BBW's Is my Tom too big for my Hens?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by wolfie115, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. wolfie115

    wolfie115 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    So I had ordered some BBW's for a 4H project earlier this year. Auctioned two off and had one butchered for Thanksgiving. The ones we kept were the healthiest looking birds. Anyway we have 5 birds left, one tom and 4 hens, but lately we've noticed that 3 of our hens have large gashes on their sides. The tom is a big flirt and struts and gobbles all the time and we've seen him attempt to breed some of the hens from time to time. Is it possible that he's causing the gashes on the hens? One of the hens is mostly healed but the other two's are fresher and even larger. The hens lay down for him and we try to get them to stand up or get him off when he tries to breed them. We've felt his toenails and they weren't very sharp but I'm assuming its the weight. Has anyone had this happen before? I'd hate to have him butchered as I've really grown to like him. He's sweet and quite comical from time to time. I'm just not sure what to do about it. [​IMG]
     
  2. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    yes, I had it happen with the meat chickens. So I keep the roos by themself and if I wanna breed them I add the hens for a sort time and than remove them.
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would seperate them. The toms get too big to actually breed anyhow and they can really hurt the hens. Even with heritage turkeys, the hens can get injured from breeding. If you were planning to breed him to the hens later, you would need to do AI (artificial insemination).
     
  4. wolfie115

    wolfie115 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I'll see what I can do to separate him. It's gonna be kinda difficult since our birds are free-ranged but I'll try to figure something out. [​IMG]
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could make saddles for the hens, and in the spring he'll probably be too big to even try?
     
  6. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Toms get way to big and can actually slice so deeply into your hens as to kill them. When the hens squat we rub their backs under their wings and beside their tails all the while pushing the tom away. I still have two of my hens and three toms, but plan to take care of two more of the toms. Then I will separate the hens from my Big Boy. He doesn't try to mount them from behind. Instead he goes and stands over their heads. Not so bad, but way weird. Still I don't want him getting ontop of them and hurting them. If you want to breed pure BB birds you need to do AI. My husband keeps telling me I have to put the rest in the freezer, but Eva, Gracie and Big Boy are my favorites and I just want to keep them as long as I can. I'm considering either moving them into the duck/goose house or into one of the chicken coops. The problems are the poop door is too small for Big Boy in the chicken coop and George, the goose, is a snot with the turkeys sometimes. I'm almost thinking I should put George in with the two toms I plan on getting rid of. They are way hugh! One weighed 67lbs. over 5 weeks ago and the other isn't to far behind. Most of my other toms processed out over 50lbs. They may take the wind out of George's sails, but George also prevents people from going into the turkey yard without me. I saw George chase a guy to his truck and then chase the truck off the property two days before Thanksgiving. I was down the hill behind our barn processing turkeys when I heard a vehicle pull in and head up the hill. Thought it might be one of our constuction guys, so I washed my hands and started walking the 800 yards up there. I just got through the tree line when I saw a truck right next to my turkey fence(fence doesn't keep them in, but does keep George out). Then I saw the guy running with Georgie possibly attached. George flew backwards and the guy got into his truck. Truck spun out and tore off down the field (we have no driveway up to the house) with George, Sadie, Penelope, and Lucy half flying chasing behind. Not sure what the guy was doing, but he did look straight at me as he was leaving. Now if he came for eggs or a turkey I would have thought he would have stopped. Or if he came to see if he could do some work for us he would have stopped up at the house not 300 yards over and down the hill. He may have also gotten his butt kicked by one of the toms as they had some blood smeared on them too. At first I thought one of the boys had hurt a hen, but no injuries were found and no broken blood feathers. I dont think I would want to be on the other end of one of those bad boys attacks. The way they jump and spur at anything that makes them mad is a bit intimidating. Chester destroyed one of the grain scoops as it was pink and not the normal blue. I had hung it on the fence as I was cleaning up after the pig went to the freezer. He smashed it to smitherines. Thankfully they know I'm the top tommy. For our family they are just the sweetest and most loveable pets we could have though. Not even the sweetest chicken compares.
     

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