Keeping a female turkey with no males; will she lay fertile eggs, or run off with wild turkey toms?


7 Years
Nov 19, 2012
I have Bourbon Red turkeys, two toms and one female. They were raised together as chicks and now the males are due for a meeting with a Thanksgiving platter, but my mother (the one who wanted the turkeys in the first place) doesn't want to butcher the female, especially now that she has a nest of fertile eggs she started this week.

My concern is that once the toms are gone, the wild turkey toms and hens will steal her. She's always seemed quite alone and very attention-seeking because she doesn't have any fellow females, and I've caught her nestling up close to the wild hens when they come into my farm. Our toms always kept her from leaving with them (they aren't too suave with the ladies, the wild hens move away when they see those two "ugly" toms coming). It took a decent while for the poor guys to figure the whole breeding thing out... they'd step with all their weight on the hen's head when she laid down and end up startling her into standing up.

I heard of something called parthenogenesis; does that mean she could lay fertile eggs like a Komodo dragon by herself every year? How do I keep her in the yard, should we start caging her or clipping her wings so she can't get over the fences? She doesn't roost in trees like the other turkeys... always buddies up with our Rhodes, Americanas, and Astrolorp hens at night in their designated makeshift coop we fashioned from a horse stall. I don't think she realizes she's a turkey, she follows people, my dog, cat, and chickens rather than hang out with our toms that much, they run after her all the time. No way in heck are we getting more toms, I'm absolutely done with them attacking the dog and kids, and sneaking up behind me to get a hiss and kick on me before I turn around -_- I have two five-inch scratches already.


11 Years
Jan 12, 2010
Your hen will not lay fertile eggs without a tom to help make them that way after so many days, the eggs would not be fertile anymore. parthenogenesis; would be a rare occurrence so I wouldn't put any stake or value in that possibility.

I've never had any issues with my toms being aggressive. So I can tell you that they are not all that way. Get a tom and another hen or two to keep everyone happy.

If there are other turkeys in the area (wild) and you have no turkeys at home, she may seek out their company. They are like herd animals.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom