Mother turkeys-are they any good?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Ecrewe, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Ecrewe

    Ecrewe Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2016
    Hi!

    As summer is here where I live my turkeys have gone into broody mode. All seemed well until hatching day came....mother and chicks seemed to be getting on swimmingly, but when i came back to check them a few hours later one chick was dead! Its body seemed compressed as if it had been squashed. I left the remaining chicks with the mother turkey yet a few days later another chick was dead, presumably from the same circumstances as the first. I wasnt sure whether this was just a freak occurence but then another turkey mother who seemed to be doing a better job than the first mother squashed her 2 week old, seemingly hardy chick today. I am distraught!

    Initially i thought it was the weak chicks who were being squashed but now i think the blame is on the mother turkeys. Has anyone had an experience like this? Do you have any tips you could share? Are mother turkeys always useless at being mums?

    Please share your thoughts i dont want to have another disaster like this again. Thanks.
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    If you have the hens in the general population when the poults are very young, losses will occur because of the various interactions between all the adults. Each hen is different but most of my hens have been very good mothers when they and their poults are removed from the general population.

    I have had hens that will accept and mother any poults and I have had hens that would kill any poults that were not their own.

    Not knowing your situation it is difficult to say for sure what the problem is. Broad breasted turkeys do not make good mothers because they cannot move their legs in the delicate fashion that heritage turkeys do. The heavier a hen is the more likely any poults will get stepped on and squashed.

    Because of everything that can go wrong with poults in the general population, I remove newly hatched poults as soon as I find them. If I have poults that are around 2 weeks old that I am growing out, I will allow a hen that I took newly hatched poults the opportunity to adopt the older poults. It can sometimes take the hen several days to convince the older poults to accept her as their mother.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Ecrewe

    Ecrewe Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2016
    Thank you! I think I will have to separate them next time.
     

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