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Can turkey toms be safely allowed around poults?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by turkeysdofart, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. turkeysdofart

    turkeysdofart New Egg

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    Mar 12, 2015
    I have a Broad Breasted Bronze hen setting on nine eggs which are due to begin hatching anytime. The tom, a Bourbon Red, occupies the same pen. I have checked online and can't find out if he is a danger to the poults. Does anyone know if it's safe to keep him in the same pen with a hen and poults? I know my rooster has been a sweetheart around chicks, but I've never gone through the same situation with turkeys.

    Oddly, she (Sophia) has continued laying eggs after beginning to set, which surprised me as my chickens have never done that. She accidently broke 3 eggs (learning curve, she was born last spring) in the beginning, but has continued to lay more eggs and is doing a marvelous job at present. I've made a wooden pen/nest large enough to allow her to nest comfortably and include the food and watering containers once the poults are 3 days old. I originally built one to help keep the chips deep enough so she wouldn't break her eggs, then saw online that I was doing the right thing, but needed to make it bigger to hold the chicks for a few days as well as their food and water feeders.

    I'm happy to have any imput from people who have had similar experiences.
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    It is unlikely that your hen broke any of the eggs. What is very likely is that the tom broke the eggs while trying to mate with the hen when she was sitting on the nest. It is not a good idea to keep the tom in the same pen with a hen that is on a nest. The tom will take the fact that the hen is sitting down as an invitation to breed. The unwanted breeding attempt can at the least lead to broken eggs and an injured hen and at the worst can lead to a dead hen.

    Keeping a tom in the same pen as newly hatched and even growing poults can work out very good or it can result in disaster. Toms that have been doting fathers can just as quickly turn into poult killers in the blink of an eye without any warning.
     
  3. turkeysdofart

    turkeysdofart New Egg

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    Thank you R2elk. You're probably right about the broken eggs and considering how the tom goes crazy over minor things, I'd not be surprised if he injured the poults either purposely or accidently. I'm likely going to have to transfer him to my freezer as I don't have any other pen for him. Thank you for your response, I really appreciate.
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    What you may want to consider is to take the poults as they hatch and move them to a brooder. I have closely observed BB hens and heritage hens. BB hens do not move their feet delicately like heritage hens with poults. The heritage hens do a very careful slide type step being very careful to not step on the poults. The BB hens do not do this and can and do step on poults squishing them. It isn't that they don't want to be good mothers just that they cannot move their feet delicately.

    If you make the enclosure around the nest small enough that the tom can't get in there and you brood the poults yourself you may not have to send your tom to freezer camp.
     
  5. turkeysdofart

    turkeysdofart New Egg

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    Thank you again R2elk for sharing such good information about the difference between BB hens and heritage hens. I'll take your advice and try to get the poults as they hatch into a brooder I have standing ready. Your info is a great help.
     

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