Turkey bath-time

All the baby turkeys arrived last week. Turkeys, if you have never experienced them as their young selves, are remarkably fragile. Getting them to eat and drink and not smother each other is a major challenge. We thought we had cleared this hurdle last week until late one night we herd a louder than usual chorus of cheeping coming from the barn.

Looking into one pen, we found 50 turkeys completely soaked from swimming in their water. Evidently the heat lamp was too close to the water. This is a regular poultry water fountain and we've never had anything like this happen before, and I never thought it *could* happen. It seemed that one or two birds got dunked and became frantic, which provoked the rest of the turkeys in the pen to try it. At any rate, with the fragile baby turkeys I thought we were going to have a catastrophe and lose them all. We proceeded to bring all of them in the house, crank the heater up to 90 degrees and place little pods of turkeys in front of each heater vent, giving them warm baths and blow drying them.

After an hour of frantic effort we finished up by putting two heat lamps in our laundry room on them. We were ultimately able to save all but 2 of the birds. In putting the birds back in the cage, we placed the heat lamp well away from the waters this time.