Did my tom kill his brood mate?


9 Years
Jun 26, 2012
Buckley, Wa
I have a flock of 5 bourbon reds. 7 months old 2 boys 3 girs. Out of the two Tom's one has always been more dominant. A couple days ago I saw the more submissive male hiding in the kennel where they sleep. He came out and was acting very submissive to the other tom more than normal. Head down, colors drab, he looked like a hen. I didn't see any injuries and the other tom was acting fine. Well I just got done feeding them and found the submissive tom dead in the kennel where they go to roost. I was thinking maybe something got a hold of him until I brought the body out. The other tom just hopped ontop penning him down. No injuries to the body but missing feathers on the back. I have seen the turkeys penn a duck once I had to chase them off. Did the tom kill the other? I feel bad if I knew he was in danger I would of removed him. But like I mentioned before I didn't see any injuries and the dominant tom was being nice.

The big question, is this normal or super aggressive behavior? Should I look for another tom? don't want to breed aggression. So far he is fine with me. BTW this is my first year with a heritage breed, I have raised broad bested for meat before. But they where always in freezer camp before they where 6 months.


7 Years
Oct 27, 2014
From what you have written, I don’t see any way to tell what your jake died of. Your description of his behavior that last day is typical of any bird that is dying. And it’s also typical for the rest of the flock to drive away or kill sickly members, so that’s not an indication of whether your remaining jake is overly aggressive. It sounds like he has a decent personality, so I wouldn’t worry about trying to replace him. I would probably keep an eye on all your birds for signs of illness, since you don’t know what really happened to the one jake.

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