A few weeks ago, I wrote about broody season. Well, now it is baby season. Two turkeys have each hatched poults and multiple chicken hens are raising anywhere from a single chick to several apiece. With the chickens, I hatch eggs and give them the chicks, since I want to raise purebred chicks, rather than the barnyard mixes they would hatch if left to their own devices. However my turkey hen chose a wonderful place to brood so I allowed her to sit on her own eggs and she did a marvelous job. When the eggs started to pip and zip, it was like popcorn, and when the hatch was over, I discovered that all 14 of the eggs she had been sitting on had hatched – in about a 12-hour time frame!
Mama turkey is now busily raising her brood of poults – who keep her busy. She allows them to jump on her back and peck at the back of her head, or jump up and grab her wattles and hang on, dangling. Or even to grab her snood and dangle from that. The time will come those kinds of behaviors will not be tolerated but for now, they are babies and can get away with all of it.
There is nothing sweeter than watching a mother with her young.