Hen suddenly died, need help with Tom. Update: New Friend!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Arielle, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    While out doing chores this morning, I finally saw the tom and hen in a new dance. I had wondered if they were mating, if so it has been very secretive, unlike the roosters! So I kept an eye on them. Suddenly she is in a fright, smashing and flapping up against the fencing of her pen. This commotion sent my horses racing, startled by the sudden
    frantic loud flapping. Next she is on the ground upside down gasping. I stepped into the pen to right her; she lay gasping. So I picked her up carefully and sat down cradling and supporting her. In less than 5 minutes she was gone. Reviewing the circumstances, IMO, she broke her neck.

    And the Tom is alone. I don't know which is my best option to give him company.

    1) Put him in with 2 month old BBW, both hens and toms?

    2) Give him 1 or 2 of the BBW hens to keep?

    3) Free range with the chickens during the day (blackhead apparently isn't a problem here)?

    His pen is 5x 6. I had just bought the pair 6 weeks ago, and getting ready to let them free range during the day. House is a large plastic dog crate with 2 grated windows.

    This is beyond my scope of experience; your opinion would be helpful. THank you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ouch! Sorry about your hen.

    I would move a hen in with the tom rather than move the lone tom in with a bunch of other turkeys. Newcomers are often not well received. You could try it, but keep an eye on the situation for a while. By moving just one bird in with the tom, who wants company anyway, there is probably less of a chance of serious picking.

    Then I would start shopping around for another BR hen and get her in there ASAP. Sounds like a freak accident that is not likely to reoccur.
     
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks Lagerdogger, she was a nice hen. Not overly friendly, but any one could go in their pen safely. ANd while she had slowed down on giving eggs, I have collected them all since getting her. 9 poults hatched this week are in the brooder with another dozen eggs in the incubator.Just testing the incubator [​IMG]
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I put one of the BBW hens in with Thomas at dusk; he immediately started to lord over her and peck her into submission. SHe didn't know what to think. She tried to escape him, by walking away. He persued. I caught her and put her back with her own group.

    Will just have to find him some girls.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whatever you put in with him, it might be better to temporarily move him to another pen for the introduction. That way the newcomer won't be in 'his' territory.

    I don't know if she broke her neck, it's also possible that she had a heart attack. Turkeys have high blood pressure and sometimes it doesn't take much. Either way, I am sorry for your loss!
     
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Whatever you put in with him, it might be better to temporarily move him to another pen for the introduction. That way the newcomer won't be in 'his' territory.

    I don't know if she broke her neck, it's also possible that she had a heart attack. Turkeys have high blood pressure and sometimes it doesn't take much. Either way, I am sorry for your loss!

    Thanks Frosty! Heritage breeds are hard to come by; spent a few hours searching web and craig's list . . . one good lead. Not sure if NPIP.

    Leaves me back at the BBW's for company; thanks for the details on putting them together!


    Heart attack would fit too. Just not sure why Thomas's amourous attention sent her into a panic.​
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I gave him a few days alone, providing the usual treats and the young hens continued to gather in a favorite place near him.

    THen oddly yeaterday, when my DH drove in the yard all the BBW got excited and the boys strutted their stuff--I had way more boys than I thought! some of the toms look more like hens! Small snood, neck coloring and features of a hen! I bet I put a tom in with THomas!

    I made a note of which were hens and later at dusk, carried a hen up to Thomas's pen. Immediately, they were friendly. [​IMG]
     

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