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May 22, 2013

Of Horses and Turkeys

Posted in: Horses for the horse crazy

I’m wondering how many other horses are curious about wild turkeys?

Two mornings ago, I was awakened at the “a– crack of dawn” and became aware of a very loud “Gobble-gobble-gobble-boggle” outside. I knew we had a wild tom turkey with a hen recently visiting, and I was rolling over to go back to sleep, when Hubby mentioned that the horses were watching something (a section of their runout area is a couple hundred feet behind our house and we can see them there from our bedroom window.)


Hen turkey grazing while her tom gobbled insults at horses.

So I roused myself to see our “boys” (brothers Glendale and Gilford) approaching a fenceline with trepidation, listening, and staring intently past a closed gate– and then scurrying back away from the very loud gobbles in the next field. I could not see the field because of trees near the house, so I had to go downstairs and creep onto our back porch to spot the tom turkey in the open field about 300 feet from the horses.

This tom was full feather tail raised face on to the horses, strutting around in slow motion in small circles and gobbling at them when he faced them; he was flat out trying his hardest to intimidate them. His hen meanwhile was grazing in another area of the field paying no attention whatsoever.

Well the boys WERE intimidated, that large dark THING was so loud and they were not used to seeing a tom, especially a belligerent one. I have seen Glendale once or twice actually chase a flock of hens out of his pasture, I assume either with some idea of protecting his grass, or else just coltish silliness. But the horses this time were snorting and blowing and staring. Once one of them gave out with a warning gunshot snort. If you have never heard a horse do that, it is quite startling and as loud as a… well… as a gunshot. Or a whale blowing, but not quite so “huge.”

Just this morning the turkey hen wandered up close to the house to find seeds under my bird feeder, which is 15 feet from our back door. Her clucks woke me up, and our English setter Peaches got ALL interested and pointy and creeping around from window to window. As the hen moved away, I noticed Glendale approaching her from the other side of his pasture fence, trying to get a better look. Maybe he wanted to be sure it wasn’t that loud, aggressive tom!

You gotta wonder sometimes what– if anything– goes through the minds of horses!


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