Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The ranch through time: turkeys revisted


Last week I posted a photo of a tom and hen turkey in the barnyard and in the comments Rick asked if I knew when the photo was taken. Well I know turkeys have been raised at least twice out here at the ranch (well aside from Freda the lap turkey strutting around these days). Once was in the late fifties/early sixties when the kids were growing up. They had two hens and a tom. You can see Chuck Sr hand feeding the turkeys in this photo from a few weeks ago.

The second occasion when turkeys were raised here at the ranch was during the Depression. Judging from the size and quantity of juniper trees in the background, I think the image from last week is of these Depression turkeys.

One of my favorite stories about the turkeys from this time period was when they took them out to glean the grain. The ranch has been a dryland wheat farm from the early days and during harvest a certain amount of grain does not make it into the combine. With all that "free grain" littering the ground, great grandad Frank decided to load up the turkeys and take them up to the fields to glean. Once they were unloaded he headed back down the canyon to the house only to find that the turkeys had sailed over the rimrock and beaten him back to the house. Good feed or not, they much preferred their home turf.

Here's Chuck Sr. and his sister Dorothy with the turkeys on what is roughly the front lawn today:

turkeys

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