The scene was bucolic, pastoral, and very much small farm.
I have written about building poultry pens in the 1940′s barn, converting what was left of stalls into poultry wire enclosed pens for the meat chickens, the turkeys, and a separate brooding room. The brooding room is now home to 6 ducks and two geese. The turkeys moved into their pen a week or so ago.
But yesterday, I mowed the pasture and set up the electric poultry netting fence as a perimeter for the birds to be safe (safer) from predators. AT night, they can be secured in the barn pens.
Turkeys are interesting birds. It’s not un common to read reports on the internet of them flying out of their fenced pens and into nearby trees to roost for the night, or to fly over a fence, only to then sqawk to be let back inside the confines with their turkey kin. So as I opened the door to let them explore, I was prepared for nearly anything.
Pheasants, even at 4 weeks old, fly when released from their brooder box into the fly pen. Some walk, some stay inside, but many take to the air. The turkeys were slow to explore, preferring the known safety of their barn, but as they began to step out side, one of them took flight, down the length of the pen, over the fence and into the thick brush east of the barn.
Slowly, I backed out of the barn, walked around the barn and electrified fence, and began moving through the shoulder high weeds and brush in search of the eloped thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, I had visions of each turkey “flying the coop” and taking both my initial investment and future earnings with them as they took off for refuge in the habitat.
What I found, when I found it, was a turkey who looked just as amazed that it could fly as I was. I easily collected it out of the brush and returned it to the others in the pen.
All of which brought to mind the old television sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. If you don’t know the show, it featured Gordon Jump (later he became the Maytag Repairman in commercials) as a suit wearing radio station manager and a collection of misfits who worked at the radio station. In one episode, they hatched a Thanksgiving promotion that included dropping live turkeys from a helicopter at a shopping center. The radio news man, Les Nessman, reported on the ensuing carnage of live turkeys crashing to the ground to their death and smashing car windshields and equated it to the Hindenburg disaster.
During the closing credits, the disheveled station manager Jump enters the office with all gathered around and utters probably the funniest poultry line in the history of television.