A strange interspecies meeting story

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brierose3, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. brierose3

    brierose3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Today i took some scraps down to the chicken run and i noticed the brush turkey who has been building a giant mound in the bush a few metres from the run. So I went and sat on a rock near his mound and watched him continue to tend to it, trying to impress the non present brush turkey ladies. My ragdoll cat came to join in on the action and started imitating the turkey and scratching the leaf litter towards the mound as if to help! The turkey touched beak to nose with the cat who then bounded off. Then our australorp hen who had been wandering outside the run strolled over to the mound and started investigating. Mr. brush turkey was immediately love struck and was showing her what he had made while trying to pursue her. She chased him off a few times but he was more gentlemanly then our two roosters as the brush turkey danced, talked and bowed to her then walk up beside her and lightly tap her back with his beak. This went on for a few minutes then the brush turkey crept behind her and stood there watching. Things got even weirder as the hen looked like she was going to submit to her lover. She straightened up, flattened her feathers, lowered her back to the ground, then... Plop! She laid an egg on top of his mound then walked off back to the coop. I went over and picked up the egg which had a rubbery shell and i could see through to the yolk. I put the egg back down and the brush turkey ran over and looked over the egg excitedly. He tried to gently pick up the egg but it broke and the yolk flowed onto the leafy nest. The brush turkey seemed devastated and studied the yolk for a while before delicately eating it. What just happened? Why did the chicken lay an egg like that? It happened so quickly!!

    Ps. The brush turkey seems to be used to us. I think its because it may be the same turkey that about a year ago when it was just a chick, got locked in the coop. My family didnt know what it was at the time.. looked like an owl/chicken so we caught it and kept it overnight then called the wildlife rescuers just incase it had lost its nest. Turns out brush turkeys fend for themselves as soon as they hatch. We let it go back into the bush but it did fly onto our arms and tried to perch like it was saying "can i pleease stay with you and the chickens??" but we chased him back into the bush to let nature take its course.

    Another note, earlier today one of my dogs bought a dead baby brush turkey to the door. My brother went to bury it and the male brush turkey seemed to know what he was up to as he followed him into the bush and stood over while my brother dug a hole and buried it. The turkey stood at the sight for longer after he left to mourn the loss of the baby.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Interesting to observe such things.....as to the 'why's', I haven't a clue.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    For starters hen not in good health if producing a shell-less egg. Cat was scent marking and likely defecated just before your observations started. Brush Turkey may have trouble managing hive temperature if other crittters dig around too much and bring in organic materials that will predators and pests.

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