Let’s get it on: Turkey husbandry in the 21st Century
My alternate title for this post was, “Doing it and doing it and doing it well.” I decided to go for the classier option. Before we know it springtime will be upon us. As we approach spring the animals on the farm’s thoughts turn to the making of more little baby animals. Specifically, our turkeys have indicated that they’re ready to start trying to “take care of business, the old fashioned way.” If you’ve ever seen the show “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe then you know that most American turkeys need a little help in the bedroom department. You see, the broad-breasted white turkeys favored by supermarkets and commercial poultry producers have had their “gettin’ busy skills” bred right out of them. That means, that more than likely, the last turkey you ate was the product of insemination. And not un-ironically the last turkey you ate’s momma was probably inseminated with something that looks a lot like a turkey baster. I mention all of this because we are hoping for something a little different from our turkeys and their turkey baby mommas.
Turkey sex is a much more widely written about topic than you might imagine. If you are looking for the very best example in publication of writing about turkey sex, I direct you to Barbara Kingsolver’s pivotal work Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Her description of turkey coitus cannot be beat. She manages to capture the teenage-boy-on-prom-night awkwardness of turkey sex while still not losing sight of the fact that we live in an age where turkey sex is a legitimate miracle. Turkeys have to be trained and encouraged to do something that virtually every other animal is born knowing how to do (I say virtually because I am still not sure what’s going on with the sea horses, and frankly I don’t want to know). Fortunately, through luck, or divine intervention, or Geoff blasting Barry White, Al Green, and Marvin Gay songs through the poultry house, our turkeys seem to have a natural inclination to be fruitful and multiply.
Let me take you there…Over the past few weeks our male turkeys have been strutting their stuff like no other. Its all plumage this, fancy calls that. They strut, they preen, they gobble in a way that I assume lady turkeys find alluring and mysterious. And their heads turned blue. Geoff says their heads have always been blue, but since I am the only human on the farm who can see all of the colors in the visible spectrum, I’m sticking with my story that the turkey heads are decidedly bluer. I’d show you a picture, but it’s kind of embarrassing.
The ladies will not be left out of this turkey version of MTV’s Spring Break. They’ve been prancing around doing seductive lady turkey things, and we believe they have laid some eggs. Needless to say, turkey prom night is fast approaching. In order to facilitate the production of our own flock, and to ensure that the boy turkeys breed with the right girl turkeys, Geoff has set up a kind of Motel Six for turkey loving. At night the turkeys all used to retire to the same room in the poultry house, but now we’ve booted the guinea fowl from their room and Geoff created two generously appointed private bedrooms for the turkey couples. They come complete with mood lighting, a GMcP originally constructed nesting apparatus, and most importantly, privacy. Now it is up to nature, and turkey horniness, to take its course.
At times like these it’s hard not to feel like Dolly Parton’s character from the movie The Best Little Whore House in Texas. After all, we are on a secluded poultry ranch and there’s an abundance of oversexed males. All we need now is Burt Reynolds or an athletic team from A&M to show up. I’ll start practicing my rendition of “I Will Always Love You” just in case.
I’ll keep you all updated on the status of our turkey brothel. I am sure the Tom’s will appreciate your support.
There you have it folks, I am two for two in the month of February. Let’s hope this streak continues. Before I sign off I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to my life-long friend Galant!
And now, one small request. If you found this post funny, or if you have ever found yourself laughing out loud at a post from this blog, then do me a favor and forward the blog to one or more of your friends (or post a link in your status bar or tweet it or all of the above). I am doing a little digital experiment and I’d love to see how many hits we can get in February. And remember, don’t forget to tip your waitress. I’ll be here all week.