Thanksgiving Dinner, Anyone?

Meet Chester.

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But don’t get too attached.  He will be going to Thanksgiving Camp next week.

We’ve raised our own meat before, but never in the form of a turkey.  Or 3 to be more specific.  There’s a first for everything, and they provide a significant amount of entertainment.

As a threesome, they hang together most of the time, and have a stealthy habit of following a farmer close behind when said farmer is not looking, and quickly stopping, rubbernecking, acting as if they had only been innocently scanning for bugs, when farmer turns to investigate.

Turkey:  “Quick, follow her!  She’s on the move!  Let’s see what devilish treachery she’s up to now.  But REMEMBER, keep your cover AT ALL TIMES.”

Farmer:  Those crazy turkeys are following me again.  They must hope I have food.  (Turns to look, concerned they might test her calf muscles for food value).

Turkey:  “Now!  Look for bugs!  Keep your eyes to the side and whatever you do, DON’T look her in the eye.”

Chester is the leader of the pack and appears to be the only male, which, in my view is unfortunate for him.  I’m not sure if male turkeys have testosterone or not (that will be a Google search at a later date) but if Chester does, he seems to be uncomfortably swimming in it.

Male turkeys demonstrate their maleness by puffing up their feathers to mimic their famous counterparts in Kindergarteners-Learn-About-The-Pilgrims Thanksgiving cartoons.  Surprisingly, they look incredibly similar to your childhood hand traced on brown construction paper, cut out and adorned with a beak and feathers.  Feather balls with upright tails may be a dead on attraction to the ladies, but I think the blue face, red danglies, internal African drumming and nose booger definitely seal the deal.  Chester starts out, in the one minute a day (not consecutive) testosterone is not coursing through his veins, looking like this:

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But approach a chicken, a dog, a person, a goat, a mouse, and his maleness takes over.  Feathers in full explosion, he HOLDS HIS BREATH until his face turns blue, his pale neck dots turn into flame red dangling warts and the nose booger slithers out.  The nose booger starts it’s testosterone free life as an elevated blip in the topside of the beak, but during the whole breath holding episode, grows to approximately 14 inches.  And flaps.  All over the place.  With every head turn, every gobble-gobble-gobble, every bite of grain, it flaps, flops and surely attracts the ladies (or perhaps scares off predators?).  This entire physical transformation lasts all most of his waking hours.  He should be the spokesman for the side effects warning of a Viagra commercial…if it lasts more than 4 hours….

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In the mean time, and only every so often, African drummers sound off a mating call from the depths of his being, as if he needed any more help getting a date.

Would you like to join us for Thanksgiving?

  •  Chester and The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S. This post ran in its edited version on the Indyblog on November 22, 2015.

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About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
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