Help! My turkey got killed by wild turkeys!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by olijo123, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. olijo123

    olijo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    5
    71
    Jun 10, 2013
    WV
    Hi! My turkey died last Friday. He was a one year old blue slate gobbler and he was the only turkey we had. We were going to get him a hen but he didn't make it that far. He was just a pet and we loved him so much! We found him stranded from the flock plucked of every feather he had (looked like he was ready for Thanksgiving dinner) and had a huge cut under his wing along with other small injuries. He was walking but falling down, and I picked him up and carried him into a pen we have. He had bugs in his wounds and was in a lot of pain. We made an extremely difficult decision to shoot him and put him out of his misery. He would have died a slow death anyway, so we thought it was best. We looked in the woods to see what could have done this to him, and we found all his feathers. There was snow on the ground, so all the tracks that were there was turkey tracks. We had evidence it was wild turkeys because they have been hanging around a lot and we found a turkey beard that was not his. We would love to get another turkey gobbler along with some hens, but after this happening I am hesitant. Has anybody ever had this problem? What did you do to solve it? Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    67,541
    20,858
    886
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Wild toms will defend their hens and territory. The solution is to not allow domestics to mingle with wild birds.
     
  3. olijo123

    olijo123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    5
    71
    Jun 10, 2013
    WV
    Yes, we would separate them but our poultry free ranges. So I don't know what to do! Thanks!
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    67,541
    20,858
    886
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Another reason for separation is to cut down on the possibility of disease transmission and crossbreeding. I once saw a silver colored hen in a flock of wild turkeys - most likely a crossbred.
     
  5. TurkenItUp209

    TurkenItUp209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have enough land to let some hunters shoot some of the turkeys this spring? If not you'll have to fully enclose your run. My turkeys are enclosed, and I still have wild birds that come to investigate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  6. tairis

    tairis Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    22
    Jul 18, 2013
    I am so sorry to hear about your tom. We have one female turkey that follows us around the yard and "supervises" our work. She also will not roost up for the night until all the chickens and guineas have done so and stays by the stragglers until they go to bed, so to speak. I do understand how you can attached to the critters!

    That being said, I am wondering if a raptor such as a hawk, didn't actually make the attack and the other turkeys might have then taken advantage of the wounded animal situation. We have seen those types of slices on our guineas a couple of times, when they were attacked by an owl at night (they insist on roosting in the cedar trees rather than going under cover. That being said, I don't know about turkeys, but chickens will certainly take advantage of a fresh wound situation, as many of us have seen.

    Just a thought....you might be looking at more of a raptor attack.
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    184
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Have to agree, that it is unlikely to be turks. Could have been he was sparring with Wild toms (was his head/caruncles cut up? usual sparring wounds), lost the duel(s) and was exhausted and a prime candidate for some other pred. Have watched 24hr. straight sparring in domestics & leisurely 6 hr. tag team sparring matches of wilds (clearing visible from kitchen window) and have only seen one death. An old, wild, gobbler in the middle of the fray simply collapsed and didn't move again. The other jakes and toms beaked the carcass a few times and, acting somewhat spooked, moved off twenty yards, or so, and continued their tribulations. We checked the dead tom later, it was obvious he went down owing to an infarct. I'm with sourland on the separation, as well. We have a pretty high density of the Easterns, most years. We keep our turks in a run (only way to be sure - fence post in shot is limit of our guy's run). [​IMG] Sorry for your loss, these guys can `grow on one'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  8. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

    666
    26
    173
    Jan 8, 2008
    S.W. TN
    I had a blue slate hen leave her mate and join a flock of wild turkeys two years ago. [​IMG] Saw her again this year as they ran across the road a couple miles from my house. I am surprised she has made it. Now my turkeys are in a covered run.

    I doubt the wild turkeys plucked your bird and I am sorry for your loss.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by