Peacocks & Poultry In Motion with GOATS and RATS, Callahan Bird Farms,
"My whole life is for the birds!"
POULTRY IN MOTION ... at 5 Southwind Drive and 17 Glenn Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico 88310-9036 and -9017, are Mrs. Carol Callahan's two farms, since I.E. passed away and left all of his property to her at the 17 Glenn location.

.....The seventy-five (75) or so different breeds of poultry (and perhaps 100-plus varieties), include Chickens (both largefowl and bantams), Turkeys, Ducks (both regular size and bantams), Geese, and Guineafowl, most free-ranging on the two acres.

.....Also in residence, purely for fun and entertainment, are FIVE emus: an original pair of Emus which were acquired as two-month-old striped babies April 6, 2008. They grew to be friendly and curious big adult birds, still mischievous, which cause the other birds and dogs to be ever wary of their presence and unpredictability. The emus have loved to run full tilt around the bird yard, scattering the geese and other fowl as they go. When young, they danced and played together. It turned out that they seem to be both males. They no longer get along with each other but pay a lot of attention to Carol, sometimes biting her ears!

.....As of about August, 2011, there are FIVE mature EMUs at the Southwind (north) farm. Carol's efforts added first one, then two more mature emus from other locales. Maybe in future years, we may see babies! ... which then can be available for sale. Also, Carol would like to have some at the Glenn (south) farm, sometimes in the future. (Since they ARE quite hard to handle when adults, as far as moving a distance, babies would make it possible to relocate some to Glenn.)

.....I.E. dismantled his interesting and very functional "complex"; and most of the fencing and shelter materials were moved to Carol's farm, for use there and/or sale to help feed the birds. I.E. had made the decision to remove most of the birding facilities and to perhaps grow Christmas trees. He'd gotten a four-wheeled scooter to travel about on his land, and still had plenty of energy to stay physically active out there. Carol continued tending some birds at I.E.'s, for him to continue to enjoy them.

Talking TURKEY ...
.....The current mature Turkey population, for example, includes at least eighteen (18) varieties of the heritage breed, with several adult tom turkeys which established themselves as the "welcome committee" and, in general, are nearly unsurpassed "characters" of the bird yard. They stroll to the entry gate in full display mode to greet visitors and often remain "floating" closeby the humans exploring the yard, to the amusement and delight of all.

.....Some people wonder why a rare (or "heritage") breed juvenile or mature turkey costs more than the poults they may see offered at the local feed store. Usually the feed store provides broad breasted breeds, which grow fast but cannot reproduce naturally (for human consumption). Also, Carol's heard of more than a few sad cases of people losing their pet turkey simply because they ARE the broad breasted type: These birds don't usually live as long. They are simply too big and heavy to have a very long natural life. The rare breeds of turkeys are available in many more colors and patterns, and are even said to be a tastier bird when they ARE consumed; but they are more expensive as poults (babies), and also do take much longer to grow, resulting in a heavier investment in feed and risk of loss. Also, raising young birds well requires more expensive feeds formulated for the critical young life stage.

.....The Callahan initial property is about two acres of desert that was, until only a few years ago, never inhabited, nor used for any human development. It's clay and mesquite and saltbush, a little bit of allthorn, and nary a blade of grass! It takes a lot of feed to maintain the 100s of birds on this type of land: About three and a half (3-1/2) tons of feed per month! And chicken feed aint cheap, as it once was! Carol for years drove her old farm pickup, pulling a strong, heavy old pickup bed trailer, to Dexter (South of Roswell, New Mexico) about every few weeks, for bulk feed from a dairy mill there, when available. It required going the night before to visit a friend (who owns the largest gamecock farm in this state), and getting the feed the following morning, then hurrying home with it to feed and water the whole flock once again.

.....So while Carol doesn't have any delusians of the poultry "calling" ever being "profitable", she does try to get fair prices for what's available, in order to continue to maintain this rare experience for anyone able to partake and to try to provide as many birds as possible for people wishing to buy them.

.....That said, most good LAYING HENS usually cost about $12 to $14 (sometimes more as of 2011) each for purebreed one-year-old or less, more or less according to breeds and what's available. These are hens that ARE LAYING, which at this time of year means they've been fed over the winter, since last year's season. The "started pullets" will be young but fast approaching the day when they lay their first eggs. (This is usually at four to six months old, according to the breed.) The started pullets may sell for $10 to $12 each. (When available from feed stores, these birds have had their beaks cut, to prevent injuring each other in crowded condtions under which they've been raised. Carol does not trim beaks!)

Mature rare breed TURKEYS have been selling for $35 for toms and $45 for hens. But all indications suggest that they may be selling as poults and juveniles (when available), at prices of $15 to $25 or $30 each.

Many juvenile or mature DUCKS will go for $12 or $14 each, some more, some less.

Adult GUINEAfowl have been selling for $12 to $14 each, up to $20 each. Carol has several varieties on the farms.

GEESE may vary the most in price; but they ARE expensive to buy (like heritage breed turkeys) have sold for $35 to $45 each as adults. Since in the past, selling mature geese seems to result in remaining geese being upset over losing their flock members, Carol's plan is to sell young geese in the future, or only those already paired AS pairs, unless new birds become available, as they do from time to time, which have not yet formed bonds.

.....Then, too, there are often at least a few "barnies" available for free adoption, especially roosters! (These are "barnyard" results, crosses that occur when the birds do their own choosing of partners and hatch babies of different-breed parents. They may be strange looking or beautiful, are almost always interesting. The hens will generally lay, and the roosters will usually be the colorful characters they're valued for.

