Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Life keeps moving on.

The weather has continued being a bit strange, vacillating between bone chilling cold, and strangely warm. Over the weekend it went to warm, and rained Hard. I'm fairly glad it wasn't snow because snow over the ice pack we had would have been very rough. Instead we had a very high river with big chunks of ice floating down it. As you can see, we also had a lot of fog from the ice sublimating directly into the atmosphere leading to a very humid, foggy day. It felt more like we were just living in a cloud bank. We used the opportunity to put the black turkey out for the day in the coop with his brown buddy.

Before we get to the turkey, I'm going to touch on the black chicken, dubbed Baba Yaga by one of our readers. When I managed to catch the ailing black turkey, and get him inside to try to give him a chance by putting him in a warm space, she got upset. She spent the day refusing to eat, and calling for him constantly in her quasi turkey calls. She roamed everywhere and was away from the other chickens going looking for him. Perhaps predictably, but definitely unfortunately she attracted unfortunate attention, most likely in the form of the coyote that had caused so much damage in the past, or a fox. Friday morning she was missing, with only a pair of bursts of black feathers ending on the porch to indicate she'd been taken. She probably realized she'd drawn attention and ran for the porch, but there wasn't anyone to come outside and she got taken.
As for the black turkey, by Friday he was doing more poorly, and we started giving him Amoxicillin in his water. By Saturday he was doing a lot better, and was up, moving, eating, and drinking. I captured the brown turkey that day when she trapped herself in the chicken run. Still difficult to get her. Sunday when the black turkey seemed to be doing a lot better and was getting frustrated with his confinement in a dog crate I brought him outside with his meds, and food to be with his friend in the big coop that was designed for them. He was up and moving around, had good balance, and was functional. Monday morning, he was doing poorly again so we brought him inside, and by the time I got home last night he had died.
One of the things we'd consistently been told is that if he'd been a commercial breed he would have been dead before I managed to catch him and bring him inside. I have a strong suspicion that if I'd been able to capture or herd him in before I did he'd have survived. Unfortunately, with the sheet ice on the ground he ended up being very worn down before I was able to contain him. By the point I got him, it was probably too late. We did our best to give him a chance, but this time it wasn't enough.

Our question now of course is, what to do about his partner. She's a social creature, so either we need to find her company, or eat turkey. We'll be deciding that soon.

1 comment:

  1. I am so very sorry. It's hard losing beloved critters. I have experienced similar losses, and the hardest was two of my beloved hens who were taken over two days. I extend my sympathies to you.