We don’t have as many turkeys as we did before Christmas – no surprise there – but we still have four: three blacks (two males, one female) and one white male.
For the last few days the two black males have been displaying non-stop. Well, they do stop occasionally to bicker, which for the first time involves slapping! We’ve never seen turkeys do that before. One of the males whacks the other one with his wing. It’s very funny to see! I haven’t managed to get it on camera or video yet, but I’ll keep trying. The fighting isn’t too violent, and we’ll be down to a breeding pair of blacks soon anyway.
When they display, the fluff out all their feathers and spread their tails. Their snood (the erctile, fleshy protuberance above the beak) extends and turns bright red, and so do the nodules on the neck. In contrast, the turkey’s head turns blue. The male will stamp his feet, and make a vibrating sound too. The photo doesn’t do full justice to the wonderfully bright red and blue shades that he summons up to impress the lady turkey, who sadly doesn’t seem to notice.
Here are the two males, mid-gobble! Any loud or sudden sound makes them gobble at the moment.
Père Noël brought me a book about heritage turkeys ie old-fashioned turkeys. Blacks and bronzes (what they call grises) are heritage breeds in that they are slow growers. I have my eye, as I’ve mentioned before, on some Ardennes Rouges, which are brown and white. Very handsome. Père Noël had tried to get me some heritage turkey eggs to hatch, but his plans were thwarted. Never mind, maybe the Easter Bunny will be able to get me some in the spring!
And to finish, not a turkey but a duck. Our white duck flew up onto our very high barn roof earlier today. We have no idea why! Perhaps she just fancied seeing what the view was like from up there.
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