This is a small group of local wild turkeys that payed our domestic flock a visit this fall and look at the interesting bird with them! I wish the photo was better but I had to zoom in as they were quite leery of me. The one with the white and brown markings has given us quite a bit to speculate about, especially since he looks like he should be one of ours. We think he may be the result of a cross between our Bourbon Red hen and our Midget White tom. That would explain his markings-- but how did he get mixed up with this bunch? The only explanation that we can come up with is that he was hatched from one of our heritage mothers, who was, of course, free to roam with her babies. They must have had a close encounter with a true wild mother, who was foraging in the fields and forests with her brood. If the young ones were all about the same age, we can imagine how he could have gotten mixed up in whatever commotion may have ensued, and ended up with a new family.
When we started our heritage turkey project three years ago, with the intent of letting them be as free and as close to wild as possible, we were wondering if we would even end up losing them to the wild flocks. Not really wanting this to happen, we were still intrigued by the possibility.
Newly hatched baby turkeys are so cute! That makes it easier to give them the enormous amount of human attention that they require when they have no mother.
As our young orphans grew they continued to look to us for security. Almost becoming a nuisance at times! They would even try to follow us as we drove up the driveway in our car! We really have a lot more to share with you about our experiences raising these remarkable birds, but all that shall have to come at a later date, as we are now hearing the wild call of our young vegetable seedlings germinating, and in need of our attention...more about that too...