Yesterday we moved the whole flock from the ‘brooding shed’ across the yard to their next shed. A task which sounds much simpler than the reality!!
First job was to prepare the new shed which only a few weeks ago had been the location for our Treway Fiesta. This meant Will had to erect the heras fencing which we use for walls to enclose the front of the shed then clad with boards to stop the east wind draught. Flora and I (Charlie escaped turkey duty as he was at a sleepover!) got busy bedding up the shed with fresh straw while Will hung up the feeders and drinkers.
Meanwhile Kenny built a runway with hesston straw bales (the very large square bales) linking the two sheds together. Turkeys are very funny creatures and really don’t like changing from one surface to another so we lightly bedded the runway with straw to make them feel more comfortable about the move.
Then it was time for the move! It is a lengthy process where we gently drive the turkeys out of the shed, across the runway and into the new shed. Turkeys like to do everything in their own time and can easily be spooked so patience is the key to success. As you can see in the photo Flora was giving them words of encouragement as they crossed the runway.
For anybody who follows us on instagram or facebook you can see a video of the whole move in timelapse which makes it look an awful lot quicker and easier than the reality!
The next turkey job is to clean out the brooding shed, let it dry out then it will be bedded for half the flock to move back into. As a small farm we have to work as best we can with the space we have available which generally means a lot of moving things from one place to another and back again! By splitting the flock across two sheds it means they have loads of space which makes for happy, healthy turkeys.
We also need to prepare the field with poultry fencing in readiness to let them out when we get back from our family break. Because you guessed it the field is multi purpose. We use the turkey field as our ‘nursery field’ for our newborn calves and mothers to bond before they head across the road to join the main herd. Cattle and poultry fencing is a bad combination so the whole lot has to be packed up before the cattle go out and erected once again for the birds.
In other farm news Will and Kenny have been very busy bringing in straw bales from the fields which we buy from our neighbouring arable farmer. We will use the straw as bedding for the turkeys and cattle when they come in to calve. We were also delighted to finally get a short dry window in which to finish our clamp silage. Such a relief as we need this to feed the cattle through the winter months.