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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by duluthralphie, Apr 5, 2015.
About what age do turkeys grow in their adult feathers? I was told that on Bourbon reds, you can tell toms from hens based on the breast feathers, that hens have a white strip across the tips if their breast feathers. Adam is about 18 weeks old now and I changed "his" name from Eve to Adam weeks ago when I noticed his head flushing red and him strutting around though his snood doesn't hang down over his break like the blue slate toms (who are a week younger) and he's never once gobbled. I was looking at the pin feathers coming in on his chest/breast and they look to have a thin white tip. What the heck?! Do I have an Adam or Eve? I'm so confused here!
Check there and click on a thread from the state you live in.
I'm totally not an expert and I sympathize with your confusion - Turkules was very undecided what sex he was lol. He was around 16 weeks before he gobbled, his snood was tiny and he had never displayed his tail. Then out of the blue he puffed up his feathers, and gobbled. The snood has been getting bigger since that started, and I think he's about 22 weeks now. Has Adam ever displayed his tail feathers? Maybe he's a late-bloomer? Or "he" might need another name change I can't wait to hear what the experts say!
Hens can and do strut but their snood will never get as enlarged as the snood of a tom. Hens can also get flushed red when they are strutting. The mature breast feathers of a Bourbon Red tom will be completely dark colored and will not have a light edge on the breast feathers. If your turkey's adult breast feathers are coming in with a light colored bottom edge, then it is a hen.
That is a good tip, I did not know that! Thanks
I am thinking mine doing the strut was a hen. Just a hen acting crazy. It is the one you said was a hen and she looks "henish". small snood, fine legs etc.
The breast feather tip applies to any dark colored turkeys. I do find it hard to distinguish the light colored edge on the blue slates and self blues but find it very easy to see the dark colored edges on those toms. It does have to be the adult feathers especially with Bourbon Reds as the immature plumage has light edges on both the toms and hens of Bourbon Reds.
This is great info R2elk, thanks! Is there a general age when you can know you are looking at adult plumage?
Oh yes. Full strut every morning. He/she's always strutting to threaten the chickens away and has an ongoing thing against my one rooster. Every morning and numerous times throughout the day.
He/she was being totally uncooperative while i was trying to get pics but i tried lol. The snood is never any bigger than it is in the pics. Also, i don't have a flash so a couple pictures make the feathers look really dark.
I am living the edge today!
The hen is in the oven. I cleaned her again.
Injected her with a Cajun flavored butter mixture, ...then here is the dangerous part.
I made a stuffing out of bread crumbs, raisins and the giblets I found Hidden in the freezer! My DW does not like giblets in dressing so she hid them. Not well enough!!!
I added a little of the left over butter with Cajun spices to the bread crumbs, Along with the giblets, which I fried up in light seasoning, just salt. pepper and one little jalapeno;
Then I stuffed all the stuffing into the cavity of the hen! I know the dangers, but I LIKE stuffed turkey! Sweet potatoes, baked potatoes and Peas should round out the meal. With left overs for a week, wish I knew someone to invite over to eat with us.
Anyways. it is already smelling good