Some of you may already know that we tried our hand at raising our very own turkeys this year. Since I knew very little about turkeys before I ever got them, I did a bit of research and decided Bronze Orlopps would be the breed of turkey to try. Everywhere I researched it was stated that Orlopps are friendly, curious, lovely to look at, and make a very tasty meal come Fall.
So this past summer I ordered 10 Bronze Orlopps from our local Farm Supply store. I was a bit concerned about trying to raise day-olds since newborn turkey mortality can be quite high. I got the three-week old birds instead, and I think it was a great choice! After the initial awkwardness of us getting to know them, and the turkeys learning that we were only there to feed them and tell them stories, they stopped running away from us while hissing, and became as curious and friendly as the turkeys I read about in all the online articles.
The Friday of our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, we loaded the now very huge (but just as friendly) turkeys into a couple of extra-large dog crates lined with straw. The day was nice, not too warm or cold, with only a bit of a breeze. The turkeys enjoyed their truck ride, and remained stress-free till the end, which was extremely important to me. The handler at the abattoir was gentle with them, and I give everyone there high marks for a business well run.
They had a storybook turkey life, enjoying the sun, lots of grass and treats, and some freedom to run and enjoy lettuce out of our garden when they were let out of their grassy pen on the weekends when we were home. They actually listened and would come running with wings outstretched as soon as we called “Turkeyyyyyyys!” All ten of our turkeys were delightful to observe and a joy to raise, and it was an experience we all enjoyed very much.