Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wild Turkeys and Guineas

Recently a flock of wild turkeys has been visiting us!
They remind me of our Guineas ~ they sort of look similar to Guineas.  But the turkeys are bigger than our young Guineas.  The turkeys have been hanging out in our back yard, while our Guineas have been hanging out in the front yard. 

I didn't see any male turkeys, just females and older baby turkeys.  Here is a mama and one of her babies.  it looks like turkey mamas talk to their young all the time just like chicken mamas do!

Baby turkeys, I know you are big teenagers now, but your mama Turkey is serious, you better listen to her!

What, Mom, did you call us?

Mama turkey is quiet, her children have wandered off without her.  They just don't listen...

We've been banishing our Guineas from the chicken pen, we want them to free range and eat bugs. But they don't want to be free birds, they want to be in the chicken pen still, so they hang close to the chicken area right now. They were raised by chickens, I guess they think they are chickens. If the Guineas saw the wild turkeys I'm concerned they would follow them and leave us behind!  They may then realize there's life outside the chicken pen!

Here's a few pictures I took today of the Guineas beside the chicken pen, on the outside trying to get in.  The Guineas now fly up and sleep in the trees at night, and fly down to the ground in the morning.  In the afternoons we normally open the gate and let them into the chicken pen because they have dutifully sat outside the fence all day, attempting to enter through the gate.  Guess they don't realize they could just fly over the fence to enter the chicken pen!  During they days they often fly up into low branches of trees around the outside of the chicken pen, but none of them have gone over the fence to get in.  One day one of them will realize he can just fly over the fence, and then all the others will follow.


Farm Girl said...

I love your pictures of both! I love the turkeys and the guineas. I think it is amazing the wild life you have and you are so close to the beltway. Is that the word? I have been going to tell you your old grave yard just intrigues me. You have so many things on your property that just amazes me but that old graveyard somehow draws me, I even look at the picture. I am glad you remember it.

Lisa said...

I wonder, if you are able to handle the guineas,if you put one on top of the fence and then nudged it into the chicken pen from there, would that speed up the process of them flying into the pen? I'm just starting with guineas so I am curious.

CeeCee said...

Goodness, those keets suddenly look like guineas!

I would love to have wild turkeys hang around here. I've only seen two in the 10 years we've lived here, though.

Foothills Poultry said...

I love the Brood Flock of Turkeys. I know a couple places where some hang out. I love seeing the 2-5 mothers taking care of a bunch of babies in one big flock. Adult Males are kept far away.


Verde Farm said...

I love your guineas. They are our favorites to watch on our farm. We lost one this past week and it broke our heart. She got sick very quickly, we think it was likely something poisonous she ate but the others are fine.

Your guineas likely do think they are chickens and can't figure out why mom won't let them in with their brothers and sisters :) One day they will get that flying over thing.

Thanks for sharing, Amy-Verde Farm

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm Girl - Yes, we are about 8 miles away from the Beltway!! That's what I love about this location - we are so very close to the cuty, but so very far from all that craziness, too! the graveyard always draws me to it, its amazing to think that there's actually bones right under our feet!

Lisa - We've been putting the Guineas up and over the fence whenever we can catch them. They don't get it. I really don't think Guineas are very smart birds.

CeeCee - Yes, the keets are suddenly big, I agree!

Matt - That's what I figured, when I saw no males. They were very quiet, too, no gobbling or anything going on.

Amy - Thanks for visiting! I'm going to go visit your blog now. That's awful that you lost a Guinea, I'm sorry!


Chai Chai said...

Ha, we put wild turkey visit posts up and the same day. The wild turkey population here is really growing and we now hear and see them on a regular basis.

Our guineas do a lot of flying, in fact it appears that they taught our chickens how to get on top of the coop.

Dog Trot Farm said...

I have never seen the abundance of wild turkeys as we have experienced this summer. When the turkeys venture into our yard my girl's remain perfectly still and just seem to take it all in. Are your guineas laying yet or are they still to young?

Knatolee said...

Awww, the guineas look so perplexed!! Too bad they have peanut-sized brains, otherwise they might have gone over the fence by now. Love those wild turkeys.

Toni aka irishlas said...

They sure are goofy looking things. But, it' awesome that you have them hanging around. You get to enjoy a flock and don't have to care for them.
They don't interfere with any of you birds, do they?

Razzberry Corner said...

Chai Chai - yes, our guineas do alot of flying, too. It does encourage the chickens to fly. We usually trim the chickens' wings just a little bit so they can't fly over the fence. But we haven't yet trimmed our younger chickens' wings (the teens and the chickies), and recently they have been following the guineas up the trees which are in the chicken pen. It seems everey eve I have to chase the younger chickens out of the tree branches now. I keep asking Randy to trim those low branches!

Julie - No, the guinea girls have not started laying yet! I haven't even thought about that - I bet they will start soon! Who knows where they will lay now that I've kicked them out of the chicken pen. I'll have to keep an eye out for this... Thanks for the heads-up!

Knatolee - I really was trying to not say this, but I really do not think guineas are very smart animals!! I try to stick up for them time and time again, but they continually prove how dumb they are to me! Maybe it's just my Guineas, I don't know!!!

Toni - You know, now that you mention it - could turkeys have mites? They could bring things like mites into the area which would get on our flock. But they eat bugs, so I can't imagine they would have bugs on them. I've read that chickens and Guineas can get mites from other wild birds. When we first got our guinea keets suddenly all our flock got mites, we figured they came with the new guineas. Then everyone had to get treated for mites. Now I check the birds often for mites. Other than my concern about mites, the turkeys haven't interfered with our flock - yet! If the guineas see the turkeys, I don't know what would happen. The guineas are very territorial - always chasing the outside cat, Jerry (poor cat!). Would the guineas chase the turkeys away? Would there be a guinea/turkey fight if the turkeys didn't back down? Would the guineas follow the turkeys thinking they are other guineas? Who knows...but I'll blog about it if it happens!