New to turkey raising - mating question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by SDRanchLDY1, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. SDRanchLDY1

    SDRanchLDY1 In the Brooder

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    May 25, 2019
    Hi Everyone! I'm new to raising meat birds and have two white broad breasted turkeys. One turned out to be a tom and the other a hen. We are planning to process them this fall (even though I would much rather keep them as pets) but that was the plan from the start. Anyway - the tom is starting to try to mate with the hen. He gets up on her back and fumbles around for awhile. It looks pretty painful for the hen. Any advice? I know he's too big to actually mate successfully, but I don't want her getting hurt in the meantime.

    Next time we are getting a pet turkey, but will get a heritage so it can live a more normal life, breed and live longer. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    BBWs can mate naturally and the best chance for successful natural breedings is by using yearlings.

    If you are concerned about the hen getting injured, either separate her from the tom or put a turkey saddle on her for protection.
     
  3. SDRanchLDY1

    SDRanchLDY1 In the Brooder

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    May 25, 2019
    Thank you R2elk! That is great to know! Our turkeys are only 4 months old, but the Tom is huge! Is the saddle something I should leave on longterm day and night? Or do they go through phases where they breed for awhile and then stop? He steps on her neck quite a bit in the process which scares the hell out of me, but she always wiggles out of it. I have to say I don't think my Tom is very graceful lol.
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Definitely leave the saddle on any time that they feel that it is breeding season. BB turkeys have their breeding seasons really messed up because the hatcheries have been selectively breeding them to have fertile eggs available all year long.

    I do not recommend allowing BB hens to go broody and hatch and raise their own poults. Without artificial insemination the fertility of the eggs may be poor. The BB hens do not have the ability to move their feet as delicately as can heritage hens. This can result in broken eggs and stepped on poults.
     
    SDRanchLDY1 likes this.
  5. PeacockNFlight

    PeacockNFlight In the Brooder

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    I have a Tom and a hen and seen him mate with her the first time. Not what you expect to see when you have raised only chickens. Wait until you see him “dance” for her. Even funnier! I videotaped him because I thought their was a mental conditioned that needed to be addressed.
     
  6. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers

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    Molpet likes this.
  7. joojy

    joojy Songster

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    I was watching my birds this morning. I have royal palms. 2 are sitting on what looks like bad eggs. So the one goes in the coop right to her preferred male and lays down to mate. However the dominant male keeps coming over and she leaves, it's pretty funny that there is a preference.
     
    Auroradream26 likes this.

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