Farm Happenings

It’s got pink spots and it’s in a nesting box…

I’m pretty excited to share this with you. I collected it yesterday… Can you guess what it is?

Bourbon Red Turkey Egg

It’s the start of my expanding heritage turkey flock! 

Really, it’s a Bourbon Red turkey egg, the first from my turkeys that we got last spring as hatchlings. We got them back in March 2015.

It’s been a nerve-wracking time hoping to expand the turkey flock and watching them grow. When we started there were three of them but after they had grown and were learning the ways of a free range life on our property a neighbor’s dog came by and ate one for breakfast.

How did the neighbor dog eat your turkey you might ask… Well, turkeys like to roost very high up. The one that was eaten choose to roost on the 10+ foot tall coop enclosure fencing with our flock of guinea fowl one night… Climbing a ladder to grab a very large sleeping turkey off the fence above your head, at night when you are closing up the coops is not fun! I’ve fallen from the ladder doing this. On this particular night I skipped the acrobatic adventure. Surely with the guineas the turkey will be fine right?!

Unfortunately, when birds aren’t locked away at night they can wake up and begin foraging earlier than sunrise, which can mean encountering predators and hungry neighbor dogs.

Anyway, I found a poor dead turkey and the neighbor’s dog in our goat pastures one morning when we went out to let everyone free for the day. I was pretty sure the dead turkey was a hen and it was kind of questionable if the remaining two turkeys included another hen. We knew for sure that we had a turkey tom, that part is pretty unmistakeable.


Over the last several weeks we’ve seen more and more female & male displays which gave hope. I kept thinking, we might still have turkeys to breed after all… can’t get hopes up until there are turkey eggs though.

Then yesterday I noticed my turkey hen in the chicken’s nesting box sitting and after I got the kids off the school bus we found our first turkey egg in the nest box. Temperatures have been below freezing all week so it was a big deal to find the egg before it froze and cracked. Also, turkey hens typically like to lay in grassy- non-nesting box type areas hidden around the farm. I was sure we’d be hunting to find a turkey nest if we had plans to collect those eggs for use.

Amazingly, it all kind of worked out in our favor and we are one step closer to a growing turkey flock. Of course that long awaited turkey egg went right in the incubator with the duck eggs I’m currently hatching. Hopefully it is fertile, bring on the turkey hatchlings!!

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

2 thoughts on “It’s got pink spots and it’s in a nesting box…

  1. I wanted to say thanks for selling me the 5 lil 1 week old Burbon Red Turkey poults – I’m very pleased with them. All 5 are healthy and happy. I ended up with two jakes/toms and 3 hens.

    Shoot me a email and I’ll send you a current picture of all 5 of them.

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