Turkeys are Here!

May 20, 2008

We picked up a chirping box of day-old turkeys at the post office at 7:30am last Thursday. Rosemary was there to help.

I am so excited about these little baby turkeys. We’ve raised turkeys at Gould’s farm before, but this time it’s different. This time we’re being smarter (at least we think we are).

In the past we’ve raised some of the most popular varieties of turkey, the types that are bred solely for… I want to say they’re bred for large breasts and small brains. I guess that’s fine as long as we all realize I’m talking about turkeys. This year we instead have 3 different Heritage Breed varieties. They have great meat, beautiful plumage, and more vigor. That’s one thing that’s smart.

The other thing we’re changing is how we house the turkeys. We’re in the process of building a mobile turkey coop. Perhaps you’ve heard of a “chicken tractor.” The students involved with Farm and Forest this spring are building a turkey tractor. Through the building project they’re learning to accurately measure, mark, and cut lumber. They’re learning to safely use power tools (a nice Bosch circular saw was donated to the Farm and Forest program!) and hand tools, and they’re learning to make plans and solve problems.

During the summer the turkey tractor will be dragged to a new section of pasture every day or two. The turkeys will be able to eat green grass, insects, and whatever else they can find. Along the way they’ll be fertilizing the soil with their own manure, breaking down the manure of other animals, and disrupting the life cycle of parasites.

The turkeys will share our pastures (mine and Pete’s in West Bethel) with horses and other poultry. Check out the beginning stages of the turkey tractor (we’ll be dragging it with the truck or Dinah, the draft horse). pics

Another recent building project was the creation of new nesting boxes in the main chicken coop. These boxes are so nice! I’d be proud to have them as shelving in my house… minus the chickens, of course.

I brought my camera to the barn and it fell into the hands of many. Here are a few images of Farm and Forest, through the eyes of anyone who picked up the camera. We were moving hay most afternoon.

In other news… the rumor is that new proctors will be announced on Wed. Proctors provide most of the student leadership at Gould. All juniors are eligible to become a proctor. The room lottery for returning boarding students is Thursday afternoon, and exam week is just around the corner! Where has the time gone?

The adventure continues! Later this week the Farm and Forest kids will join the equestrian program for an afternoon to get a taste.

Until next week,

-Tracey

PS- Congrats to my “little” brother who’s graduating from Brown’s med school this weekend!

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