Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

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Bob and Arnold

There’s Bob and then there’s Arnold

— L.A. Williams, Signpost

These two fellows spend a lot of time in our backyard inside the fenced orchard hanging out with the chickens. Although they are usually friendly, on occasion it can be noted they demonstrate some feisty tendencies. They’ve been known to harass the dogs, show some aggression towards the neighbors, and occasionally make an all out mess in the yard. You see, Bob and Arnold are our turkeys.

Bob and Arnold arrived at our home roughly seven months ago. At the time, somebody in our household (not the 3-year old, nor the 1-year old, nor myself) thought that raising turkeys for our own Thanksgiving meal sounded like a wonderful concept. The train of thought was ‘well why not, we already have chickens, why not some turkeys?’ And now, seven months later, I have the perfect answer, “Because you’ll name them.” So, to better explain where we are today (as we near Thanksgiving), I will share a little history of their lives.

In April of this year, two turkey poults arrived at our house in a cardboard box looking not too different from the baby chicks we had previously raised. It took just two weeks of maturing in our garage to see that these little feathered guys were way outpacing the chicks we had already nurtured into the fine egg-laying specimens outside. We also realized fairly quickly that they ate quite a bit more, were rather curious and showed little fear. As the weeks went by, bags of food were devoured, and they grew and grew and grew and before too long we felt confident in their release into the big kids playground. Now as a sidenote, we have read both that chickens and turkeys should be kept separate, and that they are fine together...our decision was based on the three bird dogs and fencing factors already in place.

So Bob and Arnold were introduced to what was probably paradise compared to a cage and heat lamp in the garage. It didn’t take long before Sue, Mary-Kate, Jacqlyn, Mo, Big Mo, Coco, The Twins, Alice, Little Jeff, Lucy, and Scooby-Doo accepted Bob and Arnold into the mix. To this day, the whole crew behaves like one big family and for many months now, we have immensely enjoyed the interaction with all of them.

There are a few interesting observations we’ve made of the gang, specifically the turkeys. From the first day in the orchard, Bob and Arnold were instantly curious about the three “beasts” on the other side of the fence. Now, whereas the chickens do not approach the fence under any circumstances for fear of ending up as a hungry labrador’s dinner, the turkeys were drawn to the furry creatures to the point that from day one they would stick their necks through the fencing and peck at the dog’s noses. I figured that we would see a speedy end to our efforts of raising Bob and Arnold, but instead the dogs seemed to just be dumbfounded by these crazy birds and their willingness to test their luck.

There was one close call the first time Bob decided to explore canine territory about three weeks into his orchard tenure. As luck would have it, I happened to accompany the dogs into the yard after breakfast that morning when they took off at a full-out sprint around the corner, and as I quickly rounded the wall saw Bob hastily attempting to squeeze through a 2-inch by 3-inch section of fence for safety. Other than a few feathers in Bosque’s mouth, Bob made it back over without anything more than some shaky nerves.

Bob made one other trip into the dogs’ territory a few weeks later when I wasn’t around, so I don’t know what was said between the four of them, but I will tell you that the three dogs were casually laying around soaking up the sun while Bob paraded back and forth between them. It now appears that they are all friends because the turkeys no longer sleep in the coop, but in the corner of their yard where they can see the dogs.

As for Arnold, he was kind of a “late bloomer.” He has, until recently, never been quite the showman. Rather than strutting around and puffing out his chest, he tends to concern himself with the simple things in life, like eating. I do believe that for the first time in seven months, Arnold is the bigger bird. He likes his breakfast, a lot. He rather enjoys his lunch, a lot, and he particularly takes pleasure in his dinner, a lot! And when Arnold is not relishing his main courses, he revels in the between courses.

Although Arnold has never been one to really “strut-his-stuff,” he has shown tremendous courage. One event in particular was startling to both my wife and me. During the summer, we realized a very large owl, that we cautiously estimate had a 5-foot wingspan, was beginning its evening hunt from our backyard tree. The first evening we saw this marvellous bird it decided to briefly perch on the fence near the chicken coop at which point Arnold came forth (followed by Bob) and gobbled up a storm. From that evening on, Arnold (followed by Bob) jumped up on the table nearby, in plain sight with no cover mind you, and would act as if a sentry for the ladies in the coop. We watched this same event unfold night after night for many weeks until we noticed the owl taking an alternative flight pattern.

Arnold has most recently developed a splendid blueish hue to his dark feathers. It is a beautiful contrast to Bob’s pure white. At approximately 30 lbs each, they spend most of their days now strutting around, puffed-up, and seducing our family, friends, and neighbors.

Which makes me think they’re on to maybe the coming of Thanksgiving. They seem to be doing everything in their power to charm us...and it may be working. They’ve befriended the fussy ladies in the orchard, their canine companions, the neighbors and kids who come by for a game of “gobble and answer,” our children, and lastly the two people planning on placing them at the Thanksgiving alter. And it is with that thought that I find myself saying, “I knew we shouldn’t have named them.”

Happy Thanksgiving to my lovely wife, mother of our two children, and den-mother of 12 chickens, 3 dogs, Bob and Arnold.

Walk or run it off...

(Use the Holiday calorie calculator to total your feast calories and see how far you must walk in steps, miles and kilometers to walk it off.  Check as many holiday dinner menu items as you wish and then see the steps and distance you must walk to walk off the calories!)

Drinks: Calories: 

1 mixed drink
1 glass wine
1 cup coffee with cream and sugar
1 glass cider or sparkling grape juice
1 cup eggnog




1 celery stalk with cream cheese              
1 cracker with cheese                     
½ cup mixed raw vegetables                     
½ cup mixed nuts                 
½ cup fresh fruit                               
1 ounce tortilla or potato chips      
1 tablespoon dip for chips                      




3 cups salad with diet dressing
1 tablespoon ranch dressing
½ cup gelatin with fruit
½ cup waldorf salad                                 


Main Course: 


6 ounces cured ham 
6 ounces white and dark turkey 
6 ounces prime rib
½ cup stuffing
½ cup cranberry sauce
½ cup mashed potatoes 
½ cup gravy
1 baked potato with sour cream 
½ cup green bean casserole 
½ cup sautéed green beans  
½ cup candied sweet potatoes  
1 dinner roll
1 pat butter




2 chocolate mints
2 small chocolate chip cookies
1 piece apple pie (1/8 of 9-in pie)
1 piece pecan pie (1/8 of 9-in pie)
1 piece pumpkin pie (1/8 of 9-in pie)
½ cup whipped cream
½ cup ice cream
1 small piece fudge




1 turkey sandwich w/ mayo and cranberry
1 turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy                            


*** Three cups salad with diet dressing, ...that comes to 100 calories. You will need to walk 1 miles, 1.61 kilometers, or 2000 steps, assuming you cover one mile in 2,000 steps.

***We ran this article last year around this time. The feedback from the calculator inspired us to repost the exercise needed to burn off those extra holiday calories. So, if you see more people out walking, you will know why. Just don’t be rude and ask how far they are going.





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