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Why do turkeys have snoods?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've tried to figure out why nature provided snoods for turkeys and am completely baffled.  Does anyone know?

                      Suzy

                       hu

post #2 of 12

They are used to attract the hens,the most attractive feature to females is not a male's power suit or macho strut but his snood--a fleshy appendage above his beak that can stretch to twice its ordinary length during courtship. And not only do females prefer long snoods, but, according to Northeast Louisiana University behavioral ecologist Richard Buchholz, males assess the snood lengths of other males before engaging in battle. Buchholz placed two male turkey decoys three feet apart in a small arena, each with a pile of birdseed in front of it. The decoys were identical in every respect--except that one's snood was twice as long as the other's. Buchholz then put 28 young male turkeys, one at a time, into the arena. Of the 21 duped by the models, 17 risked taking food only from the model with the small snood. Just 4 fed from the better-endowed decoy's pile of seed. What's more, in fights between live males, Buchholz found that only snood length--which may in part be determined by a bird's testosterone level--was a good predictor of victory, more reliable even than weight.

Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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post #3 of 12

Now THAT is a very thorough and extremely interesting reply! I'm glad I read this post! big_smile

Let the Assimilation commence!
Well, I think it's easier to say now that "Hi, my name is Angie and I am a chick-a-holic!"
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Let the Assimilation commence!
Well, I think it's easier to say now that "Hi, my name is Angie and I am a chick-a-holic!"
www.Artwanted.com/guitartists          http://www.cafepress.com/angelwolf
Progressive Pics Cheat Sheet
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post #4 of 12

The gobblers also use them to protect more vital tissues  on the head/face area when fighting another gobbler.  wink

Yelp..yelp..yelp...purrrrrrrrrrrr...cutt..cutt....strut..strut....gobble gobble gobble !!!

3  Royal Palms.......2 Bourbon Reds......... 7 standard bronze.........1 psycho guinea.........10 mallards......7 Rouens.... and ducks laying like mad .

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Yelp..yelp..yelp...purrrrrrrrrrrr...cutt..cutt....strut..strut....gobble gobble gobble !!!

3  Royal Palms.......2 Bourbon Reds......... 7 standard bronze.........1 psycho guinea.........10 mallards......7 Rouens.... and ducks laying like mad .

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post #5 of 12

My Gosh, I love biology!  Are the snoods blood engorged dfuring courtship, like hen's combs at point of lay?  Is that how they grow to attract? So cool!

love, chickiebaby
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love, chickiebaby
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post #6 of 12

They can extend and retract the snood as well as change it's color from blue to red to white-ish

Steve in NC

 Midget White, Standard Bronze turkeys, Muscovy ducks, India Blue, White & Spaulding peafowl, Buff Orpington, Copper Black Marans Chickens, Corturnix quail and Ringneck Pheasants

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 Midget White, Standard Bronze turkeys, Muscovy ducks, India Blue, White & Spaulding peafowl, Buff Orpington, Copper Black Marans Chickens, Corturnix quail and Ringneck Pheasants

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post #7 of 12

snoods, wattles, dewlaps, and caruncles are all folds of naked, blood-engorged skin that hang from the gobbler's head or neck in some red, blue, or purple hues

Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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Turkeys: Beltsville White - Bourbon Red - Chocolate - Narragansett - Black Spanish - Wishard Bronze Chickens: Black Copper Marans - Cuckoo Marans - Golden Cuckoo Marans - White Rocks - Other: Pekin Ducks - Boer Goats - Pigs
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Why would the snoods change color?  Is it like the squid that change to frighten or display against an aggressor?

Also, what is the purpose of the caruncle? 

Thanks for all of your answers!

Suzy

hu

post #9 of 12

The color change is to impress the hens and has different meanings to other toms (agression, "I'm top dog", etc.) . If you watch the toms as they go thru the day they will change color often, we have 6 different breeds and each breed acts different as to how they display and interact with the rest of the flock.

Steve in NC

 Midget White, Standard Bronze turkeys, Muscovy ducks, India Blue, White & Spaulding peafowl, Buff Orpington, Copper Black Marans Chickens, Corturnix quail and Ringneck Pheasants

Reply

 Midget White, Standard Bronze turkeys, Muscovy ducks, India Blue, White & Spaulding peafowl, Buff Orpington, Copper Black Marans Chickens, Corturnix quail and Ringneck Pheasants

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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Do different breeds display in particular colors?  At what age does this happen?  Do old birds continue to display?  Thanks once again!

                      Suzy
                      hmm

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