This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: turkeys (Page 1 of 3)

Young 2022 Turkeys – Update I

With the chicken mommies hatching out a 2nd group and 3rd group of turkey chicks, and them continuing on in the brooder barn, and them getting big enough it seemed to not only cause ruckus in the brooder barn, but also because it’s just better to get them outside as quickly as possible, it was time to graduate them to freedom, and life with the rest of the turkey flock and homestead!

This was going to be something of an experiment, because in the past we’ve always sent them out with their turkey mommy to lead the way, so we were hoping despite that that they would stay around the homestead and go into the barn at night.

Sadly, by this time, one of the young turkeys caught a disease or something, and eventually didn’t make it. 🙁 And so, from the original 13, there were now 12, which we show in the following video starting with the day of the release, and then their adjusting to the outside world:

Today, they are all pretty much doing well. I believe I injured one’s leg when trying to manually round them up one night because they weren’t going into the barn (which they had been doing just fine by themselves up to that point), and it’s still limping. And another has something wrong with one of its eyes…maybe a small infection? Not sure, so they spend a lot of time in the barn, often together, although the limping one just a little while ago today was looking pretty weak, so I pulled it and put it in its own cage back in the brooder barn so it has unencumbered access to water and turkey (wild game) feed, which maybe being as small as it is it still needs. We do ask God He might grant them recovery.

But generally, the other 10 or even the eye one too roam around like they own the place, 🙂 although we do still have to direct them a little into the barn at night sometimes.

But, we do thank the Lord for their continued general health and safety, and pray He might continue to grant that to them!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: 3rd Round of 2022 Turkey Chicks & Surrogate Chicken Mommy

With the surrogate chicken mommy with turkey chicks working so well, and with chicken hens again being much more easy to handle, and with another turkey/chicken mommies set sitting on turkey eggs in the barn, if they hatched, we’d thought we’d try to grab them and a chicken mommy and put them in the brooder barn to hopefully grow.

Here is the turkey mommy and the two chicken mommies in the barn on the eggs, and I believe even at least one hatched-out:

Mommies on Turkey Eggs in Barn

And thanks to God’s graces, they did hatch out several over a couple of days, and we moved one of the chicken hens and the youngins into the brooder barn, and along with the picture at the top, here they are, 5 in total!

3rd 2022 Turkey Hatching

And here’s their video:

As always, we thank the Lord for these continued provisions, and may He always glorify Himself in these things!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Surrogate Chicken Mommy to 2nd Round of Turkey Chicks

After we had a turkey mommy accidentally hatch out a chicken chick, we discovered in the barn next to the north footer in the middle a set of turkey eggs being sat on by both a turkey and a chicken. Since the turkey mommy worked well as a surrogate to the chicken chick, I started to wonder if maybe a chicken mommy might make a good surrogate for turkey chicks, especially because a chicken hen is much easier to work with than the larger and stronger turkey hen.

Well, the little things started to hatch, and eventually the chicken mommy ended up near the big door across the barn to the east with the chicks under her, and the turkey mommy kind of hanging out behind her. So, it was round up the youngin’s and the chicken mommy and get them into the summer kitchen (now basically what is a brooder barn).

There were 6 of them, and we initially started them in a cage on the table, which you can see in the video below.

Then not long after, another turkey/chicken mommy group in the barn hatched out 1, and it was walking around on the hay stack next to them, and so we grabbed it and put it in with the brooder barn mommy, hoping she would accept it, and she did!

And then, another 1 from that same 2 mommies in the barn, and so it was off to the brooder barn.

And so now, there are 8 turkey chicks with their chicken mommy in the brooder barn all still doing great! That last one is a little tiny, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it, but it’s still going!

And, along with the picture above, here is another picture of them. However, the chicken mommy at this point seems to be losing interest in attending to them as a mommy, and has been jumping out of the caged run area, so we may just let her go soon, although we do like the idea that these mommies being there might protect the young from snakes:

2nd Round of 2022 Turkey Chicks

And here is their video:

We thank the Lord for granting these new little provisions, and for the idea and gracious success of a chicken hen taking care of the young turkey chicks!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Tasha’s 2021 Turkey Chicks

Following close on the heels of Tanya’s turkey chicks, another one of our turkey hens got broody in the barn also, in one of the goat stalls.

