Knock down Drag outs! Is this severity of fights normal???

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Ravenworks71, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Ravenworks71

    Ravenworks71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2010
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    I have endured fights before, but today was a 5 hour endurance battle for the Turkeys and me. I have two standard Bronze. They are about 8 mo. old. My hen is already laying eggs. ( Her redeeming quality after today). Today started with the normal trilling and cooing, then neck wrapping like Giraffes. This soon escalated to the chest bumping/ slashing, wing bashing, throat and snood pulling, drag you all over the yard and into plants and fence posts...run your face through the hardware cloth, pin your face in the ground, knock down the lady with the food bucket, run over some chickens who were having a dust bath,....stop....pant...bleed....stare at each other...then start all over again. I separated them several times, they just continued to do it through the fences, even after dark! Now I'm worried that I will have to send the Tom to freezer camp. I love him dearly, and neither have shown aggression towards us. These guys fall asleep in our laps and it will just kill me to have to do one of them in. I wanted to keep them as a pair in the hopes of poults in the spring. However, I think this is beyond a lovers quarrel. Is anyone out there experiencing the same sort of aggression? Is it because I only have two?Should I have more than one hen? Will this pass?

    Please, any idea's on what I should do would be appreciated. I'm a noob to raising Turkeys, and never thought I would love them as much as I do, but now I'm not so sure what I signed up for.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is normal for my young toms to fight like that. They seem to outgrow it some. I always say young toms don't make the best breeders because all they do is fight instead of getting down to buisness. Ther second year they seem to be better. I have never had one die from these fights. When breeding season is over they will calm down again.
     
  3. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I read the OP correctly, this is a tom and hen fighting. In my limited experience that is unusual.

    Are the two of them also mating?
     
  4. turkaholic

    turkaholic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've had jakes and hens fight, but not for five hours!!!
    Are you sure they are not two jakes or maybe two hens??
     
  5. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I missed the part about hen and tom. I thought it was two toms and a hen. No that is not normal at all. I think I have way over 100 adults and I not seen that.
     
  6. OmaBird

    OmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder if the hen has some male hormones running through her maybe caused by a cysts or something tempory. Maybe it would pass after she lays eggs for a while.
     
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    The neck wrapping is they are trying to establish dominance, they are still young at 8 months and it is normal for them at that age. The young hen just starting to lay has a very strong nesting instinct and the young tom is staying to close to her. By seperating them you just prolong the fighting, they will sort it out for themselves. Our Beltsville Whites are probably the worst for fighting. I have seen them fight from sun up to sun down and be bloody from the wings up to their head. I just make sure they aren't doing major damage to each other and let them sort it out themselves.

    Steve
     
  8. Ravenworks71

    Ravenworks71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2010
    Washington state
    This morning is no better. My hen looks like she went through a windshield in a car crash. My Tom has just about torn her snood off, and she's bleeding everywhere. She has a pretty large hematoma on her throat and she looks exhausted. He looks a bit better off, All his flight feathers are trashed and he has a few lacerations on his face and neck. They are still trilling and cooing at each other. I have them separated ( Hen in the coop/run and Tom out in the pasture). But neither is eating or drinking.

    I can confirm that my hen is a hen, she has laid 6 eggs. However, she does strut and even gobble. She is a few pounds smaller than my Tom. But maybe she has too much testosterone as suggested by OmaBird? That goes away?

    My Tom has a beard, and a much longer snood, strut's his stuff, but has yet to gobble. I think he out weighs her by 10lbs.

    If I could figure out how to post pics I would.

    In the mean time I will be slathering ointment and doing my best to keep them separate ( they still grab at each other through the fences).

    If I put him in a kennel in my shop for a few hours will they forget the whole thing, or will they resume? Thinking that is they cant see/hear each other? I will be giving that a try this morning.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I guess that this is a reason for getting a good mix by gender. With more females around the tom would be less preoccupied with the one hen. For her part, perhaps she is concerned for the safety of her eggs.

    The fights are fearsome and our poults and hens move well away as the three eight month old toms slog it out periodically. The only success that we have had in cooling them down is a big treat of bananas for all of them. They don't like to miss out when the others are enjoying something good. Even putting the main culprit in the sin bin has no effect. He will create merry hell until he is let out and they all carry on where they left off.

    One concern that I have with fighting toms is that eyes will be lost one day.

    Steve, would the cuts you describe need cleaning or some other attention or can they be safely to heal on their own?
     
  10. Ravenworks71

    Ravenworks71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thank you Steve. I will not put him in the shop. I am concerned about the hen. She is panting quite heavily and looks a bit peeked. I have tried to syringe her some electrolytes, but their so busy saying bad things to each other through the fence, that I have little cooperation. If it get's much worse, would you suggest subque fluids?(I live in the northwest, it's cool and foggy this morning, so this isn't a heat issue)
     

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