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Do turkeys make good flock protectors? - Page 2

post #11 of 15

I got  2 poults at the End of march.  Turns out I have a Hen and a Tom.  I was hoping for a tom since I cant have a Rooster.  I was hoping that they would protect my flock of chickens and ducks.   Well, they haven't had any serious Run ins that I have seen but they do try to chase the egg stealing Crows away.  (I dont mind the crows around-- they chase the Red tail hawks and eagles away)

 

I do have an Odd Protection Story though.  I also have Tortoises and it turns out they are considered part of the flock.  Most are small and kept in Pens but two have free range of the back yard , coming and going out of a Heated/ACed "barn" when the weather permits.   One day I went outside a couple of weeks ago to change the hose from one fruit tree to the other and Reno, my Hen Bourbon Red Turkey met me and followed me out into the yard.  She is definitely my baby.  But Rude, the Tom was not in sight.  As I returned from the fruit trees I could Hear Rude calling desperately "PEEP!, PEEP!, PEEP!".  I thought oh maybe he jumped the fence but as I got closer I could tell the sound was coming from the "barn".  I walked inside and immediately Rude took a step towards me then turned and headed in the direction he was trying to get my attention for....and there was Exxon, my 26 year old African Leopard Tortoise on his back.  I went over to him and put him back on his feet...and walked out with Rude walking right along side of me gently "peeping".  I told him "good boy" as we left the barn together. 

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdLady6t8 View Post

I got  2 poults at the End of march.  Turns out I have a Hen and a Tom.  I was hoping for a tom since I cant have a Rooster.  I was hoping that they would protect my flock of chickens and ducks.   Well, they haven't had any serious Run ins that I have seen but they do try to chase the egg stealing Crows away.  (I dont mind the crows around-- they chase the Red tail hawks and eagles away)

I do have an Odd Protection Story though.  I also have Tortoises and it turns out they are considered part of the flock.  Most are small and kept in Pens but two have free range of the back yard , coming and going out of a Heated/ACed "barn" when the weather permits.   One day I went outside a couple of weeks ago to change the hose from one fruit tree to the other and Reno, my Hen Bourbon Red Turkey met me and followed me out into the yard.  She is definitely my baby.  But Rude, the Tom was not in sight.  As I returned from the fruit trees I could Hear Rude calling desperately "PEEP!, PEEP!, PEEP!".  I thought oh maybe he jumped the fence but as I got closer I could tell the sound was coming from the "barn".  I walked inside and immediately Rude took a step towards me then turned and headed in the direction he was trying to get my attention for....and there was Exxon, my 26 year old African Leopard Tortoise on his back.  I went over to him and put him back on his feet...and walked out with Rude walking right along side of me gently "peeping".  I told him "good boy" as we left the barn together. 

welcome-byc.gif

Our problem with turtles (Box turtles) is that our then "young" flock of turks would become so interested in the turtles that they would follow them off into the woods.

Our turks can also remember "where" the preds "were" and will check the traps pretty closely when they're let out to range. So, they're pretty curious and have a pretty good memory for what's what, where "it" goes and how it "should" look.

LL
post #13 of 15
I have a Tom that we raised with our other birds. He is definitely their watch guard! He constantly puffs up and drags his wings to frighten off anything that comes close to them! I have loud geese too. I was letting them all free range and a fox got 2 of my hens, twice, that were away from the flock. I no longer let them free range unless I'm outside to watch them and keep them near their coop. I haven't had a problem since. They put themselves up at night and come out at daybreak. I don't close the door on the fenced in coop.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by iklynn View Post

I have a Tom that we raised with our other birds. He is definitely their watch guard! He constantly puffs up and drags his wings to frighten off anything that comes close to them! I have loud geese too. I was letting them all free range and a fox got 2 of my hens, twice, that were away from the flock. I no longer let them free range unless I'm outside to watch them and keep them near their coop. I haven't had a problem since. They put themselves up at night and come out at daybreak. I don't close the door on the fenced in coop.

welcome-byc.gif

Definitely keep an eye out (foxes will dart right in even if humans are around). Our neighbor had a big Black Spanish tom that stood its ground against a fox. As their daughter was watching their place that weekend I got a call and went down to doctor him up. Though there were numerous puncture wounds the worst injury was to his neck muscles (crown of head dragging ground while standing - managed to get him "betadined-up" & got a dose of Cephalexin down its poor throat. For weeks he just laid about, as I'd seem him as I drove by (neighbor's had to hand feed/water him).
About two months later he was out strutting around.
They are pretty tough but that tom was just lucky.
post #15 of 15
"I seem to have some kind of a knack for detecting 'python nights' when the temperature, wind, weather etc is just right and I go out between 9pm and 2am, generally, and find one, two or more pythons in the poultry cages. So I'm out there at night fairly often, and I usually check to make sure all is well once the pythons are removed. Early on into having turkeys for the first time I was making sure a hen hatching her eggs was covering the babies that had hatched, and I heard a hiss, exactly like a snake hiss. I looked around, didn't see anything, went back to checking that the chicks were all accounted for. Something struck my hand and I looked off to the right (using a hand torch because there's no power in the coops) and there was a little baby turkey with its wings partially open and partially spread, its head weaving around on its neck like a snakes', dancing back and forth. Don't know why it wasn't under its mother or how it got out to the side there, whether that was deliberate on its part or not, but it wasn't calling for its mother, it was focused on frightening me away."

RE: The point about snakes hissing. I collected snakes during my high school biology days and lived in a swamp where there were a variety of species and never encountered one that hissed. Hog nosed snakes can to protect themselves but most species are unable to make any sound at all other than rustling through the grass etc.. I get a kick out of Sc-fi movies that have crocs growling like bears or lions and snakes making all sorts of sounds. AFAIK, they don't have vocal cords and only a few species are able to blow themselves up so that they can release the air making some sound. I am so happy that I live in Michigan where there is only one venomous species (native) and no constrictors large enough to be interested in a chicken (except the ones my son has in a terrarium) I never thought much about it but it only takes 10-12 feet to be deadly to adult humans if caught unaware in their sleep. (rare but it happens). Sorry for deviating, just couldn't resist :-)
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
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No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
Reply
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