Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #29, 9/11/13

What’s been going on!

It was a proud day Monday when the kids graduated from high school (tears and sniffles, etc.), I mean the turkeys moved from the brooder to the field.  Fully six weeks old, not sure how old that is in human years but more than ready to need more room to roam.  A different first move this year because we are raising them much later in the season than we have for the past 10 years.  Usually their first move is down below the hydrangeas and viburnums so they have more shade and shrub protection from potential flying predators.

Over the following 10 weeks they move up hill through the blueberries and various fields of either old cut flowers or summer cover crops, changing fields every two weeks or so.  This year we only have a few weeks left until we start tearing up all the fields, that are now finished for the year, in preparation for winter cover crops, so there is no time to rotate the birds in the usual pattern if we want them drop some poop on at least some fields.  So this year they are starting at the top of the hill instead.

The good thing about the first stop on the turkey tour is it was a shorter walk for the birds from the brooder to the field, yes they walk, slowly, very slowly (here is a picture from last years walk).  Fewer distractions along this grassy walk and after not too long we had them in a lush green summer cover crop of sudangrass with lots of shade and bugs to eat.  A successful start for some happy birds.  Look for the turkey reservation form and information next week.

Only two weeks left to get your tickets for the Carrboro Farmers’ Market Chefs’ Harvest Potluck, Thursday September 26th.  If you attended last year you know how great an event it was, if you didn’t then don’t miss out on this one.  Many great dishes from over 20 local chefs and beer from Six String Brewery and wine from Benjamin Vineyards.  It is a beautiful event under the market pavilions that raises money for improvements to the Market facility.  See you there!

Picture of the Week

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Beautiful day, cover crop and happy birds

What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading

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Peregrine Farm News Vol. 9 #18, 7/19/12

What’s been going on!

Newsletter a day late as yesterday was turkey moving day, planting and on to Farmers’ Market so there was no opportunity to sneak away and write.  The first stage happened Tuesday morning when I was up at 5:45 to catch the eleven guinea hens while they were still a bit sleepy.  They have moved over to Liz’s Bushy Tail Farm where they will grow up and hopefully eat all of her ticks.  When the Barkers are ready Confit and Fricassee (or is it Grits and Gumbo?) will move on over to their house to live out their guinea fowl lives.

Yesterday morning I was out just after 6:00 (this damn heat!) getting ready for the move of the remaining 70 birds.  Turkeys are always a bit daffy when exposed to new things and so I wanted them to have 24 hours to get used to not having the guinea hens around before yet another new experience of moving to a new field.  By the time Jennie and Liz arrived at 8:00 I had the electric fences up, waterers and feeder moved; everything ready for the long walk.

Like last year I thought it would be less stressful to walk them the 200 feet down to their next location instead of catching each one, putting them in the truck, driving them down and then grabbing them again and setting them out.  I have to say that this group is not as cohesive and sharp as last years but it still seemed the best option.  30 minutes and a lot of patience we coaxed them past the gravel drive (they are easily distracted by bright objects) and the sliding tunnels to some nice green grass and the shade of some bushes.

Usually when turkeys move into a new lush area they make the “happy turkey” sound, heads down searching out new bugs and tender greenery to eat.  This outfit stood in the corner of the fence calling out and staring back towards the brooder.  Eventually they finally settled down and the heat drove them under the bushes and close to the waterers.  Finally late in the day they began to explore their new larger accommodations, another successful move.

Picture of the Week

6 feet per minute, through the scary narrow gate

What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading