Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Works, What Doesn't

Ah, fall.  The time in the year when I can stop long enough to look around for a minute and see what is working and what is not.  I only have a minute, though.  The processing of food and picking of food goes on continually this time of year.  So I guess I ought to think fast.

One thing I have noticed this year that does NOT work are the turkeys.  I've gone from liking them (when they were younger) to really disliking them now.  We have 5--4 are Narragansetts, and one is a Broad Breasted White.  I actually rather like the BB White--she's gentle and kind of sweet.  The Narragansetts, on the other hand, are unbelievably grabby.  In their eternal quest for food, they steal from all the other animals, and peck us every time we sit down--and it hurts!  And they are constantly around, as they like people.  Normally,that thrills me--I rather like being surrounded by my animals.  But all the turkeys do is make a lot of noise and peck and poop.  And poop and poop.  The back deck, which is usually pretty clean, as the geese can't climb the stairs and the chickens don't often come up, looks like a war zone.  It's horrible.  And not 2 hours later, after it's been cleaned, it looks like that again.  The turkeys shriek and whistle all day--sometimes it's a really nice noise, sometimes it's like the guinea hen's noise--just so grating.  But either way, they do it ALL day long.  And they are constantly underfoot-literally.  So they are not working out.  The turkeys, which I had planned to keep and breed a pair of, are going to be moving out soon.  I think they would have worked had they been able to be kept in an area away from the house, but as they can fly, there's just nowhere safe.

You can't know unless you try, right?  Now I know this does not work for me.

On the other hand, I am surprised to say that the following animals are working out for me very well.

Ygraine in front, Phillip Johnny Bob in back.  Doesn't she look better?

Ah, my little fluff-puddles.

I will say this first:  I like rabbits, and always have.  We had three before I acquired these guys, and though I like the three, I don't LOVE them.  I have always thought they were fairly useless and kind of hard to get to know.  They don't really like to be handled, and we have a "here's your food, thanks for letting me scratch your head" kind of relationship.  No real companionship from them--forget having them sit in your lap.  Ain't gonna happen.  These two have completely changed my view, though.  They are extremely personable.

Ygraine will sit with me for quite a while as I pluck her hair.  She will turn and kind of show me where I should do next.  She likes to be pet, and lets me know when she's ready to get down.  Philip Johnny Bob (PJB) doesn't love to sit in laps, but he will for a minute or two.  He will let you pet him quickly, but he enjoys people no matter.  When you go into his outside pen, he will nudge you to say hi, and yes, he does know the phrase "green bean?".  He stands up on his hind legs to ask.

In all, I will admit that when I brought these two home I was apprehensive.  I kind of thought they would be aloof and not want contact, and that I'd be getting the wool under duress.  That's not at all the case.  Pulling wool is extremely relaxing for me and Ygraine (I haven't pulled PJB's yet) and I really feel like we're bonding.  What a surprise!

You live, you learn.  It's all part of the adventure, isn't it?
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  1. I'm taking a little "brain break" from my work and was DE-LIGHTED to find pics of the fluff puddles....I can't wait to see what you do with their fluff. I can't imagine that they give up all that long will it take to get enough to do something?

  2. I love my turkeys, but yes, they are the POOPIEST of all the birds, and it's EVERYWHERE... that's why they stay in the pasture. I don't know if I could cope with it near the house!

  3. I just read the post about how you acquired the bunnies.Do you still have Bella, if so how is she doing?

  4. Just catching up on your posts...
    1. I concur on the turkey business.
    2. Maybe I'll give bunnies another go.
    3. My son took his 64-count crayon box and thought 1st grade was the best ever!
    4. My daughter made me patch (for the third year) her hand-me-down backpack and is thrilled to be sitting next to her best friend (for the second year).
    5. Congrats on the potatoes!

  5. Jen--Right now Ygraine has given me A LOT--I haven't weighed it yet, but the box I bought for her wool is almost full. I think that's because she was never plucked before. I was told by a man who keeps Angoras for spinning that I can expect 10-12 ounces per rabbit per year. Seeing as though it should be spun together with a different type of fiber (or it's too warm), that's a lot of wool!

    Mary Ann--I agree--they are nice birds, but ugh! The poop. That's the issue--we have no way to keep them away from the house. Live and learn!

    Shannon--Bella is doing better. She no longer charges at me when I lift her up, and yesterday I carried her and her ears weren't all the way back. Today she took a piece of papaya from me before she thought better of it. Small steps.

    Bo Peep--1. Messy, messy 2. Do! I am surprised how much I like them. 3. Isn't that the greatest? 4. My daughter is finally sitting next to her best friend on the bus. They grinned so hard you could see it for miles. 5. Thanks!!

  6. Farming is definenitly an adventure!!
    I think if we raise turkeys they will be in a pen!
    The bunnies are cute. I had to look real close at them to make them out with all that hair. We have 3 rabbits, one to breed and 2 to eat. None of them are super friendly though. But its fine with me if I gotta eat them!

  7. I have often heard much the same from others about turkeys. But at least,now you know from experience.I used to raise and sell lop eared rabbits. I loved them so! Enjoyed visiting here!


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