Tuesday, August 11, 2009

White Devil Turkeys...that's what the reporter called them

Our turkeys are getting a lot of coverage this summer. First it was their dinosaur-like qualities, increasing as they grow larger. Next it was the saving of Rose, the only turkey hatchling to make it past one day old. Now our turkeys have landed themselves in a reporter's blog...because they bit him on the butt when he was out here writing a story about our farm stay experience. I believe he calls the perpetrators our "white devil turkeys". Hmmm, not a great marketing tool, but I do see what he means.

The guy was actually pretty cool about the attack. He had mentioned that he needed to get all the farm yard terms correct or he would be considered the city reporter who doesn't know how to cover a rural story. I believe I introduced him to the word "manger" in describing the hay feeder for the sheep and horses. I wonder if it rung a bell about the baby Jesus? The reporter didn't need a term for getting bit on the butt by the turkeys, but here again, there was that rural pressure to take it all in stride, so he never yelled out when it happened. Seems the reporter may have suffered a nip on the leg as well.

The turkeys are making it hard for little kids to enter the chicken yard without several distraction tactics to keep them safe. We have the "gentle foot maneuver", not a swift kick, to push the birds away. All you do is stand on one leg and use the other to move the closest bird aside. We have the "toss the mulberries and watch the turkeys gobble them up" move which works for everyone and kids find to be great fun. "One for me and one for them" also works but I usually warn parents about the staining ability of mulberries...permanent purple.

We have the: "Don't point your finger at the birds or you will get it nipped like a worm" admonition; "Try to pet a turkey and it will actually run away with a squeak" technique; "Don't worry about the turkeys on the lawn. They will fly back at their leisure" suggestion. Of course, the best solution for the kids who never figure how to dominate this crowd is to hide behind mom or dad, or just plain run away. I do hope we aren't sending any kids home with a turkey phobia!

I have included a link here to the reporter's blog which I hope stays live because it is pretty funny. http://kyleodegard.mvourtown.com/2009/07/16/white-devil-turkeys-gt-top-10-online/ . It was nice that he came out to do the story and I don't want him thinking we didn't appreciate his fortitude and bravery to take on not only the turkeys, but the donkey with the new bad habit of putting his nose between your legs and bringing it up with a jerk when he feels you are not paying enough attention to him. Beware the donkey!

At least our visiting family had nothing but nice things to say about their stay here and the shot the photographer ran with for the lead story had the most idyllic Madonna mother leaning over the manger with her son feeding the sheep. So what is with all the biblical references? I have no idea. Our guest just looked like a Raphael painting.

And the White Devil Turkeys? They are still running the show. They love little girls in pink pants and sweaters the best as they show off their feathers and strut around the chicken yard. Three-year-old's work best based on their size and eye level contact and we are specializing in those this summer (kids, not birds). As much as they can be slightly alarming in a group, there is no maliciousness, only curiosity. I suspect that Thanksgiving will once again be bitter sweet when we have to send them off. If they just didn't taste so darn good!

Photo: (top) Curious "devil" turkey wants to bite the camera lens, (bottom) Turkeys at the mulberry tree.

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