Do Hens fan out their tails?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by jlgoinggreen, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. jlgoinggreen

    jlgoinggreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2009
    South Central PA
    We have two Bourbon Red Turkey hens (or at least we think they are hens). We were told the males will puff up and fan their tails, but the females wouldn't. The ones we think are females also look different. Their wattles are not as big as the rest and they don't have the long snood our males have. The rest of our turkeys we are positive are males because they have been puffing out and spreading their tails for some time now, plus they have the huge wattles and the long snood hanging down the side of their face. The ones we think are females have never opened their tail fans, but today they did. Is this normal for females?
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Hens fan their tails (parallel to the ground/0°) most often when there is an aerial pred. (look bigger/less tempting) about. They also display for brief periods when hassling with either other hens or toms. Ours can hold their rectrices unfurled and at about 45° for a bit longer (attacking the cat, etc.). Have never seen ours extend rectrices at 90° (perpendicular to ground like a displaying tom) for any more than a minute - opossum was circling their temp. chain link dog run digs (all jennies and jakes were at 90°, don't know how long they could have kept it up because I shot the opossum).

    Female poult hassling mother:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  3. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    My Midget White hens do all the time. It is so funny.
  4. jlgoinggreen

    jlgoinggreen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2009
    South Central PA
    Thank you for your replies. We were starting to worry if they were actually late blooming males although their head and face look entirely different than our males and although they are all the same age they are much smaller. We were told that females didn't fan their tails at all. Glad to know they do and our hens are actually hens.
  5. SED

    SED Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    North West Alabama
    The best way to tell the BR hens are by the color of their feathers. The males will have a thin black edging in their feathers and the hens will have a thin white edging on theirs. To me, it was most evident on their chest feathers.
  6. geepy

    geepy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    I have a hen that will strut (fan her tail), and also gobble. The hens won't hold the strut as long as the toms. If yours looks different and is smaller it sounds like it's a hen.
  7. Diane00

    Diane00 New Egg

    Feb 24, 2013
    I know these are old posts,but thanks for the info.I just had my hen corner the dog in his house with her tail fanned out.I was beginning to question her gender,lol
  8. Allyssa13522

    Allyssa13522 New Egg

    Mar 18, 2013
    the hens are usually smaller than toms. They do not fan their trails out.
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2008
    Yes they do, my hen Wimpy fans her tail out and struts when she wants to get at my duck, who annoys her from afar. lol

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