Tanya and hers were still in the brooder barn (aka. the summer kitchen), so we didn’t really have a place for Tasha, and I didn’t want to put her in a small caged area like we do for our chickens.

Well, Tasha’s chicks started hatching, so what we ended up doing was drop down a couple of extra OSB boards we had and stitch together two chicken fence-cages into a longer run like in the brooder barn. We then covered it all with blankets and bent one end down so I could lean over and access the inside, and we set up their water and food.

And then it was time to try to transfer her and the turklets. The youngin’s were already starting to walk away from her and explore a little, so we just started grabbing them and moving them into the caged area, and Tasha thankfully kept calm. And then with her, we put a large fishing net over her, grabbed her from within that, and put her into the caged area. Thankfully, that all went rather smoothly. 8 turkey chicks in all! Wow, and thanks to the Lord!

Sadly, 1 died pretty quickly, but the other 7 kept going and growing.

Quite a few weeks later, when they all were much bigger, one morning, one of the young was getting picked on, so, with them pretty close to big enough where we were planning on letting them go soon anyway, I decided to let them free at that time.

Here they are just before we got them going:

Tasha's 2021 Turkey Chicks
More of Tasha's 2021 Turkey Chicks

Well, that part did not go rather smoothly. I couldn’t get the end of the cage propped up with the blankets on, so I removed some of the blankets, and Tasha, who is skittish anyway, just seemed to panic and flew up and out of the caged area and out the north door. Arg! So, we tried to shoo out the turklets so they would stay with her, and they started doing the same thing, flying up and off walls, going all over the barn, etc.

Soon, we were able to get them all out the north door. Mommy was kind of running up the walk path up to the goat fields with a couple of turklets behind her, so we tried to get the other ones to follow, and everyone started scattering. It was quite a mess. We were trying to get all the yougin’s to stay with mama, but looking back, we probably should have just let them be in the cage, as shooing them out caused a lot of trouble.

Throughout the day, 2 of the turklets made it back, hanging around the other turklet group or wherever, and Tasha came back too. And by the end of the day, only those 2 were to be found. Sigh.

In the evening, one I believe went into the barn, the other sat down next to the generator box, and so we got it and put it in the barn. We were praying God might grant more come back, or that we would find them, or that He might grant their safety over night.

Later, as Sue was walking Brodey our dog, she had an inkling to take a bit of a different path, and lo and behold, she discovered 3 sat down next to the orchard gate! Wow, what a gift from God! So, we used a fishing net with them, and got them into the barn. So now, 5 were in the barn, and 2 still missing. And that was it for that day.

The next day, I was walking around, looking around for the missing ones, and walked by the hill of dirt that was the dirt dug out for the root cellar, and lo and behold, God granted I just happen to walk by one and see it sat down in the grass! Wow, another gift out of nowhere! So, we netted it and put it in the barn in the goat stall area where the other 5 were still hanging out.

And in the Lord’s perfect will, #7 never came back. We don’t know if it just crouched down and died, or just ran off, but that was it. But, God didn’t have to grant any of them to come back, and we thank Him for what He did grant, and His answers to prayer!

Today, the 6 are still going strong, and spending their days out and roaming the homestead. Mama never rejoined them at all, and within the last couple of days, she had gone missing. She had slightly injured her wing when she tried to fly out on that mayhem day a couple of weeks ago, but I had a hard time believing it killed her now. However, last night she made an appearance to take a dirt bath and eat some, so we know she’s still alive, and it looks like she might be nesting again. We do pray God grant her safety out there, if He might. Maybe we’ll be able to find her and migrate her into the brooder barn.

And now, without further ado, here’s their video, which includes the release day, and the followups with finding turklets, and the 6 eventually starting to venture out of the barn:

We recognize that nothing we have is our own, and that all things are the Lord’s to do with as He pleases. We thank Him for graciously granting the turkey chicks He has, and we pray we never murmur, and that He glorify Himself through them in some way, and always through us in some way.

