Who’s Yo Mama?

Monday, February 14, 2022

(Moon phase is Waxing Gibbous; February’s “Snow Moon” rises fullest on 16th.)

I recently adopted two heritage turkey hens. They’re in a coop mingling among goats and chickens and follow me everywhere when I’m visiting there. I enjoy hearing their constant turkey chatters in tones soothing and often punctuated by gentle whistling. They’re cautious, alert, and make sounds signaling an alarm when frightened.

Their constant following me has raised musings about whether they’re imprinted on humans. I’ve begun wondering if they’d follow me with the same dedication even outside the coop. It’s too early to test that notion. First, because they’re newly introduced to this property, and second, because I’ve no failproof way of recapturing both if my experiment fails.

I enjoy the notion that these two might be imprinted on humans. That occurs the instant an infant sees its first living being after hatching. If it sights a human, perhaps also handling and speaking to the newborn, a fowl assumes that’s the parent, immediately becomes attached, and imprints on humans.

This turkey’s adoring expression suggests she might follow me anywhere. On a very summerlike day, I’ll test my theory by inviting her and her sister out for a stroll beyond the coop. Naturally, that’ll be impossible if I’m incapable of rounding them up in open spaces. For unless they’re imprinted to follow a human, they quickly might scatter.

Dear Friends: They’re reminders of the old days and classroom psychology studies. Diana

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