June 8, 2011

remember those homeless turkeys from last week’s post?  i suppose i didn’t fully explain their situation–they weren’t exactly homeless, they were just living in squalor.  What is a turkey’s version of squalor, you might ask?  it is 14 birds, growing faster than the lone whisker on my chin (if any other women have these, you know how fast that is!), crammed into a black plastic container the size of a bathtub.  Over the top of this were window screens–so it looks like they can escape into the wide, wonderful world, only they can’t.  But believe me, they tried.  Over and over and over again.  Walking by the garage (where the den of doom was) you could here these pathetic attempts at gobbling followed by a ‘thwak’–which was, of course, a turkey headbutting the screen for, perhaps, the 200th time that day.  I’ve been told turkeys are quite brilliant so I am forced to believe that this repetitive practice was born, not out of stupidity, but desperation.  They really really needed more space.


SO.  Andy, fearless keeper of the turkeys, answered their plea and spent countless hours building a poultry mansion.  Now, this would be amazing in and of itself, but what is truly amazing is that he did not buy a single piece of lumber for this coop!  Not a one!  As you can see from the pictures, the back wall of the turkey coop is an old highway sign for the Grand Portage Store (gotten perfectly legally, thank you very much).  The roof is tin from an old sawmill down the road from us that was being demolished.  The door is our old picnic table.  The run door is a Gunflint Trail Sign.  And all the other boards he milled HIMSELF from a large spruce tree on our property with the use of his trusty Stihl chainsaw.   And, as if that were not astounding enough, he did all of this during the absolute height of black fly & mosquito season.  He said he practically went stark, raving mad from all the bugs.  And he couldn’t even swat at them, as his hands were constantly busy either manning a chainsaw or a hammer.  That is dedication. 

the sign.

Sparrow & I didn’t help much.  But we did walk down the hill to visit once or twice, always wearing our bug nets (which didn’t help) and always with the intention of quickly leaving.  I have always hated bugs but I have become manic now, convinced that even one mosquito bite might ruin Sparrow’s life forever.  Or at least, might keep me up all at night with her tears.  Which is almost as bad as a ruined life.  So, I spend most of my time swatting bugs & she spends most of her time being oblivious to bugs.  Ignorance is such bliss. 

mother & daughter morons.

holding her first toy.

Even without our help, Andy finished the coop in record time.  He said “i could have finished it in a day instead of a week if i had just bought the stupid lumber…but what fun would that have been?”  Man, he’s a good sport! 

poultry mansion.

And so, the turkeys have arrived.  We carried them upside down by their legs…not exactly the most luxurious means of travel to their new home, and tossed them in on a bed of fresh hay.  They stood right up and looked around and I really do think they were impressed.   Now all they have to do is learn to gobble.


the happy tennants



3 Responses to “coop.”

  1. Outstanding….
    Whatever happened to Dipstick the oily hen?

  2. Wow! I am impressed. Very cool, Andy. I can’t wait to see it in person-maybe when the black flies die down. I was also extremely impressed with the tomato plant I assume you dropped off for me. That is one awesome plant. Thank you very much for it!

  3. karinajo said

    where do I sign up for a turkey?? 🙂

    love the “mother and daughter morons” … 😉

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