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Help! Tom is shredding hens.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by warcard, May 19, 2009.

  1. warcard

    warcard Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    My Blue Slate Tom is causing some serious damage to my hens. I had a girl come up limping yesterday and I grabbed her to check her out, she's got a quarter+ size hole in her side that you can get a finger up to a knuckle in! And its old and smelly! [​IMG]

    I checked my other girls and they are all (2 other hens) showing damage.

    Can I trim his spurs? They don't seem any longer than last year. How do I do it? Husband is talking dremel.

    Could he be too fat? How would I tell?

    Two of the girls including the severely injured one are Blue Slates, one is a Royal Palm. Last year I got the RP a saddle because she lost alot of feathers but she didn't get the wounds like this year.

    He is now separated from the girls.

  2. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Crowing

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    Turkey saddle?
    Maybe you could trim his spurs then glue little rubber bumpers on them or something
  3. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    You can trim them with a hacksaw but you have to be careful not to take too much off or you will get some serious bleeding. I have not tried it and the turkey will freak out but you could probably grind the points down with a hand grinder.
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    It is not the spurs that is shredding the hens. I would trim the inside toe nails on the tom. An example is to hold your hands out flat and on the Tom it would be the toes where your thumb is.
    That is the ones he is using to hold on and slipping off of her which is cutting the hens. You can only make or buy turkey saddles.
    We have seen that problem when the Tom is too big for the hens or too many toms fighting with each other as one is trying to mate. Use a dog toe nail clipper and trim it like you would the dogs.
    Good luck,
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  5. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Quote:I would neosporin the wounds as well.
    Darn Toms!!!
  6. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    I just learned something new. I have not had any problems with turkey hens getting their sides torn up but did have a rooster with long spurs that I had to saw the spurs down on to stop the damage to my hen chickens. I never would have blamed it on the toenails with those big spurs sticking out there on the gobblers.
  7. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    y blue slates free range and as a result some of my hens fly over the pasture fence and we have a neighbor dog that likes to get after them. I DO NOT clip wings unless absolutely necessary because the toms DO shred them up bad. Sharon is right though, it's their toenails NOT their spurs doing the damage. I do a visual inspection everyday while we are in the pasture to make sure there isn't any damage because last year I had a couple hens whose ribs were exposed from toms doing damage. Clean the wound thoroughly and spray blu kote on it and keep the tom AWAY from the hen. Also watch for flies and maggots in the wound, that will cause you real problems.

  8. Cut/file them then mix some 5 minute epoxy with some fine sawdust to make a "clay" hold the bird and apply until the epoxy hardens. You can form it as it starts to harden.
  9. kingmt

    kingmt Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Mason WV
    Quote:Wouldn't maggots be a good thing? Maybe gross but since they eat infected dead meat it should help it heal faster.
  10. warcard

    warcard Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    Thanks everyone! Once DH's back feels better we will catch Thumper again and give him a manicure. He is currently leading the lonely life while I give the girls a break. His breast feathers needed a break anyway [​IMG]

    After the manicure how long should I wait before putting him back with Amy & Elizabeth? They just had some minor punctures and I have applied wound cream. Shelly is segregated and I am keeping a close eye on her, I hope she makes it, she is my splash female. Her feathers weren't even ruffled like Elizabeth's (RP) are, my first clue she had a problem was the limp. I will be watching them much more carefully now. I wish I could remember who I bought the turkey saddle from [​IMG]

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