Narragansett Turkeys

 

There are several good sites that have pictures and information on the Narragansett breed. One of the best is Feathersite’s Narragansett Page

Our original three Narragansett hens were raised from hatchery eggs during 2005. It became apparent as time went on that the chicks were all female, and we began a search for a tom. We were lucky enough to meet Lisa at Wind Dancer Ranch in nearby Yolo county, and we took home our tom. I had been reading Moby Dick…Narragansett…New England…Quakers…so we named him Ishmael. 

ishmael.jpg 

With such a name as this, the hens had to match up. Our first breeding hens were called Prudence, Temperance, and Charity. These birds have charmed us with their gentle and personable dispositions. Narragansetts have a very even temperament, as turkeys go. They also demonstrate some intelligence in the way of problem-solving, which is rather absent from most of the other breeds we have. Ishmael loves to follow us and strut around the fences. He allows us to stop and stroke his feathers, and will eat from our hands. We try not to get anthropomorphic about our animals, but he genuinely seems to be a sensitive bird. If he is locked up or carried anywhere he seems to be deeply offended. He has a daily agenda, to which he firmly and relentlessly adheres. As time went on, we retained a "backup" tom from the offspring, named "Queequeg." From there on out, we’ve been selecting for body size/type, and maternal abilities.

 
The hens each have distinct behaviors. Charity is the most extroverted, spending much time with us when we work. Temperance joins in sometime, and Prudence is….prudent, keeping to herself more often. They are now three year old hens, and have gained experience as mothers. We have a very large tent, 10′ x 20′, that is used as a brooder. Once chicks are hatched, the chicks are gathered and brought into this tent which shelters from the elements and predators. The mother hens follow them inside, and once there, will act as nursery mothers to their own and other chicks that may come along. 

 

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