This year we are trying out the accommodation for them including the orchard they roam in and the security of the fencing. It has been a success, they seem to be very happy in their housing under the horreo and they are eating the fruit windfalls, grass and insects, as nature intended. Bronze turkeys have been bred to gain weight very fast and their double breasts mean that they can not mate naturally, the females have to be artificially inseminated. They are also prone to heart attacks and in commercial barns are fed sedatives and antibiotics in their food to stop them fighting, moving around too much and dying from disease.
I am pleased that I gave him a good life, for as long as it lasted, he had company, the sun on his back, the best of food and drowsed away the warm afternoons in the shade of the trees.
A Spanish Black Turkey
We have already decided that next year we will get local Spanish Black turkeys, smaller than the Bronze, able to mate naturally, better at foraging and growing more slowly and ultimately smaller. We hope to keep a pair or trio and in future years, are intending to rear our own chicks and sell any excess birds to friends.