EmmaLouMoo needed a return trip to the vet. Her mastitis hadn’t totally cleared up and as I had to drive into town to get the medications, I figured we might as well take her along and let the vet administer it since needs to go in the back of her ear and I am in no shape to wrestle with her. Luckily, the mastitis never got to the point where there was any heat or swelling or blockage, the milk just didn’t filter properly so I wanted to nip it in the bud.
On our last trip to town there were 20 bald eagles going after something in one of the hay fields. We were amazed as we have never seen a group of eagles like that before. It made us feel very patriotic, but only for a minute then considering the state of our country and the character of our leaders just made us feel profoundly saddened.
Focusing on the task at hand is the only way to put those thoughts aside. We checked in, the vet was in surgery so we grabbed a quick breakfast and came back, ran Em through the chute and she was good to go. A couple of hours in the farm store looking for parts, a few minutes at the grocery store picking up salt and such things and we headed home through a heavy hail storm.
It was a week both challenging and satisfying. We picked up turkeys on the last trip and they have grown considerably. Never having had turkeys before (with the exception of inheriting an old tom turkey who would chase cars and prevent anyone from getting out of their pickup trucks) it is a new and fascinating experience. With chicks, when you put your hand in the brooder to feed or water, they generally scatter in fear. The turkeys however, are curious, they crane their little necks out and sneak up to have a look. One of them, who we call “Mr Peepers” because he is so vocal, has become so tame already that when I put my hand in, he runs across the brooder and jumps in my hand. He likes to be held. We have been totally captured by their personalities. I think I see the possibility of a pet turkey in our future.
Mr Peepers was really raising a ruckus one night so we took him out and put him on the floor to see what he would do. He was distressed to be alone so we grabbed one of his buddies and put them together. First he began to strut, which sent us into paroxysms of laughter. Then the two of them began running unbelievably fast around the room, ducking under standing dogs who froze in place, not sure what exactly was taking place. They ran and peeped and squeaked and whistled and did figure 8’s all around the room. Randy and I were holding our sides with tears running down our faces at the hilarity of it all. Then Mr Peeper’s actually revved up his engine to an even greater speed and ran smack into the old milk can standing by the wall. I have no idea what he thought he was doing, but only a couple of minutes later, his buddy did the exact same thing. That was the end of us. It took a very long time to recover and get Mr Peepers and his buddy back in their trough. I am pretty sure I sprained my face and we both came very close to needing diapers. Between the road runner turkey poults and our hooting and gasping, the Maremmas didn't know what they should do. They just stared at us with perplexed looks on their faces which didn't help our case one bit.
My cheesy greenhouse made of aluminum frame and greenhouse cloth was crushed last winter by a snow slide off of the roof. We put up cattle panels wired to T-posts this time, for greater support, cut some drip hose to put over the ends so nothing sharp would damage the cover, and put it all together. It was a nearly perfect fit and all that is left to do is put cement block around the bottom to secure it, put in a heater and my seedlings and the turkey poults can go in until they are big enough to live outside.
I was in the bedroom folding laundry when I heard a *crash*. I searched the house to see what had made the sound and noticed there was no red reflection coming out of the trough the turkeys were living in...
sure enough, the bulb was shattered. Mr Peepers was directly under the heat lamp. I could swear I saw a halo of little stars spinning around his head. Earlier in the day he had nearly succeeded in jumping out of the trough. His compatriots were huddled on the other side as far as they could get from it, but shards of glass were even sticking out of their new little feathers. Afraid they might peck at the glass and injure themselves, I gathered them up, shook them off, scolded Mr Peepers, who I believe was the guilty party and carried them out to the green house. I made a makeshift pen for them and waited for Randyman to return to help with a more permanent arrangement.
He brought cement block in from the ranch boneyard and we fastened down the edges of the greenhouse, made a suitable home for the poults and Randyman put up my 12x12 corral for Sushi while I milked Emma. It is Sushi’s last chance to sweeten up and get friendly before I decide to haul her off. I am hoping she will turn her attitude around and make a good milk cow, but if she doesn’t I will have to sell her or send her off to freezer camp. So far, she does seem to be responding, now that she has no way to run off. She’s very intelligent for a cow, which is part of my problem. If she would only use it for good instead of for evil...