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Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Hammond, Louisiana. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sweet Meats

A couple of months ago, our local feed store got in some turkeys, just the commercial broad breasted white variety. We picked up 5 to see how we like raising these bigger birds. Around the same time, we got 6 guineas, and since they take the same food, we decided to raise them together.

I should have know it was going to be all downhill from day one. The little poults would run toward us instead of away when the brooder was opened. More than once I had one fall right out into my lap. 


Later, when they were moved to a larger pen they mourned the loss of their duckling neighbors, letting out these sad little three note calls for days afterwards.


 Eventually, they got moved to a larger outside pen with their guinea friends, and we started the usual transition to free ranging which involved opening their pen and putting temporary fencing up so that they learn where their pen is and how to go in and out. 


The next step was letting them loose during the day. Big Onion and I were worried about them taking off over the fence or trying to roost in tree at night, but they found a much better survival strategy. They follow us everywhere. They like giant, ugly, white feathered puppies. No matter what I do, they are with me. At the end of the day, I don't have to call Sheltie to herd them into their pen. I just call out, "Turkeys! Turkeys!" and they and their guinea buddies come a-runnin and happily follow me around buildings and into their enclosure. One day, I bent to straighten one of the next boxes, a damn turkey actually hopped up into my lap and settled down for a nap. It's ridiculous.



It's actually really sad too. I've tried my best not to get attached, but it's hard not to form a fondness for creatures that come running the minute they catch site of you. The sad part is, these are broad breasted whites. Meat birds. We actually can't just keep them. Commercial meat birds, chickens and turkeys alike, were bred to get as big as possible as fast as possible. They just keep growing until their hearts give out, and they keel over dead. Keeping them alive would not be a kindness to them in the long run.

Big Onion swears he can do the deed when the time comes. Until then, I'll enjoy the company of my big white puppies.

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