Letting mom be mom?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Starkmojo, May 7, 2016.

  1. Starkmojo

    Starkmojo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Well a couple months ago I ended up killing my Tom when he tried to kill my rooster. Jenny was distraught and started wandering off more and more until she vanished. I figured she had gone native as I would still see her from time to time, but she wasn't particularly hungry when I tried to feed her, so I figured she was happy somewhere out in the blackberry brambles. Well today she came back with six chicks! Whether they came from poor Tom (who was a Narragansett like her) or the local Rio Grandes I have no clue. Timing wise it could be either way.

    Well my cat killed a chick right away so my wife stuck the cat in the house then lured the Jenny and chicks into my poult pen where I have 9 8 week old hens and shut them up. Jenny can get out but the chicks can't.

    So the question I have is do I let her raise the chicks or not. I am not really set up to brood them myself, but I would hate to lose them. She seems a pretty good mom so far. I also think that one of toms problems was that his former owner hand raised him and he always seemed more interested in being with people than turkeys.
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    If she seems to be doing well, let her raise them. They'll do fine with her.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If it were me, I would let her raise them keeping an eye on them especially in the early days.
     
  4. Starkmojo

    Starkmojo Out Of The Brooder

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    That's kinda my plan. She is pretty smart.. Smarter than Tom ever was that's for sure. I liked that guy but he was dumber than a box of rocks.

    The second question I have is how to house them. Jenny (and tom too) never liked going in a coop, and after months of trying I gave up. I assume she will raise her chicks the same. Should I build roosts for them or what? I don't really mind the idea of semi domesticated turkeys running around but tom got in the habit of roosting on my heat pump and that was ... Irritating. I had to keep it covered all the time. Which meant not using it.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Just like human males, tom's can have their brains obliterated by testosterone - that's my excuse. [​IMG]
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    So very true!!!
     
  7. Starkmojo

    Starkmojo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2014

    I resemble that remark.
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It gets easier. [​IMG]
     
  9. Starkmojo

    Starkmojo Out Of The Brooder

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    The other question I have is when should I attempt to get he a new boyfriend? now that I am back in the turkey breeding game I would like to get a regular crop of turkeys going. Line breeding seems like a bad idea, as is simply letting her go off and mate with the local wildlife all the time.

    One of the things I noticed about my old tom and the hen was she was way more self sufficient than he was, and less imprinted on humans. I mean she's nice and all, but she prefers forage to feed and spent most of the day out in the fields, while tom hung with the chickens and my back porch. Maybe what I need is a male that's more like her?
     
  10. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Your tom's patterns were most likely due to imprinting. Almost all birds, especially turkeys, imprint very easily. Imprinting is caused in the very early stages right after hatching. Limiting human contact (don't hold and fuss over newly hatched poults) early on and preferably letting a hen raise them will allow the poults to learn that they are turkeys and will prevent them from thinking that people are also turkeys.

    Your hen is an excellent candidate to have raise poults that will act the way that you want them to act. Once the turkeys are well grown they can be taught to accept human interaction with them without them becoming imprinted.
     

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