Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shooting Blanks or Missing the Mark!

Well, our Tom Turkey does have notions.  But at this point he's all hat and no cattle.  Or maybe more like, all talk and no credible action!  So far MM has found four lovely, large speckled eggs--about twice the size of a chicken egg.
 Each egg was laid in a different spot but in the general area of the nesting place we had prepared.  We've purchased an incubator with the hope that Tom will get the idea sooner rather than later.

If you've read Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, you'll identify with both her and us as the topic of turkey sex becomes a platform for ribald comedy!  Kingsolver's descriptions are priceless.  You see, domesticated turkeys don't know how to "do it."  Virtually 99% of all turkey breedings nowadays is via artifical insemination.  And, what's worse, is they are losing the art!  Their turkeys' brains--not too swift to begin with--have failed to store essential information on reproduction.'s up to us.

We have the domesticated Broad-Breasted Bronze.  They LOOK like the wild ones, but with a much broader, heavier breast.  Emphasis on "heavier."  Tom was practicing close by the other day when MM and I were out pruning the grapes.  The poor hen underneath him was gasping for air, mouth open (not in passion, mind you!) and finally, taking one big gulp of air, unceremoniously dumped poor old Tom off her back and onto his.

After four eggs, we decided it would be best to determine whether any of the eggs so far, laid out in the cold, had a remote chance of being "fertile."  So, we built a crude candler.  I took an oatmeal box, cut a whole in the bottom about the size of a fifty-cent piece (if you can remember what those looked like!); set a flashlight on end, held up in a drinking glass, and turned it on in a dark closet.  By this means, I should be able to determine whether an egg is fertile or not.  But it's a bit tricky.  All the websites on candling eggs state that if you can detect a darker region in the egg, or a dark "spot" then you know Tom struck pay dirt.  If not....well, try, try again.  The size of the spot will grow as the days pass, so says eHow.  By the 8th day after laying, there should be some sign that the egg has fertility. 

There's only one problem.  The hen has to have been SITTING on the the egg, keeping it warm.  No such luck.  Henny-Penny hasn't a clue what she's supposed to do! So our challenge is (1) to have the Tom "in gear" (2) the egg laid in a nest and the hen sitting on it (3) snatching a WARM fertile egg and putting it into the incubator...and then (4) tending that incubator without ceasing.  No excuses! 

I have a rather dubious attitude at the moment about the eventual success of this endeavor.  Wouldn't you?

Final note, here:  I have no idea when my "posting voice as Elora" will return.  It takes 60 days for Blogger to permanently delete another blog.  So, on your blogs, you'll see me as Anonymous; on my own blog?  Well, I am the Ballengee Community Blog!  Not to worry.  It's me!  Same as always, Just Off The One Lane Road.  I can't seem to find anybody or any way out of this mess except to wait it out.  I would recommend to anyone thinking about doing a second blog, to consider other platforms.


  1. Poor over bred critters! Though Tom's probably just as happy as long as he can practice.

  2. Glad you got your pix fixed! It is sooo frustrating when we find ourselves in these boondoggles! My "problem" was easily fixed providing you knew where to go. I took the time to go through every conceivable "Tab" of Design, Settings, Profile, etc. And, that worked. Found the problem--when I wasn't tired! Evenings are not a good time to try to fix Blogger errors!

    And yes, Tom Turkey is not creating any responsibilities for himself!

    Have a great weekend!