Monday, January 12, 2009

turkeys and eggs

Bourbon Red Turkeys
This is Ally, the daughter of Sally. We have Franklin, Frannie, Annie, Sally, and Ally.

We got another turkey egg today and 10 chicken eggs. Egg production has picked up and it's been cold outside. Weather is going to turn bitterly cold though toward the end of the week so the girls may go back on strike.

Our turkey eggs are absolutely delicious. We try to put a turkey egg in each dozen of eggs that we sell. New customers are always hesitant to try a turkey egg but they'll come back the next Saturday (at the Farmers Market) and want ALL turkey eggs. Last summer, we only had 2 hens. I think turkey eggs taste just a little richer, maybe a tad sweeter. You can't beat an over-easy turkey egg.

It seems as if turkey eggs, being larger than chicken eggs, would be a prized item for grocery stores. So why aren't the dairy aisles packed with 'em?
First of all, they say chickens are much more efficient egg-producers than turkeys. Chickens start laying at 19 weeks of age, while turkeys hold off until they're a far more mature 32 weeks old. However, our girls have been excellent layers.

Second, because of their large size, turkeys would require much more nesting room than chickens, which would make commercial coops less cost-efficient.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, turkey hens are far more maternal than chickens. Generations of egg farming have made commercial chicken hens rather nonchalant about their offspring. They lay eggs and show no interest in their outcome. Turkeys, on the other hand, are broody, aggressively protect their eggs and prefer to incubate them.
The photo's below were taken this past summer.

Franlin taking an afternoon nap.


Twisted Fencepost said...

Love these picture, Joanna.
All of them!

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

Great pictures and very interesting facts.

Anonymous said...

When our boys were little we had 2 Bronze turkeys. A tom and a hen.
They were huge.
Our neighbors came over one day with their son who was around 4 years old. When he saw that big tom turkey his eyes got big as saucers and he hollered "Durn, what a chicken!".
It was more like "duurrnnn WHAT A CHICKEN!!!" lol..
Your pictures are so good.
Have a great day.

Amy said...

Awwww! Your turkeys are so cute! (Did I just say that out loud???) I love their speckly eggs too. How pretty. I bet a dust bathing turkey requires a mighty big hole! I'd hate to see the damage they could wreak in my flowerbeds!

Mom L said...

Thanks for the info, Joanna! Until reading your posts I had never even considered the fact that turkeys would lay eggs people could eat! I thought they were just dinner walking. Franklin and his kin are beautiful.


The Scavenger said...

Great looking eggs. I have never had a turkey a but would love to try one. I love our duck eggs too. Loved all the pictures. Did you raise your turkeys from chicks?? I guess so but did you order them is what I'm asking.


Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

I have the worst case of spring fever...and now chicken fever! I am determined to bring chickens back to my farm this year.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Great post - I love learning new cool stuff and I didn't know this about turkey eggs. They're beautiful, I think, the eggs *and* the turkeys!