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Tom is beating up the girls

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cganote, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. cganote

    cganote Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2015
    Hi all,

    I'm familiar with torn sides and trodden feathers from when the toms mount the hens, but has anyone had issues where the toms peck the hens during the process? My royal palm tom will mount, start dancing, but also hits the females on the head or grabs their tufts, their snoods, their eyelids or neck feathers. He seems to be trying to balance sometimes, but others it's just abusive. The hens chirp loudly and shrilly from this treatment, run off and sulk, then come back and crouch again.
    My yearling hens started crouching this weekend, even though we won't really thaw until mid-March. Any advice? For now, we put the tom in the "bro pen" with the geese, where he'll sit in time out until closer to the laying season. I put neosporin on neck gashes and head wounds.
     
  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, that's brutal.. My hen just squatted for me a couple weeks ago and the tom did the deed, she did it again just a bit ago but when he mounted her she was up against the chain link fence and after a moment I noticed her head was trapped, fear of him hurting her drove me to shoo him off.. He hasn't been to my knowledge overly aggressive with them but holy cow it sure takes longer than a chicken for him to complete the deed, is that just them trying to figure it out or is that normal?

    Im sorry, I have no advice as I am a newbie to the Turkey Business.
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Has the tom bred successfully in the past (how old)? You could try small amounts (apply very thinly while wearing gloves) of pine tar on the crowns of heads and down the backs of necks of hens (stuff tastes terrible - have used it to cut down on tom's sparring with one another).

    We've had big Slate toms breed tiny RP hens with no cuts/biting gashes (and the deed was complete with a couple of minutes) and we had an RP tom that finally caught on to what end of a hen to mount after two years of getting it wrong. Haven't had a lot of tom's biting/pecking heads of hens, however.

    If he's new at this he's probably so stimulated that he's got the sparring/mating wires crossed.
     
  4. cganote

    cganote Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2015
    He is about 4 now, and we've bred him successfully for the past 2 years. He seems to be getting meaner with age; I don't remember him being as bad the first year. I'll try the pine tar! I'm sure the hens will love me for smearing it on their heads =)
    Quote: It does seem to take them a while to get worked up before they actually get around to mating. I hear peafowl are even worse about it.
     

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