Sexual maturity age for turkeys?

Celie

Songster
7 Years
Mar 23, 2012
1,622
115
196
Tickfaw, Louisiana
I am raising White Holland Heritage Turkeys, and would like to know what should be sexual maturity of Heritage Toms. I just had a few last year and had toms, before I got hens, so by the time the 2 hens started to laying eggs, my toms were sexually more mature and older. Do toms need to be a couple of months older than the hens, when the hens start laying for the first time? I know with rabbits the does can be mated the first time as early as 6 months, but the bucks have to be 7 months or older. I have about a dozen heritage hens now, that should start laying eggs in Feb., if not sooner and I was wondering , since I have almost twice that number of males, from 2 different bloodlines,that are very good looking birds for breeders, but were born at the same time as the hens, would it be better to breed the hens with the older toms from last years breeders, or with the younger cockerels? What is the sexual age for turkeys to be fertile? I have 10 pullets plus the 2 hens and 2 toms parent from last year. I could line breed the daughters to their fathers, and hens to their sons, or breed each half dozen to a non related tom, from the opposite hens offspring. My older males have long spurs, and it won't be easy holding down these toms for a reshaping, and I don't want my hens to get injured when mating. I need fertility, as soon as the hens start laying eggs. I have poults ordered and promised and several hatching eggs ordered. I have have customers, I sell to wanting to put orders for Turkeys for next years' holiday season and I would like to be getting fertile eggs to incubate, ASAP. Does anyone out there have any advise for me? I am trying to breed Superior stock out of these mostly Hatchery stock for thrifts feed consumption, taste, looks, body shape, temperament, taste, etc., since I will be selling hatching eggs and young poults, to customers as breeding stock and want to sell the best I can raise . I will be doing a lot of culling and selling Thanksgiving turkeys for The holidays next year and sending the rest to freezer camp, the ones that do not make the grade. Can anyone advise me on this. I am just starting this breeding project? Can someone please help me?
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aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,226
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
My pair of Royal Palms were born early June. They mated for the first time this Saturday, so I assume that means he is sexually mature? Anyway.. So I'm guessing it's right around 5-6 months.

1000


So they are 5 1/2 months old. :)
 

Celie

Songster
7 Years
Mar 23, 2012
1,622
115
196
Tickfaw, Louisiana
My pair of Royal Palms were born early June. They mated for the first time this Saturday, so I assume that means he is sexually mature? Anyway.. So I'm guessing it's right around 5-6 months.

So they are 5 1/2 months old.
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Thank you! BTW You have very pretty turkeys!
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frank53061

Songster
8 Years
Jun 5, 2011
609
20
121
Location N/W Arkansas Hillbilly
That is a good question I have almost 8 month old Turkeys and I have not seen any type of mating not even trying.
I do see the Toms fighting of course and I know just because I haven't seem them attempting to mate doesn't mean that they are not.
I guess I just assumed that ether they were not old enough or it just was not the season yet.
 

Celie

Songster
7 Years
Mar 23, 2012
1,622
115
196
Tickfaw, Louisiana
I noticed one of my hens presenting herself, but none of my toms, ages varying from 4 to 7 months seemed interested. None of the hens, as far as I know, has laid any eggs since July. Last year the poults would practice, for a few weeks before they actually produced an egg. buy it was spring then. I was wondering if my HWs were getting ready to start laying eggs in winter? The toms have been displaying, but no fighting and some of the larger males aren't even displaying you to turning red in the head or neck. About 5 Toms stand around together, displaying and gobbling together and another group will just gobble in another area of the yard, usually when we are trying to speak or when they want to be noticed and then there is one tom who pretty much stays by himself or with the hens, who displays almost all the time. Last spring, when the hens started to lay eggs, I would have to search for their eggs, because they would go on a walkabout to find a private place to lay and hold the egg in until no one was looking to lay it. I have been looking in all of the old hiding places, but so far I can't find any eggs. I thought it strange with at least a dozen males, with no fighting, if maybe they were too young at 7 months or if it was just the wrong time of year. I don't know why the hen was presenting herself?
Also, some of last year's toms are getting long spurs. Should I hold them down and trim them or just harvest them? I was thinking of grinding them down bluntly with a little battery operated dog nail trimmer, so they would not injure the hens in mounting. Last year before I noticed, one of the toms with long sharp spurs ripped open a hen's side pretty good. Do you guys ever have to trim your tom's spurs?
 

debbyvenus

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 22, 2012
24
0
22
You can also get "saddles" for your hens for mating season. It is canvas and fits right on the hen with elastic strapes under the wings. I found them for about $15.
 

frank53061

Songster
8 Years
Jun 5, 2011
609
20
121
Location N/W Arkansas Hillbilly
I noticed one of my hens presenting herself, but none of my toms, ages varying from 4 to 7 months seemed interested. None of the hens, as far as I know, has laid any eggs since July. Last year the poults would practice, for a few weeks before they actually produced an egg. buy it was spring then. I was wondering if my HWs were getting ready to start laying eggs in winter? The toms have been displaying, but no fighting and some of the larger males aren't even displaying you to turning red in the head or neck. About 5 Toms stand around together, displaying and gobbling together and another group will just gobble in another area of the yard, usually when we are trying to speak or when they want to be noticed and then there is one tom who pretty much stays by himself or with the hens, who displays almost all the time. Last spring, when the hens started to lay eggs, I would have to search for their eggs, because they would go on a walkabout to find a private place to lay and hold the egg in until no one was looking to lay it. I have been looking in all of the old hiding places, but so far I can't find any eggs. I thought it strange with at least a dozen males, with no fighting, if maybe they were too young at 7 months or if it was just the wrong time of year. I don't know why the hen was presenting herself?
Also, some of last year's toms are getting long spurs. Should I hold them down and trim them or just harvest them? I was thinking of grinding them down bluntly with a little battery operated dog nail trimmer, so they would not injure the hens in mounting. Last year before I noticed, one of the toms with long sharp spurs ripped open a hen's side pretty good. Do you guys ever have to trim your tom's spurs?

My Toms dont have any spures that would injure a Hen but that is some good information for the next year or so to look for and to trim if needed.
 

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