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Pavos, Spanish for Turkeys

August 23, 2011

Turkeys in a Chicken Tractor

Since all the *Freedom Ranger* meat chickens are in the freezer (or beyond), the pavos have had the whole *pavo tractor* to themselves.  Junior pointed out that it was inappropriate to call it a chicken tractor anymore, or until we put some chickens in it.  So it is officially referred to as a pavo tractor now.

Free Range Turkeys in a Pavo Tractor

And the pavos are living it up in there.  They have become quite vocal, and one of them has  gotten in the habit of strutting whenever a human comes near their movable pen.  He fluffs up his feathers, and spreads his tail out wide, and he is really quite impressive for a white pavo.  He probably weighs about 15 pounds, while the hens are perhaps 10 or 11.

Turkeys enjoying a bonus treat in the turkey tractor

The Tough Decision

Of course, the tough decision is who will live and who will die.  And when.  And what is the economic payback?  Although the pavos graze heavily and fertilize our orchard for us, they also eat a LOT of chicken feed.  They have been polishing off a lot of our spare garden crops, too.  And the turkey fryer mutters under its breath that it tires of deep frying only chicken and fish and rabbits.

But then again, don’t you want at least one breeding pair of pavos?  So is an eleven pound hen worth harvesting, and putting in the deep fryer?  It sure sounds delicious at this time, but would that bird be even MORE delicious if it were harvested at 16 pounds?  (See the brown bird in the top picture, background?)

Thanksgiving is like about 3 months away, and who could eat 5 turkeys at one meal, anyway?  Will they be too tough if we wait til Christmas?  What about the goose?

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