, or a turkey.

Then they get the good treat at the end.

Not stupid.

Speaking of turkeys, they are gettting l-a-r-g-e. 

This is Gus

Gus likes the camera.
"Well, I'm handsome.  Why shouldn't I?"

Out of the four Naragansetts, we seem to have 3 males and a female.  Gus is the first one I could identify as male.  He LOVES to show off.  Turkey boy, in that picture above, is also male and the one Gus likes to fight with occasionally.  I believe I saw one of the others flaring at me (I'm attractive to turkeys, I guess) a few days back, and it was not Gus (who's banded) or Turkey Boy (who's gigantic and easy to spot).  The last Naragansett hasn't shown off and is a slightly different coloration than the other three, which makes me think "female".  It won't surprise me, however, if I am completely wrong.

And Great White?

Great White is 12 pounds, if she's an ounce, and I believe also a female.  Again, I could be completely wrong.  She doesn't fly well, due to her large stature, but loves to keep up with the littler ones.

At 11 weeks, it is really something to see how big she really is.

Great White is slated to be Thanksgiving dinner, but I will find no pleasure in that.  Not that I do, anyway.  Great White has quite a personality, which I was unprepared for.  The Naragansetts will be sticking around, unless there is one male too many, because though they sit on the roof of the house, and dig in my flowers on the porch, and eat like pigs, they are some of the sweetest animals on the place.

Yep, I was surprised about that as well.

So, it goes as it goes.  I'll let you know how the day turns out on Saturday!  Until then, stay cool!  We've got a scorcher (another one) here!
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  1. I'm laughing. How do you ever eat something that you have named..... I have a hard and fast rule to not name my food. (it is easier that way!

  2. Best of luck on Saturday! Wishing you a cool breeze. Like you, I can name our poultry. No problem. We give them the best life possible, then they become part of our sustenance. But my husband, raised on an egg farm, refuses to name them.

  3. boy, your meatballs are sure round! And your Naragansetts are beautiful. I've got Bourbon Reds so it's nice to see a different breed. My tom is getting uglier by the day...but I still love him.

  4. Love your turkeys. So very striking but the meatballs have the social welfare system down pat. Sit back and wait for others to do the work then rush in for the benefits. Amazing.

  5. I have been wondering how your meatballs are doing this time around. Right now, in this extreme heat, I am glad I didn't order any. I almost did, when the coons got 6 of my 10. The turkeys are getting so big and so very pretty! How do you keep them around when they fly? Ours would always fly over the fence and then pace it all day trying to get back. At least they didn't go far lol

  6. KLB and Ronda--The Naragansetts are staying, especially Gus and Turkey Boy. My kids would never forgive me. The unnamed male (if he's a male) is the one up for the trip to freezer camp. Great White didn't have a name for the longest time. My daughter gave her that. She will not be an easy one to dispatch, because she's a sweetie. Name or no, she's hard not to like.

    Riverbend--They are ugly, aren't they? But their feathers are SO pretty, I guess that's what makes up for it. Like Guinea Hens. Ugly head, cool polka-dotty feathers.

    Donna--You said it sister, and your comment make me laugh. They're not stupid, those birds. Not stupid at all.

    Michaele--I tell you, I'll be glad when this batch is done, and I'll be really glad when the last batch is done. And my freezer will be full. Amen. Oh, and the turkeys follow me everywhere. I can't stop them from flying onto the roof, or the top of the chicken coop, but they don't go too far from where I am during the day. It's like having turkey bodyguards.

  7. Your turkeys feathers are beautiful (The gray ones).
    Your meatballs look yummy!!! I hope we get some soon!


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