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Aggressive 18month old male turkey - but only to one person.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mkcolls, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Ohio
    Tickles, was hatched on our farm, and has been around loud, running screaming children, many, many family and friends and he does his job watching out for all of our flock, and making sure he is between a child and a rooster. He has prevented both DH and me from being challenged by one of our roosters who think they have to check to see if we are really still in charge. All of our flock free range our property.

    But when my mother-in-law comes to spend time in her camper, on our property, Tickles aggressive behavior has escalated to the point of a physical attack today. MIL is OK, no damage done, but two hours later she is still shaking. She is 85 years old, and 4'10". We have recommended that she not move around the farm alone, but to call us where ever we are to accompany her. We have reminded her to keep her voice in a low range, not to scream, or try to talk to the male turkeys. Her fear has increased over this summer, and she starts yelling if she sees the males. She carries a couple of long bamboo sticks to keep them at a distance.

    Some background info, she brings her sharp-barking Shih Tzu. The dog is kept on lease, at her side or carried when not in the camper, or just outside on leash. She is not well managed by MIL, but any aggression toward the flock is corrected and she is moved to camper. Her barking has always evoked response by the male turkeys, as if the barking hurts their ears.

    MIL and I were harvesting the last food from the garden and they came to the middle of the corn to jump up to her throat. I was picking tomatoes on the other side of the garden. MIL was screaming, I found her holding Tickles by the neck to keep him from jumping her again. He was moved by me to our chicken run, now being used for 7 week old chicks and a momma hen.

    Any turkey gurus with some wisdom? Camper season is coming to a close for the year and we did not plan to process this male this year, but we have discussed it today.

    What to do?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I think the question to be answered is your MIL or the turkey. That has to be your decision. On my part, I wish that my MIL and Mother were still alive and able to visit.
     
  3. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2011
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    Keeping MIL from visiting, or changing her camper arrangement is not an option. As long as we are blessed to have her we will do everything to make that available. It is just so odd that Tickles' response is so strong and so isolated.
    MIL does not want us to process the turkey, but that is the decision that we are coming to. MIL admits her dog and her screams escalate the response. We can't allow any physical harm, though.
     
  4. Macs farm

    Macs farm Out Of The Brooder

    I may seem a little bad in saying this, though I have turkeys only for eating. I keep them safe from the Australian predators by not letting them out of a fully enclosed large pen. At 7 months, two toms attacked my 3 year old son and 5 year old daughter when the kids ventured into the pen. Now the kids stay out of the pen and only chase chooks. Can't you leave penned up till your mum goes home? I know it's your Mum, however I don't let anyone visit/stay with a dog at my place. I have a dog that is in a pen when the chooks are out.
     

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