Monday, November 12, 2012

4H turkey project

Okay, a quick turkey post.  We got these sweet little poults (I thought they were called chicks, wrong!) on July 21st. They were hatched out somewhere in Missouri and shipped out here ASAP.  We got them when they were a day old.  I had to pick them up at midnight thirty -  a day old honestly.  They lived in this little bin for a few days, then had to upgrade to a bigger box, and then a bigger box, and then a HUGE box!  Count them - 6 poults.

Here they are at 4 weeks old.  Kelsey was so great at feeding and watering them.  She was very diligent and did a great job.  They lived in our garage for that first month, then we got to move them to a real pen.  This picture of Matt and Kelsey cracks me up.  They used the wagon to move their "mobile home" across the street to the turkey pen.

We had 2 fatalities.  One actually died in our garage.  His legs gave out on him and the others weren't too accommodating to let him get food and water.  The other one had the same trouble, but later on - at about 6 weeks old.  That left us with 4 fantastic toms.

Kelsey did most of the feeding, watering, and cleaning because it was a 4H project for her.  She was great about doing all the work, but when that 5 gallon water dispenser was filled, it was a little too heavy for the sweet girl.  Mom had to step in and help a bit.

Emmitt and Kendal loved to help as well and Raider the dog loved to clean up any turkey feed spills very quickly!

This is Debbie and I weighing the birds last week.  Cracks me up - just a bathroom scale!  We had to grab those wings and legs really well though, and boy they were nice and plump!

Our neighbor Debbie is the one who invited Kelsey to participate and use her turkey pen.  Her son Derek raised turkeys for a few years for FFA and knew all the tricks.  She is the USU Extension Agent and amazing 4H leader, so that helped as well.  I guess being a great neighbor was a wonderful bonus too.

Kelsey became a great turkey herder and has learned so much doing this project.  We picked one tom out the other day to take to the state junior turkey show.  345 birds were entered in the show, both toms and hens.  We were very surprised to hear that Kelsey's tom won Grand Champion. 

Saturday we went to the Utah Turkey Show and Auction.  They auctioned off the 50 best birds of the 345, and Kelsey's was the first turkey auctioned off since it was the Grand Champion.

Our little family all went on snowy roads and had a good morning together. Kenna was an angel baby of course and Emmitt and Kendal enjoyed themselves very much.  Matt was a happy and proud dad.

This is the Wasatch County group.  They all did really well this year, with Grand Champion, a few heaviest birds awards, and a few Reserves as well I think.

Her tom dressed out at 29 pounds and it was about all she could do to keep a good hold of it during the auction.  It sold for $225.00.  She will get her check in the mail next week!  We have the Wasatch County turkey sale this week where 2 more toms will make it to the processing plant!  Hopefully we get to eat the last poor fella!


Gail said...

My grandpa raised chickens on a ranch in Wasting California for years. I remember going through the sheds with him while he fed them. I remember him calling the chicks "pullets". I don't if that is the correct term or not...but I remember helping my beloved grandpa. Fond memories. :)

Donna said...

Amazing, and great documentation, thanks for sharing the process. Will it be sad to eat the turkey?

Mom said...

That's so awesome. It's good for kids to have chores, and see how it pays off in the end. I bet she is so proud.

Rachel said...

Donna, she will not be sad at all to partake of the goodness of the bird. Even though she did a great job of taking care of them, she is happy to not be feeding and watering them anymore! Especially since the water freezes now - brrr!!!


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