The Tater Tots are growing really fast. They’re just about 4 weeks old now and gaining more and more independence. Where they once followed mom closely they now wander further away. Tater is still very protective of them and comes running when a wayward poult cries but it’s much less often now than it was a couple of weeks ago.
Three of the 9 poults have decided that they no longer need to sleep under mom at night. Putting them away for the evening I walked into Turkey Town to find 3 of them roosting on the 4′ high roost. Did I mention the poults can fly now? They’re pretty good at it and we’ll be needing to clip their wings soon to save my onions from guaranteed destruction.
It’s no secret that Hank is one of my favorites around here. I just love that big ol’ lumbering tom. Hank has now taken an active role as well. Unlike many toms he’s not the least bit aggressive with them and is very careful when walking around them. I was hesitant for a long while to allow the poults out and about with Tater mainly because I was worried of what Hank would do. But he’s such a mellow and sweet bird I should have known better. Mom allows him to hang around, unlike any errant chicken that comes too close. I will sometimes find Hank with them while Tater is in Turkey Town eating. The poults don’t seem to worry as long as they can see at least one of them.
Since the hens went broody we’ve been keeping Hank in Chicken City at night so we didn’t have to worry about him trampling the eggs or disturbing the hens. One of the awesome things about Hank is he always knows where he’s supposed to sleep, unlike the turkey hens who can never figure it out and we always end up having to hunt down and herd them into Turkey Town (though we’ve gotten a reprieve with the poults being around). So for weeks he’s been going in to Chicken City at dusk. Two nights ago I went to put the turkeys to bed and Hank was laying in the doorway like a sentry. Because he’s been spending more time safely with the poults I decided to let him stay there.
Yesterday afternoon I came out and caught Hank giving himself a dust bath and sunning himself with the poults. Many of them you can’t see because they are right on the other side of him bathing. Last night he slept next to Tater and then this morning while he was laying in the yard out popped two poults from underneath him.
Hank has definitely spoiled us. I’ve heard horror stories about aggressive toms but Hank is nothing but the opposite.