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Tanya’s Octuplet Turkey Chicks of 2021

The Lord granted one of our hatchlings from last year get broody this year, and thankfully she did so in the barn, so she wasn’t out in a forest somewhere, susceptible to ending up being dinner for a predator.

Our strategy was to wait until they hatched, if any did, and move her and them into our brooder barn (formerly what was going to be a summer kitchen), where we have a cage run that has worked well with new turkeys in the past.

Well, as God would graciously grant, she did hatch out her chicks (I call them “turklets”, like “chicklets” but for turkeys 😀 ), and so we grabbed her, and put her turklets in a bucket, and carried them all into the brooder barn, and set them all in there.

Thankfully again, I don’t believe she squooshed any in the mayhem of grabbing her (turkeys are quite strong and much bigger than chickens), and in the final count, she had hatched out 8 youngins’! Wow, that’s I think our biggest haul yet!

But, these things are pretty fragile as we have found out in the past. However, the Lord has granted to see them all through, and all 8 are still going today, and going strong!

I did end up waiting until the day we felt it was time to shoo them out of the brooder barn to freedom to start taking pictures and videos, and here they are:

First 2021 Turkey Chicks
More First 2021 Turkey Chicks

Here’s mama, who after they had grown so big, started sitting on the eggs that were still there:

Tanya the Turkey Sitting on Eggs

And here is their video adventure on their first and second days out!

We are very thankful to the Lord for His provisions and seeing all these 8 through to semi-maturity!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: Tasha’s Quint-essential 2020 Turkey Chicks

Well, it was that time of year again, where our heritage turkey hens get broody. Tasha, our star mommy, got broody in a little nook in a pile of “stuff” in our barn. So, I decided to move her and the eggs into our brooder barn (formerly the summer kitchen), with a nice nest, and private, but after a couple of days, she wouldn’t sit on them. So, back went the eggs into the nook nest, and her free, and lo and behold, she started sitting on them again. Then, the strategy became, let her hatch them out, and hopefully we can gather her and the chicks and put them in the brooder barn.

Well, 28 days or so later, sure enough, little turkey chicks (I call them “turklets”, like “chicklets” 😉 ) started showing. We wanted to let her finish hatching, but didn’t want to wait long because of our cats potentially getting them. But then, we came home one day, and things were in some chaos, so something had happened, and so we tried to round up the chicks and her, and get them in the brooder barn. It went ok, although I believe we lost one in the process. Still, she had been sitting on quite a few eggs, and we were able to get her and five live turklets inside.

These chicks have always seemed fragile over the years, and so we had no idea what to expect. In fact, another turkey hen or ours, Olivia, recently started sitting, and they started to hatch out, all three or four were basically out of the shell, but dead when I found them. Always so sad. But, by God’s graces, Tasha’s grew, and continued to.

Here they are fairly young, maybe a couple of weeks after hatching:

New 2020 Turkey Chicks

More New 2020 Turkey Chicks

And then perched with mommy for the night. She’s very protective, so any resupplying of water and food had to be done at night, or she might go crazy and try to fly out the window, which she has done 🙂 :

Turkey Chicks Perched for the Night on Fencing

More Turkey Chicks Perched for the Night on Fencing

Last year, after shortly letting out Tasha and her two turkets, something happened one night in the barn, and then next morning, one had disappeared, and the other was terminally injured, so we lost both of them. They weren’t tiny when we let them out, but I wondered if perhaps that was part of the cause of their loss. And so, this year, I wanted to keep them in the brooder barn longer.

And here is their video, from when they were younger, to the perch night, to freedom day, and a little beyond! (I do mention these are the only ones she hatched out, but that wasn’t correct, as noted above.)


And finally here they are recently hanging out up in the tree:

Turkey Chicks Perched for the Tree

We are grateful to the Lord for these new provisions, and we pray they continue in health, in accordance with His perfectly wise and good will!

— David

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