Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Some of the more avid readers of these pages might be wondering what has become of the five potential Christmas dinners being fattened at Rock HQ.
Our success rate with turkeys has been limited, perhaps non existent since our first Christmas here in 2006. That year we managed to bring on five to reasonable weight, costing a mere £65 each on feed, but never the less they were our first home grown birds and very tasty. Since then Terrance, a massive Bourbon Red stag and his three wives all fed foxes, for weeks probably, rather than us, and our hopes of putting Bernard Manning out of business died alongside Terrance's blood line. The fox even took the nest of eggs one of the hens was sitting on.
This year we avoided the temptation to get turkeys, right up to the moment my hand shot in the air at a poultry sale and I was suddenly the proud owner of five turkey chicks. Night fell on the smallholding and the chicks were tucked up safely in the stable with a goat as guardian.
By morning five had become four, as one, perhaps aware of its fate drowned itself in the bucket of water.
Two days passed. Four became Three. Goat needed pillow and used turkey. Turkey didn't move and died. Goat given a stern talking to and remaining three turkeys given health and safety advice.
Advice not taken when next day three became two when goat sat on turkey in preference to straw covered concrete.
Final two taken to new quarters. Posters illustrating dangers posed by goats displayed, life rings installed by drinkers and cats given extra rations. Confident that final two will make it to the festive season. Relax.
Two become one, no explanation other than aliens beamed it up. Vanished without trace, dogs and cats interrogated but no culprit discovered.
Final one treated with extreme caution and put on close surveillance. Tonight as I did the rounds I observed the final one upside down in a bucket of water. Not its own. It had managed to get into the dogs water. It was still alive, just, and is now recovering covered in straw, surrounded by bales in the stable. The chances of me getting a Christmas dinner from our remaining turkey is a slim one. They are, officially the most stupid animal in the farm yard, and ours have no wish to be an exception to that rule.
Posted by Tony at 20:56