Until today, this little experiment in Microfarming had been full of positive news. Plants and animals had all been alive and growing, and beside a pretty hard bite from a chicken a few weeks ago and a cucumber plant that didn’t survive, there has been little negative news to report.

This morning all of our chicks were alive and well as far as I could tell. Six turkeys and four chickens were staring at me, drinking their water, standing in their food dish, and peeping up a storm. They continued to peep all day long, with some expected silences at times when they were sleeping. When I went down to check on them this evening, I was very sad to see that one turkey poult was dead near the food dish. I could not see an obvious reason for its death, no blood or feathers out-of-place, there was food in the food dish and water in the water dish…It was simply laying on its belly, and already stiff from rigamortis.

The only clue to little turkey’s demise is that its neck was a bit caved in on either side, prompting me to think it may have been stepped on and accidentally choked by another turkey. I hope that all nine surviving chicks will still be peeping and bright-eyed in the morning, to rule out any sickness.

I was sad to see little turkey’s body stiff and cold, but it just brings reality to the fact that these animals are not our pets. Our dogs are part of the family, but the fowl are here to serve a purpose: to lay eggs for our consumption, and to be consumed directly. We will give them a good life here, and will harvest their eggs and their meat when the appropriate time comes. I just didn’t think we would lose a turkey so soon.

The other chicks are all growing very quickly though, their wing feathers are coming in strong, and they are beginning to lose more of their down feathers all over.  One of the Aracaunas is standing in the background, and she has been testing those wing feathers by flying up onto the perch Adam set up in the middle of their new cage.  The turkeys in the foreground also have some wing feathers coming in, though theirs don’t seem to be as functional yet.  Hopefully they’ll all be perching soon, and ready to go outside into the big bright world outside.