How many Toms should I keep to make sure all twelve Hens lay fertile eggs?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Celie, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 33 pure Holland White Heritage turkeys and I know at least a dozen are hens. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on, but I would like to ask people who actually raise turkeys rather than just people who write books, How many Toms will I need? A couple of books I have read says if you keep more than one in a single free range 5 acre pasture, the toms will fight and the eggs will not be fertile. Has anyone kept turkeys more than one year or kept as many as 12hens and if so, how many toms?
     
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am surprised no one has addressed this. Typically on this site you will read sex ratios of one male per five females. Some breeders have claimed as many as a dozen hens per tom. I only keep two toms and two or three hens each winter, so i have very low sex ratios.

    Usually I split my toms into two different pens until I have all the eggs I want. Then I put all the turkeys back into one pen to reduce the workload. The toms fight dramatically at first, and they both end up a bit bloody. Then they figure things out, heal up, and develop an understanding. Breeding does continue, eggs are fertile, and hens will pull off clutches after the toms are back together.

    If I were in your shoes trying to breed 12 hens in a single 5 acre pen, I would keep three toms. I'm sure they will work out the rankings in the spring, and you will get plenty of fertile eggs. Two will probably do the job, but with three you have a spare tom in case someone doesn't make it through the winter.
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I'm not sure what the "correct" answer is but from my experience I have had up to 40 turkeys at one time and out of those 40, I have had about 15 males. I never had any problems with infertile eggs. Never had any problems with vicious attacks or fighting between the boys. They bump each other's chest and dance around and peck a few times but never any blood shed. I ALWAYS ALWAYS keep at least 2 extra TOMs for "just in case". I currently have 5 toms and 15 hens and there are no problems.

    I would agree with Lagerdogger. I would keep 3 toms for 12 hens.
     
  4. frank53061

    frank53061 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a question for you sort of on subject and not I finally got some one to follow threw with a purchase of a Tom that she wants me to dispatch and have prosed for her to pick up Monday so I will have to do the Dispatching Sunday.
    I grew up on a Farm and this is not new to me but has been years.
    My question is do you take care of your own Dispatching sorry if you have
    stated this information before just wondering.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  5. fallchick57

    fallchick57 Out Of The Brooder

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    I AGREE, i USUALLY HAVE 4 OR 5 HENS PER MALE.
     
  6. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your great advise. It has been a big help.[​IMG]
     
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Yes, we do take care of our own dispatching.
     
  8. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do too, but if I could find a poultry processing plant, for next year, I would take orders from the fifty or so people who keep asking. I am too old to take on that many at home! When I was younger, like back in my 40's, I wouldn't blink twice, but now? [​IMG]
     

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