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The Recalcitrant Tom

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Cupcakeslie, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Cupcakeslie

    Cupcakeslie Out Of The Brooder

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    Oakland, CA
    So a little back story, I picked up this heritage bronze tom from a local 4-H who had hatched and raised him. He even apparently lived in the house with the kids who raised for a while. We call him Reginald (Reggie) and he follows us everywhere, totally enamored with people. We got him to breed next years thanksgiving turkeys, so we got him a heritage bronze girlfriend. But he isn't interested, i've never had a tom who just ignored a hen literally presenting herself to him. She walks up, chirps at him, does a dance and literally lies down with her butt up. He just fluffs up and meanders around her like a rock. (Seriously I almost feel bad for the hens self esteem at this point) Any ideas? I am pretty sure he thinks he is human, but he is such a spectacular bird with gorgeous breeding I don't want to have to sell or harvest him.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. KayHartZZ

    KayHartZZ Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2015
    I have a Royal Palm that sounds like Reggie to a "T" :) He was abandoned as a poult and imprinted deeply on me, my kids and people in general. We had a barn dance and he was a hit, just strutting on the dance floor. Anyway he hasn't had any hens throwing themselves at him YET but there's friskiness in the air and I'm curious if hormones will kick in or if he too will just meander by. I'm following because I too think he's got great genes but we will need him to breed! Hope somebody has some experience or advice...
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    It is possible that your tom is so thoroughly imprinted on humans that it may not view a turkey hen as a possible mate. One remedy to see that his genes are passed on would be by artificial insemination.

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...ew_of_artificial_insemination_in_poultry.html

    Birds imprint very easily on humans which at one time was a big problem when they were trying to save the Whooping Cranes.

    http://earthsky.org/earth/why-are-these-biologists-dressed-up-as-whooping-crane

    Good luck.
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    Try keeping them in a fenced in run (hen provided with safe nesting location within confines of run). Limit contact to feeding/watering. Ours are imprinted on humans, but this has made it easier (quicker) to get the job done, i.e., place tom & hen to be bred in run. Hen presents to human, tom jumps hen's bones QED.
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    My turkeys are not imprinted on humans and do not require any outside interference to do what comes naturally.
     
  6. KayHartZZ

    KayHartZZ Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2015
    Thanks for sharing the whooping crane article, really interesting!
    One of the reasons I love the heritage breeds are for their naturalness like they can still fly and perch and love to forage and make v. protective strong mothers and most importantly they can breed themselves! He's a big beautiful great framed friendly turkey but I guess I should restate we'd like him to breed, don't really need him to breed. If he doesn't, we'll just open a petting zoo featuring a RP turkey to pay for his keep :)

    That's a great idea, thanks! I have him in the same pasture with the other turkeys during the day though he stands consistently a football field distance away near the south garden where my husband and the interns regularly work so if I did some enforced together time come Spring that'd give that drive a chance to kick in perhaps.

    But for now this is to be put on hold. It's definite now that the farm we currently reside on and make a living on is shutting down to bare bones and the folks that own it are at most going to grow animals and garden for themselves if they opt not to sell but no more retail, markets, etc. Wow. So I'm selling the flock now, not looking to breeding.

    BTW how old is Reginald?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO

    Ours have never exhibited a reluctance to comply with the dictates of their "nature", regardless of human involvement/intervention. However, in our case, it has proven useful in getting the job done in less time with absolute certainty as to parentage. YMMV
     

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