Breaker-breaker-one-nine. Anybody got your ears on?

You have heard me talk plenty about our Blue Slate turkey hen JD. And of course you remember her companion, the late Dr. Turk who passed away in October. That was a sad day….

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago Mike said, “something is weird with the turkey.” Further research proved that JD was in heat and it seemed she had taken quite a liking to Mike – following him around the yard, plopping down in front of him, squawking and chirping at him. We had been talking about finding JD a boyfriend for a while but now that she was laying eggs and throwing herself at Mike it was time to track one down.

First I checked Craigslist and though I found a couple heritage toms none of them were Blue Slates. I started checking hatcheries and soon realized that I’d only be able to get poults and JD didn’t need to wait around for some adolescent to mature – she needed a man. I asked around to a few farmer friends and my friend Kristen of Black Dog Acres offered to post a want-ad on the OEFFA listserv for me.

As luck would have it a very nice gentleman, and OEFFA member and listserv reader outside of Athens had an 8-month old Blue Slate tom he wanted to sell. Score! The price was right and though it was a bit of a hike we decided to make the trek Friday night for a turkey pick up.

Dining options are limited along 77S plus we were on a time crunch. So just outside of Cambridge we stopped for some road food at one of my most guiltiest pleasures.

Hush puppies daddy.”

002_LJSI guess the hush puppies may have provided a bit of unconscious naming inspiration but more on that later.

Roughly three hours after we left home we cruised into a gas station just south of Coolville to meet our turkey hook-up Mark and his blue slate tom.

We shook hands, chatted about turkeys, and loaded up our new tom.

004_PackedTurkeyHe went into a large dog carrier and then we wrapped it in a thick blanket and used bungee cords to secure him to the truck. And then we started brainstorming names and heading for home.

We agreed that a rural, country-singer style name would be the most appropriate. Top contenders were Merle and Amos Moses but then the name just came to us – Buford T. Justice!

We all have those movies that define our childhood. One of those movies for me is Smokey and the Bandit. Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, and of course the late, great Jackie Gleason. My brothers and I STILL know all the words to East Bound and Down and I must say I made a pretty killer Burt Reynolds one Halloween many moons ago.

We got home just before midnight and Mike lifted the 25+ lb. Buford onto the roost in the coop. We finally had ourselves a gorgeous Blue Slate tom. Woohoo!

006_BufordAndJDSaturday was down right pleasant considering the weather we’ve been having so Buford took no time at all to get out and start exploring his new digs. That’s JD in the foreground. At first she was a bit skeptical but by Sunday morning we’d have a love connection.

Buford met the other chickens as he explored and everyone seemed to get along just fine.

007_OutsideCoopI never managed to get a photo of him all puffed up and strutting but let me tell you – it is a sight to behold. I am already head over heels in love with this guy and I am so, so, so excited at the prospect of hatching our own turkey poults.

In the meantime though, since none of JD’s eggs have been fertilized yet, we’ve been eating them. The eggs are rather pointy at one end and the yolks are incredible. They make one helluva breakfast sandwich that is for sure!

013_turkeyegg_forblog

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About Barton Farms and Gardens

My husband and I are bringing an old family farm back to life.
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