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Tom Fertility/ Breeding Management?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by lleighmay, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Hi- My Narragansett tom Arthur is at least 3 years old (possibly older-I've only had him for a year and a half and can only go by what original owner (not a regular poultry associate of mine) told me). Last year I observed him breeding my hen Clara (then 1 yr old) repeatedly and she brooded about 20 eggs forever with 0% hatch rate. At the time I concluded that was my fault in that she built her nest where the chickens would come in and lay next to her and she would appropriate the eggs and try to set them too; I figured she just wound up with too many to keep up with and maintain properly though she worked really hard. I never thought to check them for fertility because I figured that was what was going on. This year I plan to separate the two of them into their own 32x32 pen with roosting shed and access to 1/4 acre pasture all their own. However, I have the opportunity to get a couple of 7 month old hens this weekend and the seller told me she has jakes the same age from different hatches available too. Should I buy one to increase the likelihood of having at least one fertile tom? Should I divide the pen and separate the birds (I can do this without too much trouble)? Should I separate the new birds and Clara and leave Arthur in his usual capacity as lord of the chickens? Can I keep two toms on the property without them killing each other (Arthur's a beloved pet so culling is not an option)? I'm new at this so any/all advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks- Leigh
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    It could be the hen or the tom for lack of fertility, there is no way to tell without a "back up". That's why I always try to advise people that just want to keep a pair if they are sure they want to do that. I would get at least one of each as backup. With turkey mating it's hens choice, they aren't like chickens where the roo just grabs the hen. With turkeys the hen will lay down for the tom of her choice. The toms will fight but once they get the pecking order settled they will be fine. I have a pen of about 30 Midget toms all together right now and they haven't killed each other. [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  3. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Thanks Steve- I'll pick up an extra tom too this weekend. I only had the pair because that's just how things worked out last year, but don't mind having additional turkeys around, especially if the boys won't kill each other. BTW- you're always a great source for trusted advice!
     
  4. Unclebean

    Unclebean Rest in Peace 1977-2013

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    Jun 10, 2010
    Tower City, PA
    Quote:I'll second that! I try to read everything Steve posts.
     
  5. SED

    SED Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    North West Alabama
    Quote:I'll second that! I try to read everything Steve posts.

    I'll third that! I have learned alot from reading Steve's posts! Thanks for the knowledge base!
     
  6. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    I've read on here of turkeys fighting and I too was just going to keep 3 turkeys 1 tom and 2 hens and now of course thanks to all the enablers on the board I have 28. I have 2 MW toms who get along well they share 6 hens and 4 bourbon toms and 4 bourbon hens I'm only keeping 4 of the Bourbons 2 and 2 the others are in there not big enough to butcher yet. I ended up with 5 Palms only 1 male and a hen committed suicide so I have 4 left. They do like to strut the fence line were all raised together and they all talk to each other I notice they all roost away from each other I have roosts all over the pens since I can't let them out where I had planned I did think a 6ft fence would keep them home I don't know how heavy they have to get to not fly high..... The Auburns are in the barn still with one Midget White hen who is in love with the mutt tom so I'm going to raise some mutt poults see if I can get more breast meat with the size for the kids turkey dinners the mutt is a Auburn/ Narraganset cross and really a beauty. It did take 2 months before the Midget Whites figured out fertility. I just put the crosses in the incubator I see him doing the deed with regularity so in a week I'll know. The weather has turned nice again so maybe my egg production will go up.
     
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I'll second that! I try to read everything Steve posts.

    I'll third that! I have learned alot from reading Steve's posts! Thanks for the knowledge base!

    I'm very glad to be able to help.

    Steve
     
  8. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'll third that! I have learned alot from reading Steve's posts! Thanks for the knowledge base!

    I'm very glad to be able to help.

    Steve

    Sheesh, now Sharon's gonna have to grease the doorway so Steve can get his fat head out the door to do chores!!! LOL! We do love you though Steve.
     
  9. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Sheesh, now Sharon's gonna have to grease the doorway so Steve can get his fat head out the door to do chores!!! LOL! We do love you though Steve.

    Lor, does the word "hush your face" mean anything? [​IMG] And yes that is one word. lol

    And just so you know my head has no problem fitting thru the door........

    after I got my first article published in a magazine we had the door widened. [​IMG]

    Steve​
     
  10. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    You put a garage door in? Just funning Steve..I have poults now they are so cute I just love my Midgets they remind me of camels....Thanks again for all of your helpful advice I sure need it
     

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