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Turkey Tom Quandary - Page 2

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonR View Post

Yes, there are well behaved toms. I would totally cull the mean one. And his sons...how is your hen's attitude BTW?

Next year, put an unrelated tom over what you keep over the winter if you can get one. IMO, even a good example of the breed that is hatchery stock might be better than breeding son back to mom. You get the good with the bad when you inbreed, including that nasty attitude.
And, once you have backcrossed to a parent or whatnot all those traits, both good and bad will be much harder to breed back out of the flock.

The poults should still be healthy for quite a few generations even if you do inbreed but I have found it washes out the red color to orange if there is a lot of generations of it going on.

Hope this helps.
Shannon
I have a Rio Grande tom that keeps trying to mate with me and most other adults that he sees. Is there a way to break him of this behavior? Is it seasonal? Thanks. This is my first year with adult turkeys.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOrion View Post


I have a Rio Grande tom that keeps trying to mate with me and most other adults that he sees. Is there a way to break him of this behavior? Is it seasonal? Thanks. This is my first year with adult turkeys.


You have a tom that was imprinted as a new hatchling and as such does not know that there is a difference between people and turkeys.  The only way that I know to break such behavior is to process the tom and eat him.

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

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Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply
post #13 of 19
Ha!! Mt first Tom was much the same way. He would chase me, my dogs around, he especially liked to try and mate little kids. He would get down with buckets in the yard, the garden hose, anything available was fair game for this guy...

I found that chasing them down and hugging them helps to an extent, it encourages toms to keep their distance. But in all honesty, I think even the prince charming of a Tom that I am breeding from this year would attempt to do the dirty with me if I gave him half a chance.
Their trying to impress humans is totally normal behavior, allowing such to happen is where you gotta draw the line. We don't need crazy rapist turkeys around.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonR View Post

Ha!! Mt first Tom was much the same way. He would chase me, my dogs around, he especially liked to try and mate little kids. He would get down with buckets in the yard, the garden hose, anything available was fair game for this guy...

I found that chasing them down and hugging them helps to an extent, it encourages toms to keep their distance. But in all honesty, I think even the prince charming of a Tom that I am breeding from this year would attempt to do the dirty with me if I gave him half a chance.
Their trying to impress humans is totally normal behavior, allowing such to happen is where you gotta draw the line. We don't need crazy rapist turkeys around.


None of my toms will try to mate with anything other than turkeys.  I go out of my way to avoid imprinting my poults so that they know they are turkeys and know the difference between people and turkeys.  All birds imprint easily, especially turkeys.  It doesn't help that they are so easy to love and dote on when they are poults but it is in their and your best interest to not imprint them when once they are hatched.

 

If you want a nice friendly turkey that knows the difference between people and turkeys, socialize them when they are older and past the imprinting stage. Or if you want turkeys that behave like turkeys, don't imprint them and don't socialize them.

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply

Welsummers, mixed breed chickens, Blue Slate turkeys, Sweetgrass turkeys and guineas.

In wonderful Wyoming.

Bob

 

My photo album

Reply
post #15 of 19

I am like R2elk, I like my turkeys and I have 2 that are pets, I got them as rescue birds so they are imprinted on humans.  The rest of mine tolerate humans but are not touchable.  They follow me, I like to think it is because they love me.  I know it is because they look at me as a chuck wagon that drops food at any time.

 

My "pet" tom is a concern for me, as much as I love him, I fear he will attack my grandkids.  Toms that have no fear of humans are dangerous, just like a bull or boar. The damage a 30 pound turkey could do to a 40 pound kid would be horrible.  The grandkids are not wise enough to watch "JJ"'s actions. So I have to. I keep warning them, but it is hard for a kid to understand how a friendly turkey can be a problem.

 

 

That said it is nice to have a broody hen that lets me check her eggs without turkey wrassling.

 

I would not keep a mean Tom, but I prefer the "human wary"  ones.

Composting is good for the environment..
Composting Geese is better for the environment
Composting ducks is best for the environment.
Start your composted Duck pile today,
if you do not have your duck
Borrow a neighbors duck to compost own...
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Composting is good for the environment..
Composting Geese is better for the environment
Composting ducks is best for the environment.
Start your composted Duck pile today,
if you do not have your duck
Borrow a neighbors duck to compost own...
Reply
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by R2elk View Post


None of my toms will try to mate with anything other than turkeys.  I go out of my way to avoid imprinting my poults so that they know they are turkeys and know the difference between people and turkeys.  All birds imprint easily, especially turkeys.  It doesn't help that they are so easy to love and dote on when they are poults but it is in their and your best interest to not imprint them when once they are hatched.

If you want a nice friendly turkey that knows the difference between people and turkeys, socialize them when they are older and past the imprinting stage. Or if you want turkeys that behave like turkeys, don't imprint them and don't socialize them.

Yes, you and I understand this. Unfortunately most people brood their turkeys and like to think of them as their cute little pets, then pass their problems along to someone else when the tom behavior becomes too much for them.

This urge to 'rescue' animals that don't need or benefit from it can really show its ugly head later in the turkey world.

I don't even run an incubator anymore, if the hens don't set their eggs I don't get any poults...that is as far as my interaction goes until they are older and either killed or retained for exhibition/breeding. Call me lazy if you like, but this works just fine for me. I still have hen raised Toms approach me at times though, it really is an unavoidable trait in some.
post #17 of 19
I don't over handle my turkeys, though they still think of me as mom and learn to follow me. I think the problem comes from raising a single poult, they need to have others of their own kind to know they are turkeys.

They will also bond with chickens if raised with them and not know they aren't the same. Raise poults with poults, talk to them, let them follow you and don't over handle them and pet them too much, especially if they are toms, as petting can often stimulate them.

At sexually maturity I will change from having them follow me to me beginning to herd them, a stick is carried and a tom who doesn't move out gets a light tap on his behind. Eventually they herd well, and also come if I call, so I basically have taken the top stop in dominance.

My turkeys know they are turkeys and I am not, though they remain friendly and interactive.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #18 of 19
Thanks everyone. This had been very informative for me. There is so much to learn!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ha!  My tom (who is now in the freezer) would mate with an old rusty license plate that was sitting out in the pasture.  Of all the things to mount!  He would dance on it and then do his business.  Hilarious to watch.  I wouldn't go into the pasture without a rake in my hand to keep him at a distance.  He respected the rake but if I held out a foot to keep him away, he'd go after me.  He was not handled at a poult.  I got him from a breeder when he was a few days old.  He went into the brooder box with the rest and was only fed and watered, never handled or talked to.  I take a hands off approach to raising my poultry because I slaughter just about every bird eventually and don't like to get attached.  But like someone said, it doesn't take much to imprint for a bird.  Just being around for feedings and coop cleanings is enough sometimes.  He was still a mean son of a B.  The hen now follows me and will stop and squat as if I'm a tom, every time I turn in her direction (kinda like those ghosts in Mario).  So even she doesn't know the difference.   

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