Having a turkey tom??

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by 22lilchickens, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. 22lilchickens

    22lilchickens Chirping

    Oct 3, 2014
    I have a bourbon red hen because she was the only one that survived out of 4, But we would like to have a tom too. But i'm worried about him becoming aggressive. Is there anything I can do to keep him from becoming aggressive??
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    My toms are never aggressive to people. The way I accomplish this is to make sure that I do not allow the turkeys to imprint on me. I want them to know that there is a difference between people and turkeys. Unfortunately for a lot of people, doing it my way means never making pets of your turkeys.
  3. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chirping

    May 31, 2013
    Middle Tennessee
    Perhaps we've been lucky, but we currently have 6 toms and all have been hand-raised with regular human interaction and none have become aggressive. Our females, however not aggressive, are not one bit interested in being petted or held with the exception of one girl we kept inside longer just because she was super cute and friendly.
  4. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Songster

    May 14, 2014
    E Washington
    Yep. I don't spend time around them when they're young. Of course I don't let them into my house or care to hand-feed them either.

    I've never had a turkey get aggressive. Now I wish I could say the same about this spunky little sebright rooster that bushwhacks me every time I turn around [​IMG]
  5. JonathanL23

    JonathanL23 Chirping

    Nov 20, 2014
    Turkeys can be like guard dogs i had a tom 5 years ago and never attacked me but my brother who never went to the barn went to collect chicken eggs one day and came face to face with him, the tom chased him out of the barn lol.
  6. chickenchick99

    chickenchick99 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    I just got a young Tom (approx 20 weeks old) two weeks ago to pair with my two females (will he mate with both??) and he seems friendly enough. I also am not sure how to ensure he remains friendly toward people.
    My two hens (approx 30 weeks old) were the only two that survived out of a clutch that was abandoned by their mother. My neighbour passed them to me over the fence at one month old and they lived in our house for months. The eat out of my hands and one loves to be petted. I'm hoping that the Tom follows suit.
    Oh, and the hens make more noise than the dogs when strangers come to visit!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  7. chickenchick99

    chickenchick99 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Update, my Tom is acting quite aggressive towards me. He trills and rushes up to me every time I go into the barn. I now have to carry a stick every time I go into the barn. Is there anything I can do?
  8. WalnutHill

    WalnutHill Crowing

    Mar 16, 2014
    SE Michigan
    You need to show him who is boss, without being mean, and reinforce it. Or you need to dispatch him after gathering some fertile eggs.

    At night when he is roosting, wearing heavy protective gear including a hat, safety goggles, long heavy zipped up farm coat, and high cuff gloves, remove him from the roost while wrapping your arm around his wings and body. If he is a heritage breed, it won't be so hard. On light breeds, I will hold them by the shanks and let them hang for up to a minute while talking to them and stroking them. In this position, you are in control. Another option, necessary for broad breasted turkeys to prevent injury, is to set him on the floor at night and press on his shoulders until he sits. Again talk to him and stroke him. It may take several days of handling to get him used to it. He probably won't like it, but properly dressed and held down he can't hurt you with his claws, spurs, or wing primaries. Just watch his beak so that he doesn't get near your face. I can pick up my toms any time, anywhere, with no complaints because I handled them a lot. The one I raised from an egg and the one I bought at 18 weeks behave the same.

    In the daytime between "attitude adjustments", feed treats away from the barn, in your territory. When the hens come to you, he will likely follow even though he may not partake. Once he figures out your hens like you better than him, and that you are bigger and stronger than him, and that you are not a threat to him or his harem's safety, he should calm down. If not, you will have to do away with him for your safety.

    Good luck!
  9. chickenchick99

    chickenchick99 In the Brooder

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Thank you SO much for taking the time! My husband randomly does this to him during the day (just picks him up and handles him) but he's a big guy!
    He does follow when the hens (mostly chickens - the hangs with them and one of my turkey hens - the other is busy raising two chicken chicks that she hatched!) when they run to me for treats and he takes treats from me all the time.

    It never occurred to me that he thinks he's trying to keep his harem safe, as my girls are spoiled and follow me everywhere

    How do I tell if he is being aggressive towards me or if he thinks I'm something to mate with? This all started one day when I was sitting on the porch - he had only ever saw me standing - and he started to come up to me and make a trilling sound and rubbed the back of his head on his neck/back.
    Is there some sort of turkey communication manual out there?
    Oh, and if this works, how do I keep my kids safe? They are 8 and 9 yrs old and he has chased them both. He got too close for their comfort, they ran and he chased. Now I can't send my kids into the barn to collect eggs etc because I am new all this and not sure what's going on. I put him out of the barn each morning and now he and the chickens stay at the back of the property whereas everyone had free run and were always at my doorstep and greeted me when I got out of the car. I miss that, but not the stepping in chicken/turkey poop at my front door part :)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  10. inioluwa

    inioluwa Chirping

    Oct 23, 2013
    Pls I need help I have 10 hens and 1 tom they are now 8months old but they haven't start laying and I do feed them with layers mash

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