signs of aggression?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by trunkman, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I have 3 toms and 2 hens cooped up in a large stall and run, I realize it is mating season and the Toms are getting aggressive towards each other and need to be separated, not a problem. My concern is that one of the large toms comes toward me when my back is turned and not quite but acts like he wants to peck at me, which he actually did once. I sort of shrugged it off at first but today he came closer and faster and when I checked the nesting boxes he followed me like he wanted to corner me. When I turned and stood up he backed off a couple of feet and started walking toward me again. I'm thinking he wants to challenge me.
    That being said, when approaching a tom and he struts and drums with his wings down is that a threat or just a tom wanting to be friendly? What are the signs of aggression?
    Any advice?[​IMG]
     
  2. JWEBB

    JWEBB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    or he want's you to be his wife? I'll be interested to see the replies I want to say he is being a peckerhead to you and thinks he's the boss. But I don't speak turkey language yet. What breed is he?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  3. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    He's bourbon red.
     
  4. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Hes challenging you.

    He see you at this point as another "Tom". Do his hens lay down for you? And do you give in and love on them by pets and back rubs?

    This has happened to me last year and this year. Last year I was new to turkeys and wasn't aware fully of why it was happening or how to deal with it. About Feb time frame one Tom started acting as you describe your Tom. But myself and DH loved on the hens and thought that we had that right and the Toms should learn to back down from us , because well we are the "Boss". Once we continued and the Tom continued challenging me daily for a few weeks I got tired of it and we ended up processing him. Which was fine because at the time we had 3 Toms and 2 Hens(not a good ratio at all).

    This year same thing happened, also in Feb. The hens started laying down in front of me I would love on them, one same day I was taking pics also in the process and they move around a lot so I was kind of spinning while I was walking and petting the hens all at the same time. I was an instant dancing, displaying Tom to one of the other Toms. He lowered his head with a look like "Im gonna get you and peck you hard" and kind of came at me. I know understand him. I know hes not aggressive, hes just telling me the hens aren't mine. I went inside and told DH in a sense we are not the Boss, during mating season the Toms are kind of in a sense given that role to an extent of course we do not tolerate aggressive behavior. Our understanding now is we do not pay much attention to the hens, if they lay down for us we do not pet them(much lol). We keep our visits to the turkey coop routine and somewhat brief, feed, water, check for eggs all the while chatting with them and a few pics if I feel the toms are having a laid back morning. Its all about understanding them. Last year I thought the hens were mine, this year that's not the case. The Tom challenged me that one day this year a few weeks back and hasn't since. I think we have a better understanding now during mating season.
     
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  5. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh and in response to this question - when approaching a tom and he struts and drums with his wings down is that a threat or just a tom wanting to be friendly? What are the signs of aggression?

    To me I don't find that as a threat. My toms all do it all the time. Sometimes I feel like they are letting their presence be known others times I feel like they are flirting. Signs of aggression to me are when they lower their head they just get this look and move in on you fast like they want to peck your feet or legs.

    Im not 100% positive though. A turkey has never actually been aggressive toward me beside the challenging but contact has never been made. I have had turkeys for going on 2 years. And I still have a lot to learn. So I hope other responses come in. Im curious also on what signs to look for when it come to aggression.
     
  6. Dragon Lady

    Dragon Lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Tom gets as much attention as the four hens. I make a point of rubbing his head and sometimes I get hold of him too which he hates. I believe I am showing him I am the boss turkey around here. He gets it and has never challenged me. He hates chickens though and does not tolerate their bad table manners at all lol
    I would process any aggressive bird in
    a heart beat.
    I have an untame rooster. He gets'ignored' by us and he does a great job of looking after his six hens.
    I give no opportunity for anyone to get aggressive.
    The key is to think like the animal.
     
  7. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    The aggressive tom came at me quicker today and tried to slap me with his wing and made a half hearted spurring attempt as I was trying to feed them, I'm afraid we may have an early thanksgiving dinner this year. [​IMG]
     
  8. JWEBB

    JWEBB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2014
    Central NY

    yep sounds like a peckerhead. [​IMG]
     
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  9. Hounds51

    Hounds51 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys you have to realize it's mating time and Tom doesn't want any competition human or other wise.
    Saying that I will not have any annimal that is mean spirited for spite.
     
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  10. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    Update: I rethought processing the aggressive tom. I left the 2 hens with one tom and put the other two toms in a separate run. The two toms are getting along and the 2 hens with the single tom seem very calm. Hopefully I solved the problem because I didn't want to process any of them. Keep your fingers crossed.[​IMG]
     

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