Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Confusion in the dark.

This morning was interesting. I'm feeling more than a bit under the weather physically. It doesn't help that it's the Solstice so it was the longest night of the year, and it's raining, and cold. Anyhow, it comes down to I wasn't entirely with it this morning when I went out to do farm chores. As I'm taking care of the rabbits in the hutches in the woods I'm hearing turkey contact calls, and I'm confused. No matter how much I look around I can't see the turkey. After a moment of not putting two and two together, I look up. It's a little easier to see than in the photo, but dead center of the frame there's a turkey. Well, I guess the turkeys have changed their roosting spot.

A little easier to see once I got out from under the trees and saw the other turkey. This is a total behavior change for the turkeys who up to today have only ever roosted on the unfinished rabbit hutch, or in the trees beside the driveway heading down the hill. Not sure what prompted them to make the change, but it definitely startled me more than a little bit in my foggy brain. Right now on the shortest day of the year I'm up before the turkeys, as I have been for a couple weeks now. I have to say, I kind of appreciate not being up before any of the livestock on the farm. It's nicer to be greeted by awake and alert livestock than waking up confused livestock. As for why they were there, I have an idea of why they may have shifted location. It's not certain, but I suspect the wind.
Overnight last night we had some severe wind and a lot of rain. It was bad enough wind that it blew the tarps off the top of one of the wood piles. If it was windy last night maybe given the direction of the wind the trees they sheltered in for the night would have given them more cover from the rain. I have to assume that is why they moved, though it could be something else as I'm just guessing. We'll see if they stay there or if they go back to their normal roosting tree.
Looking back at previous years on the solstice I've talked more about looking forward to spring. This year I think there are a few things going on. One, there isn't piles of snow on the ground making us feel trapped. Two, we feel more like we have things together in our day to day life. Now part of that feeling probably is that we haven't been having to constantly be fighting the snow as well as everything else, but it's nice to think that we're getting the hang of things as we have gotten more experience. I'm not intending to post on Thursday, but I should be back with the blog next week.

Looking ahead to spring.


  1. Oh, yes --- hurry, springtime! Adverse weather conditions bother my flock of chickens, too. Two years ago we had a bad ice storm that took down our 40 foot cedar tree where the chickens all slept. We watched the tree split in two; it took a few hours for it to completely fall to the ground. At "tuck-in time", what I always call the chickens' roosting time, my late, great rooster Ricky Ricardo led the hens to the laid-out tree. He stopped, stared, turned around and led the girs around the back of the house as if to say, "Well, let's see if it looks any better from the other side." There they came again. No change in the tree. They all pecked around for a few minutes and then flew up into the nearby pines. That's where the current flock stays now as well. Sensitive critters. All part of the adventure of farming!

    1. There's so much to learn about the behavior of poultry. I do worry about something like what you describe happening in the dark and coming out to a collapsed tree. The turkeys seem fairly wise though so I'll just continue trusting their instincts.