Killer Turkey?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Sjisty, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    May 18, 2009
    Brooksville
    This afternoon when I went outside to collect eggs, my turkey (4-month-old tom) was standing on top of one of my light Brahma pullets (about 6 months old). He was slamming his beak into her repeatedly. She was on her side, and I thought she was dead. I picked her up and discovered she was alive. She's now in the house lying by the fireplace. She seems to be okay. I can't find any injuries, but I'm guessing she was in shock because she didn't move for a while. Right now she is standing up and eating, so I have my fingers crossed that she will be okay.

    Is this normal turkey behavior? She is not a new addition, he has grown up with her and the other chickens. Do I need to keep him separate from the chickens now? If so, he will be going to freezer camp real soon!
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Do you have any other turkeys? A four month old jake is a pretty hormonal fellow (about the time jakes start to spar with one another for extended periods). The chook was, like a rancher knocked down by a male calf that paws the ground and makes a charge, probably too close and not paying attention.

    We keep our turks and chooks in separate runs. They free range together but, as we have more than one tom and they do, every so often, get into snood stretching knock down drag-outs, the potential for accidental injury of the chooks is sufficient reason to keep them on opposite sides of the fence.

    Our chook hens were brooded and raised with a BBB jake, when the Royals and Slates showed up the chook hens let them know they were on the bottom rung. If the turks get too close the hens stand tall, extend their neck feathers ( in the best imitation of the the roo they can manage) and, with a growl, charge and chase the turks away.

    I'd move the jake out. If he goes after the chooks with a purpose, when you free range them together, then, yes, maybe he'd be safer on a sandwich.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  3. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Lurkey is our only turkey. He was hatched and raised with the chickens, but I will be keeping a close watch on him now.
     
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I have both chickens & turkeys together for a long time & nothing like that has never happened. I've never had only 1 turk though. Maybe get Lurkey a friend or 2?
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  6. chseeads

    chseeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Bloomington, Indiana
    I had a turkey named Lurkey. He was one of my first turkeys I got as a kid. Had him till he died of old age/natural causes.


    My chickens and turkeys will ocassionally fight and spar, but no one has ever been deathly wounded.
     
  7. KrisRose

    KrisRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    I had to pull one of my hens out from under my turkeys. They were mashing her into the ground by stepping on her.
    She did'nt seem hurt though. Only diff between her and rest of chickens is that she was egg bound/internal layer and did'nt move as fast as rest of hens.
    The turkeys were young- 3 jakes about 4 to 5 months old and a younger hen. They do seem to pester the chickens once in awhile.
     
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    I agree with Ivan that turkeys go through stages, and a 4-month old can start feeling his power since the hormones have kicked in. It's pretty hard to keep an eye on them all the time, so I think if you want to be on the safe side you may want to separate him. It's just not fair once the turkey gets a size advantage over the chickens. My young turkeys have started getting to that feisty age when they want to "play" fight and I know it's just a matter of time before their play gets more seriuos. It's natural for them as they grow up. My 3 year old tom is very tame and doesn't 'play' or 'fight' anymore with the others, but he's so big that he gets to eat first and be king bird if he wants to.
     
  9. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    i'll go with the separate him and get him a friend group... our turks go after our hens with death in their eyes.... so the hens have learned to stay away.

    good luck!
     

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