.....These are VERY general "rule-of-thumb" prices, subject to change and availability! It's best to call ahead and ask what's here at any given time, or tell Carol what you're interested in. Make an appointment to come and see for yourself, see the vast array of choices and decide what you like. Most people are willing to "go the distance" to see such a wide variety and so many birds all out where they can walk among them. And so far, there's "no charge for admission" to this poultry extravaganza, although donations are gratefully accepted, to help feed the birds!

.....I.E. and Carol have hatched many, many eggs from their own chickens, mostly a wide variety of Giant Cochins, bantams (some Mille Fleur d'Uccle, many that will looked like Japanese; many very cute, clean-legged tiny little Old English Game bantam types, particularly friendly); also many interesting true Araucana crosses and many "TurkCochins," Turken hens mated to a Giant Cochin rooster. She'd like to raise some Polish Frizzles at some point, which were one of the most unusual birds exhibited at the record-breaking national poultry show in Indianapolis in November 2006.

....."Poultry In Motion" is full-blown "chicken addiction," a peculiar sort of insanity that has made Carol healthier and happier. And part of the joy comes from sharing it all with whomever wishes to come out and enjoy it with us.

.....Here are listings of most of those poultry breeds present on the two bird farms (one mile apart) as of as of May 2009:

Ancona (this is the Mottled Leghorn)
Andalusion (Blue, Splash)
Ameraucana (various colors)
American Game (mostly "blends")
Araucana (White and other colors)
Aseel (Asil)
Australorp (Black)
Black Sex Link
Brahma (Light, Dark)
Buckeye (a rare Ohio breed)
Buttercup, Sicilian
Cochin, Giant (Black, Blue, Splash, Buff, Red, Brown, & more)*
Dark Brahma
Gamecocks, Pure and "Blend" (including Joe Good hens)
Gold Sex Link (called "Red Sex Link by Murray McMurray)
Hamburg (Silver Spangled)
Houdan (Mottled)
Jersey Giant (hybrids)
Leghorn (White, Single Comb Lt.Brown)
Langshan (Black)
Long Crower
Maran (Cuckoo, Black)
Modern Game (BB Red, Red Pyle)
New Hampshire (Red, White)
Orpington (Buff)
Polish (White-Crested Black, Golden,
...Buff-Laced, White, Black,
...Black-Crested Blue, Silver)
Production Black (also called California Grey)
Production Red
Red Sex Link
Rhode Island Red
Russian Orloff
Silver Spangled Spitzhauben
Turken (Transylvanian Naked Neck)
White-Faced Black Spanish
Wyandotte (Silver-Laced, Golden-Laced, Red, Blue-Laced Red)

Araucana (Black)
Cochin (White, Black, Blue, Buff, Red)
Cornish (White-Laced Red)
Frizzle (Cochin: White, Black, Red, and mixed colors)
Japanese (Mottled)
Mille Fleur d'Uccle (regular & Self-Blue)
Old English Game (Self-Blue, Crele,
...Red Pyle, Chocolate/Speckled Sussex)
Wyandotte (several colors)

TURKEYS (AT LEAST 18 varieties)
Beltsville (White)
Black Spanish
Blue Slate
Blue Red Bronze X Tiger Bronze
Bourbon Red
Bronze (Standard)
Buff (Jersey)
Narragansett (regular Silver)
Narragansett (Golden)
Pencilled Palm (also called Tiger Bronze)
Rio Grande Wild
Royal Palm
Blue (Royal) Palm
White Holland

DUCKS (14 breeds)
Ancona Appleyard (Silver)
Australian Spotted Bantam
Call (Grey, White, Black)
Campbell, Khaki
Indian Runner (assorted colors)
Muscovy (pied, black, chocolate, blue,
...silver, buff, ripple/barred)
Pekin (regular and Giant Show)
Pied Bantam
Swedish (Blue, Black)
Welsh Harlequin

GEESE (7 breeds)
African (brown/grey; and Dewlap)
Buff (one of only two American breeds)
Chinese (brown, white)
Emden, Giant (white)
Pilgrim (auto-sexing, one of only two American breeds)
Pomeranian (grey, buff)
Sebastopol (white)

GUINEA (several color varieties)
Brown(?) or Slate(?)
Pearl Pied
Lavendar (Light Blue with spots)
Lavendar Pied
Light Lavendar(?)

*Giant Cochins are an interesting breed, both for their large size and booted characteristic (heavily feathered legs and feet), and the wide variety of colors. They have been prized as pets, show birds, and broody hens, and are surprisingly good layers of beautiful brown eggs, as well. "Big Red" is a huge, beautiful rooster who, mostly with just two "Strawback" brown hens, produced scores of pure Giant Cochin chicks past seasons in practically every color and pattern imaginable. There are blacks to whites, silvers to blues, buffs, browns, reds or browns with black, blacks with red or brown .... I.E.'s suggestion to Carol's county fair intentions was to call them, "Carol Callahan's Colorful Cochins."

Speaking of the Otero County Fair in Alamogordo, New Mexico: Holly Wilson and Jay Calderara served as co-superintendents of the Poultry Division some years ago, so it was a bigger and better one than may have ever been seen here before, certainly in recent years. These two bird breeders worked hard to make it happen! Local birders continue to show fair visitors a wonderful poultry collection again in subsequent years.

(Updated February 2012)