poult behaviour to adult behaviour?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by syble, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. syble

    syble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2011
    michigan
    I have 3 different groups of turkeys, 1st group is 2 months old approximately and slated for the freezer, they started off sociable enough, but they became skittish though nothing on my end ever changed so i'm not sure what brought that about.

    group 2 is about 2weeks? with 2 that are another week or 2 older then them. they are super friendly! I hand fed them from day 1 to get a good start:

    even now they are always running up to the brooder door to see me, wanting to jump on my hands and be picked up, and eat from my hands... there are future breeding stock in this batch(i hope!), but i wonder if this friendly of turkeys could turn into a problem? they want to jump on me all the time(hands arms shoulder, head, you name it they've flown there. its not bad when they can fit in the palm of your hand, but what happens when they turn into 30 pound toms? will they out grow this? Also i hear horror stories of mean toms, is there steps i can take to prevent that? I have a new niece, who will no doubt one day want to walk out with th birds, i can't risk keeping mean birds in this case.

    batch 3 is a week or so old, and somewhere in between, somewhat skittish and some what friendly.
    Thanks
    sib
     
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    Mine seem to start out friendly enough but by September they don't want to be touched anymore. I don't know if the novelty wears off or if I just pay less attention to them when they are older. However, I have seen some pictures and videos of people with large turkeys perched on them, so i wouldn't count on all of your turkeys losing their affection for you.
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you going to keep them separated or run as 1 big flock? I've been told that flock additions with turkeys is rough and one guy lost nearly all his young birds to being picked on by the older ones. Have you ever encountered this?
     
  4. syble

    syble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2011
    michigan
    the only "keepers are in the middle batch. the oldest ones are freezer camp, and the youngest ones all but maybe 1 or 2 hens also freezer camp. the fuzzy ones will be added together very shortly, but i expect they will stay separate from the oldest, other then possibly the odd free range encounter, but we'll see. they wont be confined with them thats for sure [​IMG]
    Thanks
    Sib
     
  5. gotta have my peeps!

    gotta have my peeps! Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2011
    Rappahannock, Virginia
    Quote:I only have experience with one brood. The poults we raised last year started out friendly, like you describe, and are still friendly, but without climbing all over us. They grew out of that -- and we may have discouraged them as they got older. Again, my experience is very limited, but this is how I approached raising our tom: I never put myself in a subservient position around him. I am kind and loving toward him but make sure he knows that I am the queen mother. I talk to him a lot. I will sometimes pet him while talking to him -- he backs away but does not get nasty. I act confident and calm around him. So far, it has worked.
     
  6. syble

    syble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2011
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    thanks everyone. this will be my first year keeping breeders. but if all works out it will likely mean keeping 3 maybe 4 toms, with equal or double hens. I like that they are friendly, so much easier to work with then the skittish ones, but at the same time, dont want to create a monster!
     
  7. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
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    I only have limited experience with this. I have a pair of one year old bourbon reds. The female grew up being a real "people person". Even now, while raising her first brood she still crawls into my lap. The tom never was this tame and shies away from my hand (which I'm glad about). Being so tame was a good thing when she was broody. I could easily reach under her and check on the eggs. And when she had a staggered hatch she let me handle the first chicks and show them to the food and water. I was able to hang out and just watch her and her young brood. Being relaxed around me allowed her to display her natural behavior and I not only enjoyed them, but it also was a great learning opportunity.
    On the other hand, her focus on me could be nervewracking. She would get so exited when seeing me hanging around me, yelping my ears off and generally just annoy the heck out of me. Now that she is raising her poults she has calmed down substantially and I hope she will remain that way...

    If you are considering breeding your birds, I would suggest you figure out what traits you are after in your birds. If you are selecting for "pet quality" meaning a tameability you should select for the friendliest birds. But if you are trying to breed for the best looking birds or the standard of perfection (is there such for turkeys?) disposition for tameness should not be your first criteria.
     
  8. syble

    syble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2011
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    there is a SOP for turkeys [​IMG] And i breed everything to sop. I think thats part of what got them so tame is that i'm constantly picking them up and looking them over to see how they are developing and what not. friendliness is not my #1 trait for picking a bird to keep, but i figure now, that if they are particularly tame, its not the worst thing hehe.
    Thanks
    Sib
     

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