To trim or not to trim?? Also, broodiness?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by crystal2658, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. crystal2658

    crystal2658 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central, MI
    I have 5 BR turkeys. My very first turkeys. They are between 9 & 10 months old. At this time they are in a coop with a run. I let them free range last year up until late fall. Then I got tired of trying to get them out of the tree every night & into their coop & locked them up. We live right at the edge of the woods, so I was concerned about coons getting them in the tree branches. I would love (& so would they) to let them out again, but don't want to go through the hassle with the tree again. I was thinking of trimming their flight feathers, but am concerned about them not being able to get on their roosts that are in their coop & run. These are about 2.5 to 3 ft high. Can they still jump that high with being clipped? Should I do only one wing? I feel so bad for them because the chicken coop is right next to them & the chickens are fully free range & seem to tease them all day with their freedom.

    Also, problem #2: I'm trying to raise these to hatch their own that we can then butcher in the future. Right now we have 3 toms & 2 hens, so I know we need to cull at least 1 of the toms. Just haven't got around to doing it yet. It will be a first for me. Have never butchered anything besides a deer. Haven't had any problems with them fighting yet, but I'm sure it's coming, with them being out of balance. The hens are both laying an egg a day now. Have been since 3/14. They are laying in a nest box we built inside their coop. Only the very first egg was laid on the ground. I immediately put it in the box & have had no others outside the box. I keep marking the eggs every day with the date. The last few days I've been rotating the eggs by taking the oldest out & keeping the 12 newest in the box hoping one of the hens will go broody soon. Am I doing this correctly? How long should it take for them to go broody? Should I have 2 nest boxes for when this does start to happen or will the other just make her own nest in the bedding outside the box?


    If I let them free range should I wait until one goes broody so I know the nest will not be abandoned for another place or have they been doing this long enough now that they will know to continue in the same area?

    I feel like a mother hen, I am so worried. I almost culled my entire flock of chickens & turkeys last year do to disease, but decided I'm not selling any chicks/birds to anyone to spread it so continued on. I'm very happy I did. I only lost one chicken & everyone seems exceptionally healthy now after lots of hard work & love.

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  2. crystal2658

    crystal2658 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Nov 19, 2008
    Central, MI
    Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. When I took the above pics last night for my post one hen was sitting on the eggs. As you can see...lol. I just returned inside from checking on them this morning & she is still there. I watched all last evening & I only saw her come out of the coop once for about 30 seconds & back in she went. I'm thinking this may be it. She should be sitting on about 14 eggs. Now I just need some broody chickens.

    As I'm typing this I'm watching the turks & I believe I know who we're going to cull. One of the males does not seem to like his snood. He is always shaking his head or rubbing it on the ground like he's trying to knock it off. So he's got some mental issues going on. He's been doing this ever since it began to grow. He also seems quite a bit less dominate than the other two. There are many times I go out & 2 are all puffed up & very red & his head is just gray/bluish. Now to get the nerve to butcher. We have amish neighbors so I may just see if they'll do it for a small fee. I also have a rooster that needs to go. What r peoples feelings on whether to keep 1 or 2 toms for my 2 hens? Input would be appreciated. If I'm going to butcher 1, I may as well do 2 at the same time if it is going to be necessary in the long run. I'm thinking it may, because if one hen goes broody than that would out number the remaining to the toms again. What are your experiences for a very small flock?
     

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