Aggressive Bourbon Red turkey hens.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by EricH, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. EricH

    EricH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some probably 5 month old turkeys - 2 bourbon red hens and 2 narraggansett jakes. They dont typically cause any problems so i have them in my large 50x50 run with the rest of my flock - 8 ducks, 2 roosters, and a herd of laying hens. Anyways, the turkey hens in particular (more than even the roosters/cockerels) seem very aggressive to newcomers. I have recently brooded out some young chickens - 3 FBCM roosters and an EE/australorp hen. I have gradually put them in the run, always with the hen turkeys causing all the ruckus/hazing. This last time (today) I put them in and left them after all seemed good (everyone eating and minding their own business) long story short - get home and the hen was apparently pecked to death. feeling VERY bad about this and am wondering if anyone has had similar experiences with turkeys. I cant see my chicken flock doing this and if they did i would imagine it'd be the roosters going after the cockerels. Is there any hope for these turks coexisting with an ever expanding flock? or off to the butcher block early? i wanted to hold 2 and breed em.
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Sorry to hear you're having these problems. Some folks successfully integrate chooks, turks, etc. We simply don't want the potential for trouble and the turks have their own run and shed. We were primarily concerned owing to our jakes penchant for sparring and the opportunity that presented for accidental/inadvertant injury to the chooks (size differential and turks paying no attention to anything but the battle). Our chooks and turks free range together with no problem at all (turks were the late comers to the flock and the chooks chase the turks if they get too close). Our turkey hens can be absolute butts after the toms establish a new pecking order. The hens focus their beaks on the low tom on the totem pole (they were particularly evil as jennies, they mellowed out as they got older).

    Separation of the species is the only way I know of to be sure.

    Good luck!
     
  3. EricH

    EricH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Valley Springs, ca
    Yeah, i got my turkeys the same time i got my chicks, and i ended up getting a big rooster that was about 4 months older than the turkeys so he's been the big boss ever since the baby turkeys tried fighting him. So all the chickens theyve grown up with have no problems at all. I have tried adding chickens and each time the hen turkeys go crazy. Even if i pick up one of the chickens the turkey hens will run up and peck at the bird after i let it down. I built an extra large coop just so i wouldnt have to split the birds up... but if this is whats going on, gotta do what you gotta do i guess. thanks for the info.
     
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Quote:Bummer for the issues. Our birds segrgate themselves, but when free ranging they get along rather well, watching out for each other. Haven't had any integration issues............................yet.
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your chickens could have done it, too. Chickens tend to go after new comers to establish the pecking order. If they draw blood, the rest of the chickens really go after them. If you have an established flock, it can be difficult to add a few more.
     
  6. EricH

    EricH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Valley Springs, ca
    hmm. I guess next time i attempt integration i will do it on a sunny saturday morning when ill be outside doing yardwork all day... thanks for the help folks.
     

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