Saturday, November 05, 2005
Jerri and the Chicklets came over for the afternoon yesterday and Jerri and I had another of our usual "growing up country" conversations.
Jerri's whole family are critter lovers in a big way. Before you start your truck in Jerri's drive it's a good idea to check under, atop, and in the truck bed for curious critters. At this time she only has kitties, a doggie or two, a bird, and horses but you never know what may take up residence there because she won't turn a stray critter away.
She was telling me yesterday about a hen turkey her mother bought extra when she purchased some geese a while ago. The poor turkey looked as though she was starving and had a scraggly, sparse feathered, look about her but this changed soon after Loyce, (her mom), took the sickly fowl under her wing. Jerri says that's now the fattest turkey she's ever seen in her life. She's so fat that her belly/breast nearly touches the ground and she's become bow-legged. (this part of the story is where Jerri demonstrates the turkey's bow-legged waddle and that was funny as hell). I can't remember what she said Loyce named the turkey but she put her in the pen with the chickens and every time she sees Loyce, she follows her every step. Jerri also mentioned that she believes the turkey thinks she's a chicken which is a smart move on the turkey's part this time of the year.
I can remember my grandmother always having a few turkeys strutting around her yard. When I was a kid she had this big ole tom turkey who'd spend his days waiting for us to dare to venture off the porch so he could come give us a flogging. It was great fun to see if we could outrun that ole tom. I learned very early in life that a hen turkey who's got little ones is not to be messed with either.
A turkey's brain is about the size of a walnut and it is said that is has fewer brain cells than a cockroach. (It's funny how often a turkey hunter can be outsmarted by this bird.)
Turkeys have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.
Turkeys can drown if they look up when it's raining.
Turkeys have excellent vision and hearing. Their field of vision is about 270 degrees. (who said it takes brains to elude those silly hunters?)
A spooked wild turkey can run up to 20 mph and fly up to speeds of 55 mph. Domestic turkeys can't fly because they're too fat.