The time for celebrating the festive season by eating turkey is now past, and our turkeys were slaughtered one month ago now, but we thought we'd celebrate their brief lives with some photos and anecdotes.
|When our turkeys got older and more flighty, three of them took to roosting for the night in the rafters of the old forge, even though they seemed scared of the return to earth come morning. The other 18 birds roosted on the internal walls and window-sills of the old forge, hardly any of them using the purpose-built roosts we'd constructed specially.|
|Our flock of turkeys free-ranging in their outside pen. Before long they'd started flying out of the pen, only to hang around on the outside wondering why they weren't still inside it. Very few of them managed to fly back into the pen, so they usually needed catching and putting back inside manually. Sometimes when a gang of them got out they'd wander into the farmyard to see what we were up to, and used to love the nasturtiums growing in the old cattle trough.|
|Portrait of a male turkey just before slaughter. The breed was Norfolk Black, and they looked stunning, especially with winter sunshine shimmering on their feathers. When the males fought they'd grab hold of those red bobbles using their beaks, and wrestle, and you could hear the bobble snapping back into place once it had been wrestled free.|
|A clutch of turkeys hanging out inside the old forge on a rainy December day. Everybody who ate some of the turkey for Christmas said how good they were, someone even saying it was the best turkey they'd ever had. So all that effort was worthwhile then, and we even made some money on the venture.|