Tom Turkey A Watchdog In Disguise?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by thetajmahalcoop, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. thetajmahalcoop

    thetajmahalcoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    157
    2
    111
    Jan 2, 2010
    nunda ny
    yesterday a.m. I was sound asleep when about 6 a.m., prime Fox hunting time on my property I heard my Tom FREAKING out, he roosts next to the chicken coop about 3 feet off the ground, my two bronze hens roost UNDER the coop on the ground (bad turkeys!)....so I let my two dogs out and rushed out (in a snowsuit, gloves, hat, sweatshirt, winter jacket with pjs under it all..not much rushing there....its freezing up here!) and everyone seemed ok but my guineas were also hooting and hollering and all my chickens were down on the floor of the coop running around not roosting as usual, I didnt notice anyone missing but I think a fox must've been out there, in the past thats the time they struck before we had a nice coop built.....my question is has anyone else had their TOM act as a watchdog like this? all three of my turkeys are big big big so I think a fox might've gotten intimidated by them but a coyote wouldn't have I believe, we have those here too. I need to find the baby monitor I bought at a garage sale and get it out there I guess!
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    184
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Our toms and hens both will alert to anything slouching towards the run fencing (baby monitor is very good). Turkey hens are always the first to alert to hawks and that sends the chooks dashing to their coop. We had the turks in a chain link dog run (temp. digs while shed was going up). Heard all sorts of loud trilling, gobbling - went out with spot and rifle. Sure enough, opossum sauntering along. All the turks, jakes and jennys alike, were standing in the run, retrices raised and wing tips to the ground trying to make themselves look as intimidating as possible, and raising cain. As soon as the opossum was dumped in a five gallon bucket, they went right back to sleep.

    Good luck retiring the fox!
     
  3. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

    508
    4
    141
    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    This spring I actually watched a group of 5 wild jakes face down a full-grown coyote; it went away and then tried to circle back from another angle. It left for good when they stared him down (and started walking toward him like a street gang!) the second time. I've noticed that my tom will ignore my own dogs and cats but will alert loudly when anyone or anything that doesn't belong here comes into my yard.
     
  4. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My turkeys will investigate anything or anyone neew in my yard. They will always peck it if they can and try to drive it away/kill it. They have successfully convinced my normally agressive geese to stay in the orchard.
     
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    I have a very aggressive female that has been known to defend herself. One late, dark night, I heard a horrible racket in the barn, and my dogs were in the house still eating their supper. Grabbed a dog and went out to the barn, and found a window pane of glass broken through, the wire mesh behind that all pushed loose. It had to have been strong, whatever it was, because that wire mesh was attached to the windowsill with heavy-duty fencing staples. I suspect a fisher, as we've had those before. Big blood spatters everywhere! I saw all the blood and thought, for sure I'm down a bird or two. Lots and lots of blood, and spattered all over the turkey area, the loft above, the motorcycle parked 20 feet away from the turkey pen.

    Not a scratch on any of the turkeys or chickens. Aggressive Female (DH calls her a non-family-friendly name, and she has boxed me hard enough to give me a black eye) had feathers somewhat ruffled, and was perched close to the floor, in a corner, looking quite defiant. On careful examination, she was missing about three big feathers from tail and one wing. The rest of the birdies, all cowering up in the rafters.

    Dog sniffed around and barked up a storm, tracked some four-footed prints through the snow, but there wasn't any blood to be detected outside of the barn. We think it crawled under the barn and either died (oh, I hope not, but I guess we'd smell it come spring) or licked its wounds before buggering off. Also possible that the blood froze in its wounds before it escaped, I suppose, we've had subzero temps here.
     
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,152
    23
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    In the dark, the fox (or coyote) has the advantage, so I would NOT trust this situation, even though you heard the tom this time. A fox can kill poultry REALLY quick (he doesn't stop to eat them, just bites their necks quick, one after another).

    I speak from a tragic experience last year -- I lost my good breeding tom (Bourbon Red) and 3 breeding hens in one night (a year ago December) to a single fox in one night. It was a terrible scene I woke up to in the morning. I tried to save the big tom and one hen that were both still alive, and stitched up their wounds, but neither one made it. My friend and I also had to get rabies shots from all the fox saliva we contacted which was a nightmare, and expensive. So.... my suggestion is: put those 3 turkeys in a pen asap or you might lose them. The fox will come back again, probably soon, because with this cold weather all his other food sources are gone and now he knows you have a feast for him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by