I am the proud owner of a glorious tom turkey, but we call him Shaun. Shaun was my lone turkey survivor after the raccoon attacks this summer. He is my tamest bird, since he eats from my hand and likes when I talk to him. I asked for a girl turkey for my birthday, so that he would not be so lonely. Jason bought me two female turkeys (Melissa and Mallory). Shaun is easily twenty plus pounds. He's about the same size as my toddler.
A couple weeks ago I went in the hen house to feed the chickens and collect eggs. Shaun was sitting where the eggs normally are, so I just figured there weren't any eggs that day. A few days later Shaun is sitting in the same spot when I entered the hen house, but he stands to reveal four eggs. He nudged them into place once he stood up. "No", I thought. I stood there gap-jawed. My big-ass, boy turkey is sitting on the chicken eggs!
"Are you sure he's a tom?" I asked Jason.
"Yes, Audrey. I'm sure he is a tom."
I don't believe everything my husband tells me, so I asked my neighbor, Kathy, to come look and make sure that he is a tom. I had to usher her in the hen house, since he has been vigilantly maintaining his position on the eggs.
"That's a tom alright."
Kathy is my go-to gal when it comes to poultry questions. She has lived in the country all her life and has kept chickens, guineas, geese, turkeys....I don't know, she probably hatched some ostriches once. So, I am sure she is right about Shaun's sex. She too was baffled by the fact that he is sitting on the eggs.
I don't want to talk bad about my girl chickens, but they are bad mothers. I have never once had to fight one for an egg. Sometimes they don't even bother to lay them in the hay. I find eggs just laying in the dirt outside the chicken house. Shaun has taken pity on their potential offspring, since the hens don't seem to care. I guess we'll see if he hatches any, because I'm not about to move his big butt to get them.
I'm thinking we could make the local media if he hatches these eggs. He'll be known as "Mama Tom", a giant turkey with wee baby chickens. I'm already fantasizing about our thirty second blip on the Oklahoma City news. I'll make aure the hound-dogs are baying in the background. The babies are playing outside in only their diapers. Jason is working on some old clunker. I'll appear for my interview wearing a Nascar t-shirt with spit-up stains on it.
"I done told my husband. That there turkey is gonna hatch dem eggs."
I can feel it. My fifteen minutes are about to happen.