Life on the farm is full of firsts. Many firsts have been with our recent Thanksgiving endeavor involving turkeys. Its hard not to get too attached to these friendly, but extremely dumb, birds. They followed us around when they were small, running with their wings out and tails up. They make noises you only hear when you accidentally flip to the the hunting channel and see a grown man in camouflage with a bright orange hat and vest (defeats the purpose doesn't it) trying to call some wild turkeys by rubbing some sticks together. Most of the time this man seems less than educated and has way too big of a gun for hunting turkeys.
But as friendly as they can be, they are still bound for the dinner table. Which is where the chauffeuring comes in. Up until this weekend the 5 turkeys (we lost 4 as chicks, 2 to coyotes, and 1 to a leg deformity) were living in the chicken coup with all our hens. We decided it was time for a change when we saw a turkey get into a fight with a hen and almost get the whole head of the hen in its mouth. I had to break up the squabble by throwing my shoe at them. The change involved moving out 5 turkeys to Kim and Jeremy's coup in the backyard of their old house, as they are still awaiting short sale approval. Easier said then done. It is hard to find a box big enough and strong enough to hold a full grown turkey, let alone 5 of them. With the aid of a box, a large plastic bin to hold chicken food, and a puppy transport carrier, we managed to get all the birds into the back of the Subaru Outback. A lot of people tease me about my car, but once again the ole' Outback sure came in handy.
The drive started out fine, I had the A/C blasting so they wouldn't bake, I was a little nervous about the one bird in the cardboard box, but I had a pre-formed contingency plan in effect if he were to escape in route. That wasn't my biggest concern. I didn't realize that 2.5 minutes into our drive, each turkey would empty its bowels and continue to do so for the remainder of the 12 minute commute. In a confined space, turkey poop is extremely pungent and nasty The cardboard box soaked through with poop, the inside of the plastic bin was smeared and covered with it, along with the 3 birds inside it and iur white turkey came out a nice tan poopy color. All in all, I don't recommend Turkey Chauffeuring. And in the event you have to do it, make sure you have plenty of air freshener for your car, both for during and after (my car still has a slight smell)