Posts Tagged ‘poults’


Zzzzzz…. Ah, corn, cookies, mashed potatoes

Harumph…. Huh? Who’s there? Wait, where am I?

Wha? I was just dreaming…creamed corn

Oh my, what a big eye you have

Are you my mom???

Postscript: Six poults hatch from among the couple of dozen eggs the mama turkey lays on. Turkeys are big and clumsy, and the mama squashes her babies by accident, killing four.

Jim and the girls snap into action. There are only two poults left, one injured, the other tangled in the octagon of a chickenwire fence. Jim cuts out the trapped baby.

Both are just a few days old but already they eat and drink. Like most babies they sleep a lot. An old photography light/heat lamp simulates (as much as possible) the warmth of Mama’s downy feathers.

Jim says we’re nurturing the next generation of turkeys. Every day until all the eggs hatch he’ll be out there watching for the next set of poults.

Turkeys on red Ravine

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Turkeys Wild among the Geraniums, letting the turkeys loose on the land one morning, photo © 2007 by Jim. All rights reserved.

It’s been about ten or so weeks since our mama turkeys hatched a bunch of babies. We call them “turklets” in our household, but they’re really called “poults.” They’ve grown a lot since the last post about them. I imagine they’re about 16 years old in people years.

For a few weeks we talked about giving them away to people who would raise them as pets and promise not to eat them. But it looks like we’re going to keep them instead. Jim has this idea that he’s going to let them run wild on the land. That we’re going to start a whole colony and that years from now, long after we’re gone, people will wonder where the wild gray-and-brown turkey flock came from. For all we know, books will be written about them and their fame will rival that of the wild ponies of Assateague Island.

For now we are working on making them as wild as possible. Every morning Jim shooshes them out toward the field. So far, they have learned to circle the house several times a day. Mostly they hang out on the back patio.

We’re hopeful. They all have learned to puff up big any time the eagle comes flying ’round. We know we might lose one or two before they are fully able to survive the wild. But some day, hopefully in our lifetimes, we will see gray-brown turkeys roaming the Rio Grande Valley.


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Em Holding Baby Turkey, photo by ybonesy on July 17, 2007
Em Holding Baby Turkey, photo by ybonesy on July 17, 2007, photos © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

Jim and the girls almost had me fooled when they told me that baby turkeys are called “turklets.” So I googled the word “turklet” and found this entry in Urban Dictionary:

 turklet isn’t defined yet, but these are pretty close:

1. gobblet  
  A baby male turkey. As opposed to a turklet, which can be either male or female.

I would kill that turkey, but think of its poor gobblets.


Our brown girl turkey, Eagle Eye, has six freshly hatched babes, and our slate gray turkey, Azul, is sitting on another eight or so eggs. We might end up with a “rafter” of turkeys, which, in case you’re not familiar with that word, it’s what you call a bunch of turkeys.

Oh, and baby turkeys — they’re actually called “poults.” Here’s a link that tells you what other animal babies are called, now that you’re surely dying to know that information.

Eagle Eye with her Babies, photo by ybonesy, July 17, 2007

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