Do I keep my toms apart during mating season?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Bob_1109, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Bob_1109

    Bob_1109 New Egg

    Dec 22, 2008
    I have Narraganset and Bourbon red turkeys. One big Narraganset Tom with two hens, then I have three BR toms with four hens. They are dancing all around and getting ready to mate. This is my first year to do Turkeys and I am worried the Narraganset who seems to be kicking the other toms butt is gonna do all the mating.

    Should I be worried? I don't want cross breeding and I have them free ranging for now. If I start to separate them I am guessing I will have new problems with them wanting to be together as they have been.

    I don't really know too much since this is my first year with Turkeys that naturally breed.

    I am gonna build their nesting boxes tomorrow in the barn where there feed is. I would hope that works out but I am trying to keep them as free range as possible.

    I think the 50gal barrel idea is good for nesting in the pasture, but I am really close to predators. I have fence but the barn seems safer.
  2. mothergoose

    mothergoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2007
    Chebanse, Illinois
    We let our turkeys all run together through the winter and then seperate them for breeding season. We have never had any trouble seperating or reintroducing them later in the year either.
    Christie [​IMG]
  3. Bob_1109

    Bob_1109 New Egg

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thanks, looks like I have a busy day planned for tomorrow getting ready for them to do their thing. They sure are cool to watch.
  4. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    One thing I have found happens with the hens is they sneak off to nest... I spent countless hours studying my hens last year when they came home to eat. They would mosey off in general direction but took their time. If they saw me outside they would not leave the yard! I hid behind trees..
    The trick is to find them and their nest before the predators do! I know wild turkeys have to live out there but I do not want to lose my hens!
    One hen did lay in bushes next to the house and hatchd out 11 babies! I took them away and raised them in a brooder. She is a bronze and the toms were bronze and sweetgrass. She mated with both.
    The offspring are bronze, sweetgrass, royal palm, buff, bourbon and one white one! I personally like the sweetgrass ones. If you have never seen them they are like a royal palm but have the browns mixed in with the black..Gorgeous...
    If yours cross you will get some interesting colors....
  5. Bob_1109

    Bob_1109 New Egg

    Dec 22, 2008
    I wonder should I encourage them to lay inside the barn or provide a place outside?

    I have plenty of room it is just a matter of deciding if I should let em roam or pen them up. I really don't want to loose a hen or the eggs. I spoil them too much I suppose by letting them roam around and roost where they please. Now I am gonna need to decide rather to not spoil them or pen them up seperate from the others. The main fence has been good enough so far to keep predators away but I can see that it is not 100% full proof protection.

    I am open to suggestions. I prefer all natural behavior but the risk may be too much.

    They have been roosting at night in an apple tree mostly but if I separate them I will need to provide roosting that they really don't like. Is this OK or am I being too soft?

    Thanks all-
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:If you don't seperate them you will have mixed birds, we have 6 breeds of turkeys and at no time during the year do they run together. each breed has their own fenced in area. Ours all lay in the chicken houses, we built 18 inch square nest boxes for them and that is where they lay.

    Steve in NC
  7. Bob_1109

    Bob_1109 New Egg

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thanks, it was a rough day getting them apart and figuring out nest boxes. I gave em both half the pasture. The big Tom Narg and his two hens got the apple tree and the BRs got the Ole Barn.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009

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