Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A big change for turkeys.

Baba Yaga the black chicken who lived in the woods with the turkeys has finally decided it's time to go in with the chickens at night. That night the air was full of the calls of the turkeys trying to get her to re-appear. The turkeys stood on the roof of the chicken coop or the bar of the top of the run as long as they could before going to sleep. I didn't get video of most of their calls, but at the end of the video you can hear them quietly making their contact calls. You can watch the video below the cut.

As you can see Top the black chicken as soon as morning comes goes straight to her turkey buddies. The thing that's interesting is that now that Baba Yaga is living in the coop the turkeys just hang around the coop until we let the chickens out. The second I open the hatch to the coop Baba Yaga comes out like a bullet and heads right for the turkeys. I wonder how long before that behavior will change, and she'll get more and more chickeny. Alternatively I wonder if she'll go back to tree roosting once it warms back up. Just a very interesting thing to see. Definitely reaffirms to me that chickens in specific, and birds in general can make friends with other animals. It was really sad listening to the turkeys just call over and over for Baba Yaga to come out to them. The Lady of the House suggests that Baba Yaga was waiting to roost inside until she was a high ranking chicken who could choose her perch. 
Overall though the chickens and the turkeys have merged into a very cohesive flock. They stay close to each other, and the turkeys have a bit say in who's head of the chickens. Obviously Boris is in charge of the chickens being the rooster. As a side note, his spurs are Wicked. They are long, and curved. I'm glad he's calm about us being close to him and his chickens because I wouldn't want to deal with the gouges from that. 

Back to the topic at hand, the turkeys have a lot of influence because if Baba Yaga gets into a scuffle with another chicken whether she wins or loses the black turkey, the bigger dominant one comes up. He will fully fluff to strut and just move through the other chicken. They don't argue with him for even a moment. I suspect it is their intervention that leads to Baba Yaga being a head chicken, she isn't bigger than the rest and actually loses most scuffles until the turkey mafia intervenes for her.
Last but not least we're being very strict about closing the chickens up at night. We have a very brave visitor. I'm not sure about what it is that left this scat on our deck. Whatever it is though does not give a damn, and isn't scared of anything. Given the tapered scat, and consistency it is probably a predator of some sort. It could be a weasel of some kind, a raccoon, or (less likely) a fox. I'm not an expert at scat identification, but I don't need to be to understand that it's a threat to our chickens if we don't pay attention to our security measures.


  1. Your turkeys and chicken buddy are so interesting! Bless their hearts. Changes can be tough for them. Can't identify the mess left on your deck. I'm sure you'll watch carefully; we've had chickens killed/stolen by racoons, black snakes, and even a skunk, which was quickly handled by out dog who got soundly sprayed.

    1. One of the interesting upsides of having a fisher around is that we don't have a lot of other problem animals. Porcupines, skunks, and raccoon for example tend not to survive long. The fisher of course is a possibility for the mess on the porch, and if so I'll just have to hope our defenses are enough to inconvenience it.