Tom tails

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by chocolate m'scovy, May 26, 2010.

  1. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2010
    I have some turkeys who are about a year old. There are two Narragansett toms and two Bourbon Red toms. They have some girls but the turkey girls basically run off and do their own thing most of the day, so the toms stand around and strut at each other. For some weeks now, three of the toms have been missing the top half of their tail feathers. I don't think it is molting, but I have seen the turkeys pick at each other's feathers; does this mean that the toms perpetually pick each other's tail feathers out? Oh, the turkey hens might peck the toms' feathers sometimes too, as a symbol of their affection. [​IMG] Does anyone else have this problem? I feel kinda sorry for those swashbuckling guys who have practically no tails left...
  2. mbnewby

    mbnewby Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2010
    my females seem to eat his tail feathers
  3. Bluegem

    Bluegem Out Of The Brooder

    Feather pecking can be a sign of vitamin deficiency or boredom. When I had turkeys I used to feed them coconuts (they were everywhere where I used to live) so they had something to peck at it also was really good for their feathers especially when they were molting. Some people also hang vegetables up for them to peck at just to keep them occupied. If it isn't boredom and is in fact a vitamin deficiency I'd suggest getting some kind of supplement.
  4. AVizcaya

    AVizcaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2009
    With my toms it has more to do with the act of mating... Get a little too carried away and end up breaking a few feathers... My boys look quite mangled but are very happy [​IMG]
  5. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Females have been know to break the tails feathers of Tom's they don't like, usually the breakage goes all the way down to the secondary tail feathers. If this is what is happening then the most senior Tom in the pecking order will have the best looking tail feathers. When it happens during mating usually just the tips get broken off.

    Of out our current three Tom's the senior Ones tail feather have some breakage at the tips, the number 2 Spanish Black has most of his broken down to the shorter tail feathers. The Bourbon reds aren't to bad. All the Spanish black hens and one bourbon red do not like the number 2 Spanish black, to the point they will sometimes challenge him to the point of trying to fight.

    In the wild Hens usually stay with the most senior Tom through out the year or by them selves and only come to the other toms during mating season. The other bachelor toms will hang together trying to impress each other so they can move up the pecking order.

    In smaller flocks this is more obvious then larger ones.
  6. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2010
    Quote:Just what's happening! Some only have their secondary feathers left. And the one Narragansett male actually has most of his primaries. He also seems to be the most dominant as he's flicking his tongue a lot...

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