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My turkeys don't understand the birds & the bees

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by eggbuster, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. eggbuster

    eggbuster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 beltsville toms that don't have a clue on how to mate. They stand up straight and tall on the backs of the girls who squat on the ground, and do the hokey pokey in the air. I have seen one tom on top of the other tom on top of one hen. Its ridiculous. Obviously not getting fertile eggs. They are separated into 2 groups now, but still dumb as door knobs. Will they eventually shape up? They are one yr. old.
     
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    They'll figure it out. We males eventually do.

    My toms did the very same thing when the urge came upon them. They knew they were supposed to get on top of the hens, but did not have a clue as to what to do after that. Eventually they worked it out. I hatched a lot of poults that year.
     
  3. Thomasturkey

    Thomasturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't like to use one year old hens or toms to produce poults. They are inferior to poults produced by two year olds and up. Toms fertility peaks at 2 to 4 years, but they will remain fertile many more years.
     
  4. eggbuster

    eggbuster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They will need a year to figure it out. So we should be good. The only problem is the my BBW hens will probably be dead by then. Got them to keep the toms from over mating the beltsville hens and they were rescued from the parking lot of the processor last thanksgiving.
     
  5. mbnewby

    mbnewby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my narganset tom took a weird short liking to the graden house he was walking across the yard and stepped on it all the sudden he like started to stradle it and then sqaut on it but then i think he realised there was just some thing not right about it kinda strange think it had some thing to do with the way it must had felt under his feet
     
  6. cashela

    cashela Chillin' With My Peeps

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    South Eastern NH
    I'm so glad I'm not the only one [​IMG] Mine are pets and I don't care if they mate or not but geesh. I have a 2 year old Narragansett tom and a 2 year old BBW hen. They are both confused. First the hen drops for me every single time I go near her, which can be frustrating when I'm trying to put them away at night in their pen, she weighs a ton and its hard carrying a turkey in short little spurts before she gets agitated and starts flapping her wings only to drop down in breeding position again. For a while there she wouldn't let the tom near her despite his best display. She would make her cooing noise (that I now know means she is ticked off) and then would beat the snot out of him.

    Last night when I let them out I noticed she has some peck marks on her head, that I can only imagine the tom gave her because my two chickens that are with them are two small and it makes me feel bad that she has gotten these marks. So they are out, I walk by, she flops to the ground, the tom sees this, dances around a little, displays his feathers and starts getting closer, then he's walking on her, then he's at her head trying to do whatever turkeys do (I've never seen them breed before) and I'm thinking, dumb bird, then he stands on her back and does nothing and she gets fed up and gets up.

    So is this normal? Oh and she laid her first egg of the season yesterday. I don't eat the eggs, I give them to a guy at work, but if I thought they were getting the job done and there was a chance she might hatch out some poults I'd be willing to leave some eggs if she goes broody like she did last year. Can a BBW even breed? Sorry, even though I have owned them for two years I still have a lot to learn [​IMG] So what do you think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  7. Shad

    Shad Out Of The Brooder

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    Will they eventually shape up? They are one yr. old

    - Yes.

    They are old enough to know better now.​
     
  8. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I have to say I am glad to read what everyone has posted. I have a turkey that I'm told should be around 2 yrs old. I have 2 turkey hens that will be a year old this year. They are really confused aren't they. Man. One female lays down for the tom. He gets on top of her, stands there for a bit then does a dance and then the deed. I'm trying to figure to figure out the dance thing. He does this on the ground. You could swear he was masterbating! He gets in this stance as if he is on top of the hen then kicks his leg to his wing and just keeps doing that.

    I have yet to see a turkey egg. I don't know if she is hiding them someplace or not. So, does this mean that eggs this year will not be good for hatching? I'm am very new to turkeys. I have to say, I'm finding all the birds that I have fascinating. I'm learning a lot and it's so very cool.
     
  9. Shad

    Shad Out Of The Brooder

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    I have yet to see a turkey egg. I don't know if she is hiding them someplace or not. So, does this mean that eggs this year will not be good for hatching?

    They will not be any good if you cannot find them...

    Don't worry about it... this will all come with time...they will figure it out... they will lay fertile eggs...

    From my experience about 30-50% of the first (and only) egg that a jenny lays is laid on the run. (they won't hide it)

    This gives you a slight chance of stepping on their first egg so expect to find it in the open

    Your best chance is to set up a nest in the perfect place. (research this or ask) use a decoy egg, even show the hen the nest...

    Long before they start laying they will get into everything while looking for a (presumably) nest ( we have probably already passed this point).

    Regardless of how stupid people claim turkeys are, they still figure out how to reproduce and raise their young. If fact you will be absolutely intrigued by the rituals they go through during these processes.​
     
  10. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I will keep my eyes open to make sure I don't step on a turkey egg. I forgot about leaving a egg in the nest. I will do that. I did set up a place for the turkeys to nest. Yes, one turkey has been shopping around for a place. She did try one spot that was really a bad choice. Neighborhood was fine but she wanted a roof top with a view and the roof was slanted and aluminum. Didn't get very good footing and besides eggs would have been rolled away. So, she is no longer interested in that spot.

    I do find the rituals rather interesting. I would also like to understand them better. I find it fascinating how there heads and waddles change colors. It's like they have mood heads. Pretty darn cool if you ask me. BTW, I have heritage bronze turkeys incase I failed to mention it.
     

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