aggressive tom

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by hobbyturkey, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. hobbyturkey

    hobbyturkey New Egg

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    Jan 17, 2014
    I got some baby turkeys in the spring and have a tom and a hen for breeding purposes for next year. They are spending the winter with some chickens up at my moms house, cause I got pregnant and can't carry them food and water over the winter. The hen started laying eggs a couple weeks ago, but this morning my mom said she is all bloody and beaten up. She says the tom is constantly breeding her. Did he do this to her and why, mom says she took her out of the pen. She couldn't even stand up and isn't sure if she will survive. The turkeys have been with these chickens all of their life, so I don't think it was the chickens. These are my first chickens and turkeys so I have limited knowledge, but I can't understand why he would hurt her like that. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Welcome to BYC.

    I'm going to assume this is a jake and jenny from the batch of poults. Don't know your latitude/local weather (can be a factor). However, `Newly minted' (hormonal juvenile) males will mate with either end of a jenny/hen - will consider a prone female (just laying an egg for instance) an open invitation and can be persistent to the point of injury/death.

    Even under the best of conditions (adult turkeys with experience) there is always the possibility that a tom will lay open gashes in hen's flank(s) while mating (there are threads about turkey `saddles' for the hens).

    Is there a coop in run - or lean-to or any area that can be fenced off so jenny can avoid jake? Unless wounds become infected female turkeys are pretty resilient re: mating injuries. Does she have a roosting bar to retreat up to?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  3. hobbyturkey

    hobbyturkey New Egg

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    Jan 17, 2014
    We live in central New York, and yes there are roosts for her to get up on. I just got off the phone with my mother and she said the female didn't make it through the night. How disappointing! Anyway, the next time we go up there the male is going to be butchered, were afraid he is going to go after the chickens now without her not around. I'm going to try again next year, any suggestions on how to avoid this from happening again? I guess when they get old enough to breed I'll have to separate them until I'm ready for babies. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Sorry she didn't make it.
    This male& female were both the same age, variety, yes?
    We've had breeding Slates and Royals for years and only separate out breeding pairs for a couple of days (primarily to prevent injury owing to more than one tom attempting to cover one hen, simultaneously). Hens have had a few feathers lost to breeding - but that's it.

    Could have had something to do with being stressed owing to move to another location. This really isn't common behavior.

    Good luck on pending addition to your family, and better luck with next year's turks.
     

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