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Question about "rogue" MW hen

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dogrepair, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. dogrepair

    dogrepair Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mtns, CA
    This year is our first experience raising turkeys. We have a pair Midget Whites, and our hen "disappeared" more than a week ago (she can fly). We have had a couple of sightings where she has shown up just long enough to eat. This morning I found her in a bramble, under a tangle of old chicken wire. She puffed up and hissed when I reached for her, so I am suspicious that she is sitting on eggs (though i never saw her mate with the tom). I'm concerned about her because we have predators here (raccoons are the worst, but we also have bobcat).

    My question is: Do I leave her alone, or capture her and trim her wings? If I trim her, do I then let her go back to her nest, or force her into the coop at night to protect her?

    I could really use some guidance. Turkeys are much trickier than chickens!
  2. MaryannfromAb

    MaryannfromAb New Egg

    Sep 24, 2012
    Here's my 2 cents worth and it comes mostly from raising chickens... I would confine her with her eggs. While she sitting she won't leave the nes and will be a "sitting turkey" for whatever preditor comes along. This spring I kept my turkey mon confined from the time she started laying until the poults were fully fledged. This was also my rule of thumb when I was raising chickens. FYI I never saw them mating either and she had hatched out 6 little ones.
  3. frank53061

    frank53061 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree I dont want to feed the local wild life so I would and do keep a tight control of my Turkeys as well as my chickens I got lazy and let the chickens roost on top of the coop one summer and lost half my flock of Chickens to a coon that dug its way threw the chicken wire thats about $80 if I were to replace those layers.
    My Turkeys at over 6 months of age would cost me around $40 each to replace for the size they are.
    My Chickens and Turkeys both free range but are still guarded and locked up at night.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  4. jandlpoultry

    jandlpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2012
    I'm new to turkeys, but I would defiantly try moving her and the eggs. If moving her causes her to leave the eggs, then all you have lost is the chance of poults. If something eats her on the nest, then you've lost a turkey.If you have an incubator you can candle, and incubate the eggs yourself, if you don't want to loose them.
  5. Rebel Soldier

    Rebel Soldier Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 18, 2012
    If she has been sitting a week or more, I would leave her alone. She has obviously chosen a good spot. The wild turkey population in Ga has exploded since the re-introduction of coyotes, ,which tells me they are pretty woods smart.I have not raised turkeys before, but I have had game fowl for 40 yrs,and they share the same woods intelligence.Nature tends to cull out the less intelligent ones. I raise the majority of my fowl on islands in the river, so they learn to deal with thse things which hunt them. Having a 140lb pressa and a sharpea\pit cross as protectors of the flock doesnt hurt either. If she hatches, and comes back up, then feed her in a pen until the poults get their wing feathers and that will give them a good chance.
  6. dogrepair

    dogrepair Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mtns, CA
    Thanks for the help guys. In the end I did move her and her eggs - and this morning they began to hatch! I am so thrilled!! Now I just have to keep them alive somehow. Locking everyone up at night wont be enough, since raptors and (especially) crows love to swoop down in broad daylight for baby poultry in our yard. Grr.

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