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Human/turkey socialization

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by wdoyle196, May 14, 2016.

  1. wdoyle196

    wdoyle196 Just Hatched

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    I need some advice. I have 5 poults I purchased from a hatchey as part of a barnyard pack (unsure of the breeds). They are about 6 weeks old and very friendly. I've hand raised them and When I go to their pen they run over all excited. Probably because I spoil them with treats. They allow me to pick them up and only complain a little if I try cuddling them. They had their first outdoor adventure last weekend and we realized we have two toms in the mix. They were adorable as they puffed up and strutted competing for dominance even at 6 weeks.

    So here's my question... I read somewhere that if I over handle the toms they will become aggressive towards humans. Is that true or is it best to keep handling them so it's easy for me to work with them later? I know toms like rooster can be aggressive regardless but I just want to know what the best course of action would be.

    Thanks
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    None of my toms are aggressive, I raise all my poults, makes them more friendly. Mine come when called and follow me everywhere. The roosters I don't handle, I like them wary of me, that way they don't think of me as part of the flock. Both species should be culled if they show aggression, and you need to be confident and unafraid around them.
     
  3. wdoyle196

    wdoyle196 Just Hatched

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    Thanks. I'm not afraid of my birds. I have one rooster than likes to test the limits with me, but I'm not afraid of him and I show him who's boss. I like my other two roosters being skidding around me, but the rooster that likes to test the waters with me I pick up and basically harras until he stay away from me out of fear I'd pick him up again. I don't hurt my rooster but I tuck him under my arm like a football and do chores with him. Touch his waddle and comb, play with his beak and feet, the fluff up the feathers around his neck. He hates it, but he tolerates it. Once I put him back down, he stays well away from me so I don't pick him up again.

    The turkeys however are new to me. I talk to them, give them treats, pet them, pick them up and over all handle them on a regular basis. I was reading an article one day and it said that if I over handled my toms that they would lose respect for my position in the pecking order and become super aggressive with people. I don't want to make a mistake with the turkeys. I love them and look forward to keeping 1 of the 2 toms with the 3 hens, but if I make a mistake and they turned out aggressive, I'd be sad. That's why I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing an injustice by constantly handling them.

    Thanks for your advice. I'm happy the article was incorrect. :)
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sometimes when my toms go through the first breeding season they get a bit cocky and don't want to move off, I do to them like I do to my roosters, I make them move, so maybe I go through the same dominance ritual with them too. There's something about a self assured male that makes me want to make sure he knows I'm boss, I don't hurt mine either, I like making them move or run from me. After they reach adults I never need to do anything with them. They are respectful and give way, but aren't terrified of me either. I just do what I've seen dominant males do. And I don't think turkeys turn mean, they either are that way or they are not.

    The author of the article probably had a Tom attack them so they just figured it was the handling without any real proof. It helps if you can read poultry body language and understand the behaviors of the birds so you don't trigger aggression.
     
  5. wdoyle196

    wdoyle196 Just Hatched

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    [​IMG]

    We had some time to play outside. At first I put them in a large pen to play in their own, but they kept making lost turkey calls until I came back. We then took them for a short walk. I'm a nervous momma. I was afraid they'd run off like the chicks but sure enough they stayed with me the entire time :)
     
  6. wdoyle196

    wdoyle196 Just Hatched

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    [​IMG]

    Full strut complete with spitting. It's so cute to watch him.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mine get pretty loud the first year too. They do that peeping a lot, so be prepared for hearing that. I will actually try to sneak around when mine are younger so they don't see me and start calling. They are goofs.
     
  8. wdoyle196

    wdoyle196 Just Hatched

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    When we first got them, they arrived with ducks. At first we kept them together until we realized how messy the ducks were. The first few nights after separating them, the turkeys kept making lost turkey calls. They missed the ducks. One turkey even flew over to be with them. We moved the turkey back and put a cover on the pen after a few days they were fine. Then we put the ducks in the duck house. The poults cried again. After a few days they settled and accepted the change.

    It seems silly, but I like the peeps and calls and puffs the turkeys make. They have a very intricate vocalization compared to my chickens and the ducks. I love to just sit and listen to them interact with us and with each other.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    They are a different kind of bird. They are very interactive and emotional. Sounds like you will also always have some turkeys.
     
  10. micah wotring

    micah wotring Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 9 bourbon reds (3 weeks old) and am planing on keeping them in a chicken tractor as soon as they can go outside.

    Question #1 When can you put them outside during the day.

    Question #2 When can you put them outside day and night?

    Question #3 Do they really follow you around to the point where you can let them out without worrying about them running off.

    I understand that it depends on the temp for the first two so here's some temps: 30-35 at night and 50-70 at day.
    I'm sure it will get warmer as time goes on but at what age can they stand these temps?

    Also, I know that the more you handle them the calmer they will be but what I was wandering is if the following is because they think you're their mom or because you give them treats. cuz I handle them at least once a day but they are still scared of me and I want them to follow me around but I don't have time to handle them lots.

    Any help is appreciated.

    MW
     

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