Some questions about turkey behavior

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by moenmitz, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new to turkeys, and have tried to research some of this stuff, but I am not familiar with all of the terms, so I am kind of in the dark yet. I feel silly asking, but...

    What exactly is a snood? I think I know, but am not certain.

    Is strutting just when they walk around with a strut, or is it when they poof out their feathers and drag their wings on the ground?

    I have 5, 5 week old poults, and have been trying to figure out their sexes. Two of them do the feather thing, but they all seem to walk with what I would call a "strut"

    Yesterday I noticed two of them doing some weird kind of dance-circling each other and wrapping their necks together...then one would kind of dive under the others wings. Is this some sort of dominance thing, or mating behavior (I know they are too young yet, but I don't know if maybe they start "practicing" early! [​IMG]

    Also, I always thought turkeys couldn't really fly, but my poults sure seem to be doign a good job of it! They are penned now, but I had planned on free-ranging them when they got bigger. Will I need to clip their wings to keep them from flying off? Do they need to be locked up at night even when they are grown? And for the really dumb question...what exactly do they eat when they are grown-bugs and grasses? Will I need to continue supplementing them with feed once they are foraging all day?

    We had planned on eating them, but now I am getting awfully fond of them and dont know. I really wish they weren't so personable. If we DON'T eat them, is there anything turkeys are actually useful for? I mean, might they significantly reduce the number of bugs and such?

    Any help I would appreciate!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  2. corancher

    corancher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hope this helps some.
     
  3. lengel

    lengel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't know exactly what kind I am raising but I understand that were bred as table turkeys and I could expect them to die on their own from heart problems within the year if we didn't have them for the holidays. I bought them so that I couldn't "chicken" out, so to speak.

    Have you noticed that your poults are particularly smelly? Mine are four weeks old and still in our brooder box. I can clean out the box, put in fresh shavings and the minute they poop, it all smells again. I can't wait to put them outside.
     
  4. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it does, thank you! I dont know what breeds I have actually-MMH sent a mixed lot. I can post some pics though, and if anyone knows, that would be helpful!

    These are old pics, and not great, but all I have on hand at the moment, and my camera batteries are dead. The white one is Waldo, he is all white with no other distinguishing charachteristics that I can tell-sorry you cant see his face. We have two of teh speckly brown ones, and two of the black and white ones

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    CUTE BABY PICS!!!!

    By 5 weeks they can go outside. Mine are!

    Here are some cool picture of my turkeys in action:

    [​IMG]

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    Their new pen (with climbing red roses for some shade). That's my white chair for turkey gazing.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The black one with the light face is probably a black spanish, I would say the speckled are bronze or wild strain turkeys and the white one is either a white turkey or possibly a royal palm.
     
  7. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dangerous chicken-my brown poults look just like the ones in your pics now-what are yours? I am dying to get them outside, but haven't had a chance to build a pen for them yet. We sorta bit off a bit more than we should have-turkeys, 8 ducklings, 13 geese, 52 chicks-all within a few weeks-and we had no pens of any kind, just the brroders ready. Somehow, in my head, I thought we could get things done alot faster than we are! I am just trying to stay one step ahead of everybody's needs-the geese and ducks are roaming around a big pen now, poults just moved into a large indoor pen that will be a chicken pen next (the chicks are only 2 weeks and still in the brooders, so we have a bit of time yet there) I kicked the goats out fo the barn, so I have to make some repairs to their shelter asap-turkey pen is next on the list though-the little boogers STINK!
     
  8. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    My turkeys are 6 weeks old and are Broad breasted Bronzes. They are named Christmas and Thanksgiving. [​IMG]

    It is easy to get bit by the poultry bug and not get everything ready in time, cuz many do grow so fast. My meat chickens are going into their third week and are almost feathered! Just try to get out there and do what you can. At least with my guineas, who are still pretty small and still in the brooder, they won't need a pen. They are going to be free range tree-roosting tick-eating snake-killing watch birds for me [​IMG]
     
  9. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so definitely Bronze then-how do I tell if tehy are broad breasted or regular? (PLEASE don't say by the size of their chest, cause I have nothing to compare it too! )

    Ah yes, bitten indeed. Worse part is, I seriously planned on eating most of these birds-now I just don't see how I will ever do that. My ducks are almost ready to be slaughtered, and I already know we aren't going down that road, I am way too attached to them. I keep trying to dislike the turkeys, but darn it, they are such a hoot-one even rides around on my husbands shoulder. Now I am left with the 50+ chicks, who are beyond cute, and while I keep hoping they get ugly, it isn't lookin good. Worse, even the ones BORN ugly, like the turkens, have found a place in my heart, if only out of pity! I SO should ahve stayed away from the cool and interesting looking breeds and just gotten big ole ugly Cornish roasters. WHAT am I going to do? I keep hoping maybe they are all hens, so I can at least justify keeping them for eggs! I really can't have 100 "pet" birds!
     

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