Butterball of Ten Broeck Farm
When we last read about Butterball, the long Winter had finally allowed Spring to blossom. It seemed natural enough that, given the lovely time of the year, Butterball wanted to venture farther away from the farm. It wasn't unusual for Orintha to receive phone calls from neighbors to come and get Butterball as she was seen marching down the road with considerable determination to go who-knows-where?
It didn't take too long for everyone at the farm to realize that the lovely Butterball was looking for love in all the wrong places. Once again, the farmer up the road came to the rescue! It seems that he had three Tom Turkeys, and one of them was low man in the pecking order. Picked on by the other two Toms, explained the farmer (he does look a bit ruffled in the photo below). Would Orintha be interested in introducing him to Butterball? And if love should be in the air, he was welcome to take up permanent residence at Ten Broeck Farm.
Ah, love indeed. Butterball had found a mate. Everyone at the farm wanted to give the fellow a proper name (no, “Tom” would not do), and so a spontaneous naming contest erupted on Orintha Silva’s facebook page. What clever ideas! Orintha chose “Strut”. It seemed to nicely fit his personality.
You can only imagine the excitement at the farm when Butterball laid seven beautiful eggs in mid-May. She had a job to do: sit on those eggs for approximately 28 days until they hatched! She had her own stall with shavings and bales of hay surrounding the eggs with plenty of room for her to keep them warm and protected.
During Butterball’s lying-in, everyone realized how accustomed they had become to her presence all over the farm, usually with a great deal to say about everything and everyone (people, and horses) she saw. Now, she was quiet and focused. So Strut strutted about instead.
When three horse shows were held at Ten Broeck Farm from June 8-10, Orintha had gently moved Butterball and the seven eggs to a nearby horse trailer, far enough away from all the noisy goings-on, yet still safe from any danger.
The day after the shows ended, Butterball and eggs were gingerly moved back to her stall. Everyone who knows about Butterball began to get anxious for her eggs to hatch.
Tuesday, June 11, 2012: Seven babies hatched! What a splendid job Butterball had done, and continued to do as the newborns huddled and cuddled underneath their mom’s warm body. Slowly but surely they began to look at their surroundings (No. 7 is under the hay on the right).
As the babies grew stronger, Butterball slowly became more at ease about visitors to her stall. Adults, children, and everyone in between came to see the new family.
People came from around the neighborhood. And they came from farther away, including nine-year-old Annaliese (below) and her mom, Cheryl, from Florida.
And let’s not forget 11-year-old Caleb (above) and his mom, Helen, from South Africa!
Day by day, visitors watched the babies grow and, at last, emerge from their stall under Mom’s very watchful eye and explore their immediate neighborhood. They have clearly inherited Butterball’s outgoing personality as well as her courage.
Ten Broeck Farm is so proud of our beautiful Butterball and her family. She has handled her motherhood and notoriety with typical aplomb.
Also, check out our other recent activities!