The Weekly Digs #155

by Becky

Turkey Poults!

Six weeks ago, our female white holland turkey started to lay her first eggs. We had just got an incubator and after ten days we had six eggs. 

The kids put them in the incubator and we waited patiently, following the instructions, candling the eggs, and finally at the end removed the automatic egg turner. They started to hatch last night and by this morning we had one break free of the shell.

It was such a fun miracle to see in action. We are now up to two and all look like they are at least trying to break through the shell except for one. 

About one week ago, our female turkey decided that she was going to hatch her own clutch of poults! She has been in the nesting box for a week. I had read that some turkeys don’t go brooding the first year but was pleasantly surprised.

The only unfortunate thing is that we had a chicken that climbed under the turkey fencing and laid her eggs in the turkey nesting box too! So under our female turkey are a lot of turkey eggs and a few chicken eggs. 

I’m not sure what to do because the chickens will hatch on day 21 and the turkeys on day 28. Cruz tried to get under her at night to retrieve the chicken eggs but she was not letting it happen. Eek! 

Do you think she will get off the nest once the chicken eggs hatch? Anyone have any experience with this?

In the Garden

It was a very busy week in the garden. We spent a lot of time preparing beds for peas and spring cover crops. 

We raked off mulch, pulled weeds, broad forked, then raked again. For the peas, I set up the trellis after all the initial prep work was done. 

We planted 200 row feet of Sugar Snap peas and 200 row feet of PLS 595 (shelling peas). I’ve never tried the PLS 595 but wasn’t wowed by the shelling peas I planted last year, so I thought I’d try a new variety. This one is supposed to be good for growing organically.

I also got two of four of the spring cover crop beds planted. I still need to add compost over the top of these beds. I’m hoping the compost is an OK addition. I usually add wood chip mulch over my peas because they don’t like overly rich soil. 

But since the spring cover crops will be followed immediately by tomatoes, peppers, squash, and corn, I’m adding the compost now to save time later. It’s an experiment.

Farm Sales

The other exciting news for the week is my kids launched their egg selling business. Cam will eventually add in pork for sale after this year’s pigs. And if we have extra produce from the family garden, we’ll sell that too. It’s all local sales.

They sold out of the egg subscriptions in just 24 hours. They are so happy all their hard work is paying off!

 

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10 comments

PamR March 20, 2022 - 7:25 pm

I always liked selling eggs. We, after years of info gathering, finally worked out a system and our layers were able to pay for themselves plus we got all the eggs we needed. We fed only organic feed and supplements and sold the eggs as organic for $5/dozen and I was always sold out.

I hope your kids can do as well. :))

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theseasonalhomestead March 27, 2022 - 3:24 am

That’s awesome, I hope so too.

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Erin Teele March 22, 2022 - 2:04 am

That is so fun that your Turkey is setting! If it were me I would try to get those chicken eggs out just in case she abandons the turkey eggs when the chicks hatch. One trick that my kids use to get eggs away from a broody chicken is to throw a towel over the chicken’s head first. 😄 But we’ve never tried it with a turkey!

One of our hens has been sitting on eggs and they just started hatching today! So far we have seen two but we’re hoping that more will be hatching – we put 12 eggs under her

Good luck!

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theseasonalhomestead March 27, 2022 - 3:25 am

Thank you! I had the boys try again and they were able to get the chicken eggs out! Whew.

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Crystal (Honey Fox Living) March 23, 2022 - 4:33 pm

Your home is a dream come true! We have a very small garden – its slightly bigger than a king sized bed – but we are learning and growing each day. We hope to move onto some actual land and live a life quite similar to what you are doing. So this is totally up my alley! After upgrading the home and land with a bigger garden, we want to get into beekeeping and having chickens. We recently began learning about mason bees, which are native in our area. They don’t produce honey but are very important for gardens. It’s so awesome learning new things all the time!

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theseasonalhomestead March 27, 2022 - 3:31 am

Thank you. That is great! We had a small garden at previous homes we lived in an it was a great place for learning. I was surprised how much I learned from all those years of practicing and experimenting for my future garden. 🙂

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Stina March 24, 2022 - 6:34 pm

Greetings from the PNW.
My peas have just started poking through the soil in our new front garden bed.
How fun for your kids to sell the eggs! We are in town and limited on flock size so no chance of enough to sell. Your family is so blessed.
Thanks for all the resources and sharing your knowledge! Blessed sping!

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theseasonalhomestead March 27, 2022 - 3:32 am

Thank you! I’m glad it’s helpful to you.

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Shelly March 27, 2022 - 1:43 am

I tried PLS 595 peas from Johnnys last year and I had my best pea harvest ever. We froze close to 50lbs and are finishing up the last of them this month. They have kept great in the freezer. I’m in northern Indiana, but wanted to share how much I loved this variety. Hope they do great for you too!

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theseasonalhomestead March 27, 2022 - 4:12 am

Awesome, so good to hear! I hope I have similar results too!

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