Although a plant based food venture, WAWWE has been adding to the biodiversity of our soil regeneration by utilizing animals. At this time, primarily birds; a mix of 5 breeds of chickens, ruckle park turkeys and a group of runner ducks.
One day in the fall, we arrived on the farm to hear the sad news that our runner ducks had been attacked by a predator in the night. We were left with a single surviving duck, from then forward, aptly named Duck.
Duck appeared to be lonely without the rest of the group, she paced around her pen and was more vocal than usual. When allowed out of the pen she was more social and curious about people than she had been surrounded by her peers. Although initially each type of bird was kept in separate areas of the farm, the decision was made to move Duck closer to the turkeys so she would have some company. This was meant to be a temporary solution, only until we figured out where to get some more ducks to join her. What happened next, was beautifully unexpected.
Day by day, Duck tentatively became slightly more integrated with the group of 5 turkeys. She started hanging around closer to them, she started tagging along for their daily walks and wanders around the farm property, she even started being vocal with them and chiming in when as a group they do their regular ‘call and response’. Eventually she even started sleeping in their area.
Over time, she has been fully adopted by the turkeys (to the point where she may even believe she is one!). She is now often the leader of the gang, her webbed feet slapping along at the head of the group, determining boldly where they go exploring and followed by the gangly group of gobbling turkeys. Their route now includes a stop by one of the ponds for a daily swim (an area the turkeys previously never ventured to on their own accord), it has warmed our hearts to watch the turkeys patiently wait on the shore while Duck does her daily dip. She has been truly accepted and embraced as a part of the flock.
We hope that in this life, and when times get hard, that you can find your own flock of turkeys.
Contributed by Becky Rose