Male BBB - Is it in humane to keep as pet?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by MamaBird072316, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. MamaBird072316

    MamaBird072316 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi friends,
    Please help... I got a week old poult back in May and we named her Gretchen and didn't realize she was a meat bird. We also didn't realize she was a he until July.

    Gretchen is now past the age for butchering and has reached sexual maturity. He is nearly 30 pounds and has trouble walking or at least walking gracefully. He struggles down the coop ladder and today slid down and landed on his keel. I nearly cried.

    Other than trying to mount our chicken hens and fighting with our other Tom, he seems to be all right. Well except for being huge. I know it can be taxing on their bones and heart but it's so hard for me to decide on euthanasia unless I know he's in pain or suffering.

    What our your thoughts? Please I want to hear it all. Blunt and simple. I love this bird and raised it and I am so torn.
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I personally do not consider it humane to keep a Broad Breasted of any kind as a pet, longterm.

    They do not have long lifespans. You can expect a maximum of maybe 2 years, 3 is exceptional. The bird may already be experiencing joint pain - every BB turkey I have ever butchered (typically around 6-8 months of age) has had massive amounts of joint fluid in their hocks, their bodies' attempt to keep the joint moving correctly. The amount of pressure on his heart and lungs is heavy, and they will not do well in any kind of heat, cold, dusty, etc. environments.

    If he is currently doing well, and displaying no signs of pain, you could leave him, but either "natural" death due to organ failure or culling due to leg issues is inevitable. If you choose to keep him for the time being, you should be checking his breathing and hock/hip joints on a regular basis.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MamaBird072316

    MamaBird072316 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2015

    Thank you very much for your informative reply. I appreciate it!
     
  4. MamaBird072316

    MamaBird072316 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2015

    Also he is breathing very heavily the past few days. I figured he was all worked up trying to fight with the other Tom. But even in the summer he would pant a lot. Aye. I know what I must do...
     
  5. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2015
    Eating a burger
    Feed him less, or feed a lower protein feed
     
  6. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2015
    Eating a burger
    You don't want him to grow any more
     
  7. Turkey parents

    Turkey parents Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2015
    North New Mexico
    Is he imprinted on you? My wife has a Broad Breasted White Holland he is a meat bird but we've kept his weight down around 28 pounds with walks and light food, I have a Bronze Hen she weighs about 20 pounds. They do benefit from exercise and healthy diet
     
  8. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2015
    Eating a burger
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    With any animal, I go by quality of life when making these decisions. I have two older (chicken) hens who are struggling right now. My favorite is over 6 yrs old, and spends a LOT of time laying around...not sure what's wrong. But she still eats and drinks, and can hobble out to get the scratch, which she eats with enthusiasm. She also still "talks" to me and wants attention. She's not showing me that she's in pain, or at least not enough pain to keep her from doing most of the things chickens enjoy doing. When she can't get out any more, or when she acts like she's not enjoying life any more, then we'll do the deed.

    So that's what I'd look at with your tom. When he stops being able to "be a tom turkey" and seems to be hurting too much, I'd put him out of his misery. Until that time, I'd let him be. As others have said, either feed him less, or move the feeders far away so that he has to work for his feed...something along those lines... It's hard when they're special.
     

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