Here’s a fun fact you may not know; wild turkeys can be fucking mean!
When you live on an 80 acre farm that contains a good amount of woods, several ponds, a creek, and drainage ditches that branch off of said creek, along with animal pastures, and farm fields, well, sometimes some interesting wildlife ends up making its way from the woods and into your front yard. Or in this case, occasionally perched on the roof of your grandma’s house.
One of the wildlife experiences that we had that sticks out in my mind is the 2 or 3 years we had a family of turkeys live in our barnyard. This always happened in the fall, usually around November had to of been around the time I was 12, 13, and 14. But I don’t remember exactly when.
Wild turkeys tend to nest on the ground and roost in trees. But these turkeys decided that they were going to roost on the roof of my grandma’s house. There were always two adults; a male and a female, and the usually had one or two juveniles with them.
I don’t know if it was people deer hunting that drove them up out of the woods or if they just realized that predators didn’t exactly frequent the front yards/barn lot. Well aside from our dogs, barn cats, and the dogs being boarded in the kennel, that is. But either way, these turkeys would take up residence in the barn lot and around our yards. They’d wander around pecking away at the ground to their heart’s content. And probably getting to enjoy cat food, cow feed, and chicken feed in the process.
But at night they would roost, like most birds do. But not in any of the available trees. And there were plenty of them! No, these turkeys took a liking to roosting on my grandma’s roof. Which was kind of cool! But this thing is wild turkeys can be aggressive! Especially if they have babies with them! So if you ran across them by accident they were prone to chase after you and might even try to peck/spur you! Sometimes they would even attack from above if you happened to be trying to get into my grandma’s house while they were roosting there.
You see turkeys, much like many roosters, have “spurs” on the back of their legs. Almost like a thorn or a single claw. Unlike chickens though both the males and females have them! And I can tell you from personal experience that getting spurred really does hurt! So you don’t exactly want to mess with a pissed off turkey so we tried to avoid them whenever we could, but I do think recall them ever sticking around for an entire winter.
I’m not sure what happened to the turkeys. Eventually they just stopped showing up. I’m not sure if my timeline is right, but we might have eaten one of them for Thanksgiving dinner! We did that once or twice when my dad would shoot a wild turkey. Turkeys are also super hard to pluck, but that’s a story for another day.
There was really never a dull moment on the farm and I sure do miss it!