As a preface to this story, yesterday was a very cold and blustery fall day, more akin to late October/Early November weather. That said, this morning I went out to open the chicken coop so our oldest chickens could free range. After releasing the poultry, I started to walk back to the house, but noticed a large dark shape out of the corner of my eye. It was closing in on me fast. As I turned my head to gain a better view I realized it was a turkey, and with a slight glance to the turkey pen I ascertained that it was one of our captive, or previously captive, turkeys. The wind from yesterday had blown the large plywood roof off of their pen and allowed this adventurous turkey temporary freedom.
I quickly rounded the corner for the house and called the boys for backup. While I wasn’t afraid of the turkey, I wasn’t quite sure how it would react as we have never really handled them. The turkey was now positioned between us and the turkey pen so I looped all the way around the barn to the front corner where the poultry feed was located in an airtight 55 gallon drum. As every good plan starts with food, I grabbed a scoop of feed and headed for their pen. So far so good as the turkey was content to follow me around.
I dropped some feed right next to the pen, hoping it wouldn’t cause the two remaining captive turkeys to escape, and waited. The escapee was extremely cooperative and ran right over. As soon as she dropped her head to eat I picked her up and put her back in their pen. I couldn’t have hoped for the operation to go any better.
My oldest wasn’t surprised. He told me that he always pets them when he feeds them and that they are quite nice. I’m still not convinced they are “nice”, rather they are not the brightest birds in the flock. Either way, all’s well that ends well.