This variety of turkey is a heritage breed that descends from a cross between the eastern wild turkey and the domestic turkey. It is reputed to be one of the best tasting heritage breeds. Our original purchase was 5 birds, but we lost 2 early on. This variety of turkey are notoriously difficult to raise with a 25% loss ratio in the early life stages. We’re pretty certain that we have 2 hens and 1 Jake. We will be raising turkeys with the ultimate goal of selling the offspring for those who either want to raise this breed of turkey themselves, or for those who just want to have a healthy, organically farm raised turkey for Thanksgiving or any time they eat turkey.
The ducks were a spontaneous add on when we purchased the turkeys as we had read that it is best to have another variety of chick with the turkeys because the turkey chicks need to be shown how to eat and drink. We didn’t even know what type of duck we were being sent as the hatchery had a special that if you took the variety of duck that they chose to send you, they were about half of the price of all the other ducks. We are delighted that they chose to send us Rouen. It has been crazy watching how quickly they have grown. They outpaced the turkeys in growth after only about 3 weeks and they were so dirty that we feared for the health of the turkeys, especially since we only had 3 after the 2 died. So after only a few weeks we began moving the ducks in with the chickens during the day and back into the garage at night. This was for their safety because we had some predator that ate 2 of them and took a big bite out of a 3rd who Mike had to stitch up. The pics here they are about 9 weeks old. We believe we have 2 females and 5 males (the beaks are supposed to be green on the males and orange on the females). At about 4 months the males are supposed to exchange their bland feathers for the showy gray & green feathers they will sport as adults. We are nervous as to whether they will survive the predators so have delayed putting them in the pond as of yet.
Laying Hens- Golden Buff Comets
The Golden Comet is also known as Golden Buff, Gold Sex Link, Cinnamon Queen, and Red Star. They are a hybrid cross of various types. That includes the leghorn and Rhode Island red. Their coloring is typically reddish-brown. Sex links mean that their coloring denotes the sex, so when you order them you know that there will never be a mistake in the sex of the chick you are sent. It’s a hardy bird that does well in cold climates. This variety is famous for their prolific egg production which is why we purchased them. So although we do not have a wide variety of colors and plumage, what we are getting is about 18 eggs a day out of 24 birds. After all, if you’re going to pay the extra price to raise organic laying hens, what you really want are the eggs, not a bunch of pretty birds that only lay a couple of eggs a week.