Thursday, April 14, 2011

Turkey Tales

Meet Tyson and Tatiana.  Our happy turkey couple. 

(One of their wedding pictures)

Tyson is the male with the very red head, Tatiana is not so pretty but she has a GREAT personality!  At least that's what her profile says. 

Tyson thinks he's kind of a big deal, even though his tail feathers haven't quite developed yet and are a little wonky. 
He puffs out his chest, fans out his feathers, and struts around gobbling letting everyone know what a stud he is.  That's pretty typical behavior for a tom turkey.  But what's NOT typical is that Tyson and GI Joe have lengthy conversations, if you will.  Every time GI Joe walks outside or gets out of his truck, he gobbles at Tyson and Tyson gobbles back.  It's a special language shared between a man and his turkey.  Over the weekend, GI Joe got a new turkey call in preparation for turkey season and he tested it out on Tyson.  Also, while many turkeys are mean and not big fans of the human handling, Tyson stands apart.  We can pick Tyson up (he's heavy..butterball), carry him around (if we've eaten our Wheaties) and get him to come right up to the fence so we can pet him.  Pretty sure THIS is NOT normal. 
Speaking of not normal, Dakota spends hours in the barnyard every evening just playing with the animals and by playing, I mean torturing them by chasing them until they let her pick them up or pet them.  It's good times for all.  The other night she raced into the house and told me to bring the camera because she had a new trick she could do with Tyson.  Coming from the girl who once rode an emu, I had no idea what I was in for.  Of course she didn't disappoint.  She had not one trick but TWO tricks!

The first circus worthy trick....burping the turkey.  No, that's not code for anything it's exactly like it sounds.  When Tyson is all puffed up, fanned out and strutting around showing off for the ladies his chest is full of air.  Dakota discovered that by wrapping her arms around him and squeezing his chest, basically the Turkey Heimlich Maneuver, she could make him burp.  I can't tell you how many endless hours of entertainment this has provided, but rest assured Tyson has earned his keep. 

The second trick is called for lack of a better term...the turkey trot.  For this trick, she sat on Tyson's back with most of her weight resting on her feet and rode/walked him around the barnyard.  Entertainment options are clearly limited out here in the sticks....

We're so proud...

Tyson appears to be game for anything, no pun intended.  ;)  Tatiana on the other hand is a bit on the diva side.  She reminds me of the annoyed wife whose main job in life is to keep her overly cocky husband in line.  While Tyson seems very teenagerish, early 20's tops, Tatiana has the look and personality of a woman who's been around the block a time or two.  Ragged, haggard, used up, tired..and she hasn't even had babies yet!!  It's not weird that I've assigned personalities and human like traits to our turkeys is it?  Good, I didn't think so either.  But we're equal opportunity animal owners so Tatiana is not left out of the fun.  Although she doesn't seem to enjoy being handled quite as much and to date, Dakota hasn't burped her or ridden her, so Tatiana is basically a funhater.  She's got a bit of spunk in her though.  Dakota was collecting eggs in the coop and Tatiana happened to be roosting on top of it.  Apparently, she thought Dakota should leave her grubby paws off the eggs of her friends, the hens, so she pecked Dakota right under the eye.  That's right, my daughter went to school with a laceration on her face..from a turkey.  It didn't phase Dakota at all, she understands the mood swings women encounter, she recently watched "the video" and got "the pamphlets" at school.  Sidenote:  There is a whole blog post in the works about THAT.....oh my).  It looked like it really hurt and we were glad it was below the eye, could've done some serious damage had it been the eye itself.  We went to church that Wednesday night and serious as a heart attack, during prayer request time, Dakota raised her hand and said, "Pray for me I got pecked in the eye by my turkey..."
Only at our wonderful, little Baptist church would the following be printed in the Sunday bulletin under prayer requests...Dakota-pecked in the eye by a turkey. 

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend everyone!  As for us, we'll just be burping our turkeys and turkey trotting around the barnyard.  It's okay to be jealous. 

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