One of my greatest challenges in life is that I’m a thinker, an incorrigible thinker, and I have a very difficult time turning it off. This leads to worrying, and, worse yet, planning.
I have been warned against planning all my life. Planning leads to expectation. Expectation leads to disappointment. Planning makes God laugh. I can’t help it. I’ve tried.
Looking ahead to the spring, I have two major poultry projects, one as sure as it can be (heritage turkeys) and one highly speculative (broody hatch of Blue Copper Marans chicks by Abby). And my little hamster brain works on these two things. This is why I don’t sleep.
We won’t be naming the turkeys, for obvious reasons. I have ordered five blue slates (which Porter’s calls “slates”), five lavenders (which Porter’s calls “self blue”), and five White Hollands. I will be choosing a breed with which to go forward (blue slates and lavenders go together, and can be part of the same breeding program), at some point before slaughter time. This year, slaughter is likely to be for Christmas, rather than Thanksgiving, as I’m not getting my poults until late May, and heritage turkeys are slow growing.
The Man and I decided, at the outset, to keep a breeding trio and slaughter the rest. These three birds will be the foundation of our breeding program, and will be named. Until then, I’m thinking it’s likely we’ll be referring to them as “white jenny”, “blue jake”, etc. When adolescence reveals the qualities I’m looking for (size, colour, temperament), I’ll decide which way we’re going to go.
But, what to call the jake and two jennies we keep? (No, I can’t wait. We covered this. Pay attention.)
We’re huge Doctor Who fans here, The Man, myself, and The Stepdaughters, so we’ve decided to name the male “Captain Jack”, and the hens “Rose” and “Martha”. If you are with us in the microscopic overlap in the Venn diagram of poultry enthusiasts and science fiction fans, you may get a kick out of that. I think that’s probably about three of you. Hard cheese. I’m in this to amuse myself. (Sidenote: I don’t like naming animals after food. Your mileage, as always, may vary.)
Now, what if I can’t choose a breed? I’ve wanted blue slates from the very beginning, but the White Hollands are so prettyyyyyy…
I haven’t even mentioned this possibility to The Man. We planned to winter three turkeys and sell the rest; this is the information he has. But…what if I just can’t choose?! It may not surprise you to know that I have a plan.
I may call an audible and keep a male and a hen of the other breed, as well, and name them Rory and Amy. Which, again, will tickle precisely three of you. There are several flaws with this plan, of course. Two males to three hens is an undesirable and possibly untenable ratio, and I’d have to keep them separated by breed during egg laying season. I’ll jump off that bridge when I get to it. That’s how I roll.
You may be wondering why I keep referring to the toms as “males”; that’s because The Man and I are delighted with the UK tradition of calling male turkeys “stags” rather than “toms”. It’s so butch! So…we’ll be calling our male, our “stag”.
Now, unless the turkey gods really don’t want me to have turkeys or the whole thing goes pear-shaped, that particular plan is likely to come to fruition. The other…?
If Abby goes reliably broody, and if I’m able to find Blue Copper Marans hatching eggs, and if they arrive in good condition, and if nothing goes wrong, I might end up with some Blue Copper Marans babies. I will only be keeping pullets. Or will I…?
Long-time readers of this blog know we have had a “no roo” policy; in fact, two wrongly-sexed roos have been rehomed. If I want Olive Eggers, though, I’m going to need a Marans roo.
Will my neighbours tolerate a rooster? Will my family? More pertinently, can I overcome my resistance to eating chick zygote? This all remains to be seen, and I’ll…jump off that bridge when I come to it.
But I have them all named! Not only am I science fiction fan, I’m also a big fan of some fantasy shows, and I thought to name my highly-theoretical Marans brood, in honour and in memory of Buffy, after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This might be a slightly larger overlapping slice of the Venn diagram, with me being the only occupant of the tiny area where all three niches converge. I’m okay with that.
Depending on how many girls we have, the names could be: Willow, Darla, Druscilla, Faith, Tara, Anya, Dawn…I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but that’ll be more than enough. Now, what to name the roo? I know Angel is the logical choice, but it’s just not working for me. I might feel differently when I meet said roo. My gut instinct is that the roo should be Spike. I could name him Giles, I suppose, but the thought of Giles doing the humpy-hump with Willow is just…wrong.
So, now that I’ve planned this all out, the universe can feel free to shit all over it. To all of you who read through all of this without getting it, thank you for humouring me. To the three of you who get it, you’re welcome.