Ever hear of a broody tom turkey?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Sunny Side Up, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    There's always something new to discover when you keep poultry...today my tom turkey, Wilson, has gone broody! [​IMG]

    Yeah, that was my reaction too when my boys came in from doing the chicken chores chuckling and shaking their heads.

    Some chicken hens have been laying eggs in the big wooden dog house where Wilson sleeps and today he was hunkered down over them. My son said that when he tried to make Wilson come out that the bird puffed up his feathers and hissed at him. Just the way the turkey hens do when they've gone broody.

    What would you do? I'm reluctant to let Wilson continue setting these eggs. Hens are designed by nature to set for weeks with no ill effects. I'm afraid that Wilson's health will suffer if he doesn't eat or walk around as much as he should. Although I sure am curious to see if he really would set until they hatched, and if he would tend to the chicks. He's just so big and klutzy, I think he'd make scrambled eggs before he'd make chicks.
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey Sunny Side Up I have no experience with Turkeys but find your current predicament with Wilson very intriguing.

    Can you get some pictures? I would love to see him!

    I would be curious too as to whether he would sit until they hatched.

    Please do keep us updated on what he does and/or on what you decide to do.
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Here's Wilson setting in the corner of his house, and below puffing up his feathers while hissing "Go away!" We put an end to his project this morning and he's been strutting around the yard as usual, seemingly unaffected by our interference. (We ate the eggs for breakfast!) I didn't want to risk his health, fearing the long days of setting could bother his legs, that the low feed intake would weaken him. Our last tom had an injury to one leg and it really affected his overall well-being. But at least I have the photos to remember this incident!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Aaaw, he is adorable!

    Thank you for sharing .. I love the puffed up egg protecting picture!

    I totally understand the decision you made, risking his health on a whim is probably not a good option.

    Is he a Dad already? If not, hopefully he can be one day, I am sure he would make a good one [​IMG]
     
  5. mich9510

    mich9510 Chillin' With My Peeps

    498
    91
    126
    Jul 21, 2016
    Southwest PA
    I think that is adorable. I didn't know that Toms went broody. Is that normal?
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    While I know there are species of birds whose males set eggs and tend chicks, I don't know if this is normal for domestic turkeys. Wilson has never done this before, neither did the other tom I had.

    Wilson has fathered poults already, but I usually keep the hen and poults in a separate pen until the little ones have grown. The hens do a good job of tending to their babies, I don't think the toms would contribute much that isn't already being done. Wilson once did kill a half-grown turkey hen when he tried to mate with her... [​IMG] ...squashed her beneath his bulgy body. That's another reason why I doubted his capability to incubate and tend to chicks.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,693
    4,377
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Some male domestic turkeys will participate in the care of poults. My oldest Tom looks out for them. I haven't heard of a Tom setting eggs though. It's possible he's trying to draw in hens to his nest, but than decided to stay. Turkeys can come up with some goofy ideas sometimes.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,798
    6,931
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hopes more turkey keepers chime in here....am curious.
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    So this morning I noticed a big "broody poop" in the yard and asked my boys, who were doing the chicken chores, "who did this?" and they said "Wilson!" They said that he's still been setting in the corner of his house, even though we had removed the eggs from there. There was a plastic tumbler in that corner and he's been setting on that. I asked the boys if they'd seen Wilson strutting around or fanning out his tail the way he usually does. They said no, that he has been following the two turkey hens around and gobbling with them. I imagine him saying "hey girls, let's perch somewhere and talk about our feelings!"
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,693
    4,377
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Poor boy sounds confused.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by