Tom attacking new rooster.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by RanchoRoberto, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. RanchoRoberto

    RanchoRoberto Hatching

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    B2CEEB13-11D2-4738-BCB4-2F673EF29AEC.jpeg I’m new to raising birds and I need some help with my young Tom. I have four 9-week old pullets, 2 pekin ducks, and an 8-week old male turkey. Everyone has gotten along thus far except my Pekins like to occasionally chase the turkey around for no apparent reason. But other than that, all has been smooth.

    Since I discovered I had all pullets and no rooster, I went and got a rooster today off Craigslist that someone in the city wasn’t allowed to keep. He just started crowing a few days ago according to the guy I got him from. I introduced them and immediately my 8 week old Tom kept trying to claw and peck the rooster. I kept breaking it up, but he kept going right back after him with pretty serious intent. I have them separated at the moment. I have the rooster in the coop with the ladies and the turkey is in the run underneath the coop. He’s pretty upset that he’s not up with his familiar friends right now!

    I’ve heard that male turkeys can be aggressive towards other birds, but I’m hoping since they’re all still pretty young I can get them to get along. I plan on letting my turkey out of the run and letting him wander around my property when he gets older, but for now I’ve been keeping him with my chickens in the coop. I think he’s grown to think it’s his flock over the last few weeks I’ve had him. Maybe it’s time to let him out now???

    Right now the rooster and turkey can hear and smell each other but are on separate levels. Is this enough to introduce them overnight or should they be able to see each other too? I’m hoping to reintroduce them tomorrow and have it go more smoothly. Otherwise I won’t feel comfortable leaving them together in the run while I’m at work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  2. I would definitely keep them physically separated. It’s just as well to separate the turkey from the hens now. He should not ever be allowed to breed them as turkeys are not built for breeding chicken hens.

    I would separate the rooster and put him where he can see but not touch the hens once you have kept him in quarantine for at least three weeks. Better 30 days. He should be quarantined from all of your birds that make sure he didn’t bring anything with him.

    Good luck with your poultry family!
     
  3. RanchoRoberto

    RanchoRoberto Hatching

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    Wow, I didn’t even consider the possibility of the turkey trying to mate with my chickens. I’ll go ahead and keep them separate now and only let them free range together when I am with them. That solves that dilemma. Thank you!

    I think it may be too late to quarantine the new rooster from the pullets. They’ve already been hanging around each other for a few hours in the coop. The flock he came from looked really healthy and the pen and coop were clean, so fingers crossed that he didn’t bring any disease with him.
     
  4. RanchoRoberto

    RanchoRoberto Hatching

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    FFB6F6EB-96BA-4622-A34B-F36F681F7F2E.jpeg The only way I could quarantine him would be to put him on the left side of my coop where the feed bag is pictured. It has a chicken wire divider behind that unpainted board. Is that enough of a buffer?
     
  5. Do you have your other birds on the right? If so, it’s not adequate separation for separation. Do you have a dog crate you could put him in elsewhere? If no it’s one of those things that happens or doesn’t. I am way luckier than most in having places to put chickens truthfully so I don’t want to sound critical. Since you got hm from a small home you shouldn’t worry too much. Just remember for next time. ;)
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Unless you are planning on processing the turkey once it is big enough, it is a really bad idea to have just one turkey. They are very social birds and need others of their own kind for companions.

    Tom turkeys that are imprinted by chickens and kept alone with chickens can be very hazardous to the health of the chickens. Imprinting them causes them to lose the ability to understand that chickens are not turkeys.

    What is currently going on is the turkey establishing its place in the pecking order above the rooster. This is going to continue until their positions are established. The more you interfere, the longer the dispute will continue. Turkeys can be very single minded and roosters can be very determined.

    From the picture shown, I am not convinced that your turkey is a tom. Both hens and toms can and do display. My hens take far more issue with roosters than do my toms.
     
  7. RanchoRoberto

    RanchoRoberto Hatching

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    26D016AB-312E-4699-AA84-38148CF5CCDA.png Here a different angle of the turkey. He does a lot of strutting, so I assumed he was a he.
     
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    There is nothing in the photo that would identify this turkey as a tom. Young toms develop larger caruncles at an earlier age than do hens. Their snood also begins to swell and extend beyond the end of the beak. When retracted the snood will look like a cone where the snood of a hen will look like the turkey in your photo.

    You should be able to see the physical differences at 3 months of age unless it is a late developing tom which may take 6 months or longer to exhibit full male characteristics such as a bald head.
     
  9. RanchoRoberto

    RanchoRoberto Hatching

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    I left the turkey outside the pen today with only water and no food. When I got home from work, I let him/her back into the pen with all the others and it was so hungry that it payed no mind to the rooster and went right to the food. After the turkey filled his belly, they all seem to be getting along fine. I think spending the day circling the pen was enough for the turkey to get accustomed to the rooster.

    I’m going to continue to keep the turkey out of the coop at bed time so the pullets don’t start thinking they’re turkeys and let them range together in the daytime. Will this be ok or should I separate the turkey from them all completely? The pullets seems to have accepted the rooster and are sticking close to him already.
     
    Willowspirit likes this.
  10. I think you should go with your gut. As long as they are getting along together when you are there and have some space to get away from other I'd call that good. If the situation changes don't worry about needing to change the plan. Everything about my chickens has pretty much surprised me, I'll say that!
     

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