It seems like just yesterday when I could pick Dimsworth up in one hand and Hawthorne in the other, but today I heard Hawthorne let loose with his very first gobble! I absolutely love listening to that noise. Hearing that goofy, wobbly sound is my favorite part about having turkeys, and now I’ll get to hear it twice as much since we have two boys! They’ve been rather irked at me these past few days, since I don’t like to let them out of the Turkey Chalet when it’s pouring down rain. Somewhere in the back of my mind is that stupid urban legend I read on the internet that talks about turkeys being so dumb they look up at the rain with their mouths gaping open, then they drown. While I’m fairly certain that isn’t true in the slightest, they aren’t smart enough to come underneath the sun porch so they end up soaking wet. I make sure to give them extra treats to make up for the confinement.
Despite the wet conditions, all of the critters apart from the goats have been happily running outside, ignoring the rain. The ducklings, especially, seem to revel in the mud. I still go outside at least every hour to check on them, since they’ve reached the curious stage. I usually have a sixth sense for when something is actually wrong, and can usually find the errant duckling pretty quickly based on the plaintive note that creeps into their usual happy chirping. Just the other day I found a duckling that had jumped into a feed bucket, but couldn’t figure out how to jump back out. The 17 chicks are equally as curious, and so far I’ve had to untangle one from the deer fencing, and lift up a bucket that had fallen onto another one, trapping it inside.
I hope the guinea fowls never get into any serious trouble, because according to the literature I’ve read they can only make a few syllables in terms of noises. But man do they make the most of them. Gene has taken to calling them the guinea howls, since they never, ever stop shrieking. They shriek when they’re happy, and shriek when they’re vexed. They shriek for the sheer joy of hearing themselves shriek. Good thing I actually like the noises they make, and they tend to put themselves to bed around five pm so at least our evenings are quiet. Good luck trying to sleep any later than dawn with your windows open, though. I figure since we’re the only ones on our block that don’t have small kids or grandkids, this is payback for all the years of us having to listen to other people’s little kids yell and squeak.
Dusk chores is definitely the loudest time here at the farm. All the critters think they should be lucky enough to be fed first, particularly the ducks, and they get progressively louder as they watch the turkeys getting their kibble. The turkeys are first in my feeding routine, because if they aren’t they literally push the ducks away from the feeder and eat their chow. Gene scoffs at me for having a routine and refusing to deviate from it, but I think the critters are happiest when they know what to expect. I even say the exact same thing every night while I dump the feed into the various receptacles. Gene, who at this point is weary of being cooped up in the house, came outside to keep me company while I did the dusk chores tonight. He decided to help round up the ducks into their pen while I dealt with the turkeys. As I was scooping up duck chow, I heard him swearing. I asked him what was wrong, and he said the ducks were refusing to go into their area, scattering in all directions instead. I asked him if he told them he was going to feed them, and he looked at me like I had three heads. I demonstrated by bellowing, “Who’s a HUNGRY duck????,” then stood back and watched as they lined up and marched in through their gate. They’re definitely creatures of habit, just like their mama.