"Sissy" Tom or "Tomboy" hen?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by grinningranny, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    I'm not savvy enough to post pics, but I just got a 5 or 6 month old Narragansett Turkey 3 days ago to replace the male we recently lost, and it is not like our previous male at all. (There was no question that "Stripes" was a male).

    This new one is tall and slender with a very distinctive line of feathers going up the back of its neck to the head, smallish feet, sturdy legs, the snood is hardly bigger than the hen's. It's darker with more distinct colors and some greenish iridescence on the tail, no white tipped breast feathers, no strutting, but I did hear a little gobble 3 times. The head and neck are bright red and blue when excited. Not sure what a beard is supposed to look like, but hubby found a little bristle-like growth about an inch long on its chest. It is very gentle, and only had to fight one time with the dominant hen...which it won... to find its place in the flock.

    If it is a male I hope that it will be able to breed the hens, because it is not showing any interest at this point at all. Is this normal, for a new male? Is it normal to be a little passive or shy when first introduced into the flock? It may have been dominated in the previous situation. Any Insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    What you are describing does sound like a tom. My guess is that he is still settling in and that is why you have not yet seen him displaying. Once he feels at home there, he will gain confidence and start to strut. Also, my toms are most interested in breeding during breeding season when the hens are laying. This time of year I hardly ever seen them mating the hens, so I wouldn't worry about that. The bristle growth on the chest that you described is the beard.
     
  3. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks so much, HEChicken. I'm certainly hoping it is a tom, but it's kinda scrawny, and, well, "girlie". Hope lots of good organic food and
    TLC will bring him around.
     
  4. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    X2 I agree with all of this
     
  5. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    Doesn't the feather covered neck indicate a hen? No bald neck on this guy
     
  6. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Going by you had said its face turns red and blue that is a tom description, hens do not turn blue. My 5 month old Ton still has some hair on his neck and head also(just a little).

    The best way I judge if a turkey is a tom or a hen is by looking at its snood, a hens snood will be the same width from base to tip, a toms snood will be wider at the base and taper off toward the tip. Also a hens snood does not elongate it stays the same length always, Toms snoods does elongate( it will grow and shrink depending on mood) Take a look at your turkey and tell us what you see.
     
  7. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    Wow, Chicken Pickin, those are some great tips that I haven't heard before. When it gets light here I'll certainly check the snood. It was damaged and bleeding the 1st hour we had it because of some fighting through the fence before it was released in with the flock. The feathering on the head and neck are very thick and distinct. That's why I'm confused... but there are more signs of maleness than femaleness, I think.
     
  8. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    OK, I just looked at the snood of this mystery turkey, and I can't see that the base is broader than the tip, but it's in the teens here and maybe its just contracted, it's also slightly larger overall than the hen's, and I think I have seen it a little longer than it is now...also observed...tail feathers are shorter than my hen's, and it's sorta "knockneed" maybe it was a little malnourished in the previous living situation.
     
  9. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Im still thinking it is male, though pics would definitely help. The blue face, gobbling and beard all lean towards tom. He most likely wont show mating instrest until the spring since he isn't mature yet my guess is march or april time frame. Keep us updated though with any new discriptions or questions you might have.
     
  10. grinningranny

    grinningranny Out Of The Brooder

    OK yesterday convinced me that it is a male...He strutted...Big beautiful strutted, complete with blue face, elongated snood, puffed everything, and dropped wings! I guess he was just waiting for the right opportunity to impress the girls![​IMG] Our ornery one pecked him on the butt like she used to do with our previous one which deflates them immediately [​IMG] but he got a good strut in before she sabotaged the show!
     

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