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Is my turkey Tom pulling chickens feathers???

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chooksramazing, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. chooksramazing

    chooksramazing Hatching

    Oct 22, 2016
    First time forum poster...long time chicken keeper/lover [​IMG]
    I have an issue that I can't solve, I'm sure there's lots of advice to be found here.
    I have a turkey Tom who is in a pen/run with 6 chickens. Two of the chickens have bald spots on their backs, getting worse and I'm hoping VERY much that the Tom isn't the culprit. If he was mounting, they wouldn't be alive right? He was put with the girls at about 12 weeks (still peeping but fully feathered of course) and I have never seen him take interest apart from chasing away from the best scraps or the occasional peck - again re food scraps. They are fed very well, pellets, scratch, veggies, tuna etc. I really don't want to have to seperate the two girls but I don't want cannabalism to start. They are all very healthy, wormed etc. Absolutely no mites, clear eyes, beaks etc. Please help, Any advice would be fantastic!

  2. chooksramazing

    chooksramazing Hatching

    Oct 22, 2016
  3. chooksramazing

    chooksramazing Hatching

    Oct 22, 2016
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome! Great to have you in our community. I think an amorous Tom might well attempt to mount a hen chicken. That would certainly explain the feather loss on the backs of the hens. You don't have a rooster in the batch as well, do you? That's what the symptoms you are desribing sounds like. You might also post over in the turkey forum here https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/20/turkeys
    They may know more about this. If he is trying to mate with the hens it can't be good for them I wouldn't thin. Best wishes. :)
  5. chooksramazing

    chooksramazing Hatching

    Oct 22, 2016
    Thanks redsoxs - greetings from Melbourne, Australia [​IMG]
    No rooster with the girls and tobias (Tom), I am going out to sneak a peek in the coop to see whether the two balding chickens may be sitting on the next perch down from him. Just a thought? Thanks a lot for your reply, I will try the turkey threads also [​IMG]
  6. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    I've never raised turkeys but have heard a tom will try to mate with a female chicken. Even if they have been raised together, eventually those old hormones will kick in. Posting on the turkey forum is a good idea...in the meantime, I'd remove the tom from the hens (and maybe get him a turkey girlfriend?).

    Good luck to you, thanks for joining us!
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Crowing

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Are your hens possibly molting? Mine get bare patches on their backs when they molt; it looks almost exactly the same as when they've been "overzealously bred".... They will sit and yank all their own feathers out, if that's the case.

    My turkeys are separate from the chickens, but I have seen more aggression from my top female than the tom. He's just a showoff, but she does some serious pecking if any of the hens get trapped by their feed buckets. But I still have not ever seen any feathers flying during one of those incidents.

    Curious to see what you find out ;)

  8. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! You have gotten some good advice, and I do recommend that link to the Turkey page. Good luck figuring out what is up with the hens!
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Turkeys toms can easily kill chicken hens - due to their size alone. Your tom needs to have a hen turkey NOW. Or else pen him safely away from your chickens. A BYC friend of mine had a chicken killed right in front of her by her Tom turkey. We all voted him as dinner but, she insisted on keeping him.

    Drake ducks can also kill chicken hens - duck anatomy is very different than a chickens. It's not fair to the chickens

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