Tom Turkey Attacking Turkey Hens

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BantieMama, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. BantieMama

    BantieMama New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2015
    This morning when we went to feed our feathered flocks (we have full-sized chickens, banties, ducks and turkeys) we found our two turkey hens had been attacked by the tom. This was no "peck a few times, full a few feathers" kind of attack. The tom had viciously attacked both hens to the point that the hens were very beat up, muddy, had large patches of feathers missing (one had half her back feathers missing and her skin was bloody as was her head and the other hen had all the feathers on her underside missing.) One hen couldn't stand and the other one was upside down on her back and couldn't get up. We uprighted the one hen and she could stand but didn't want to walk. The other hen just laid there, with very labored breathing and eyes closed. They both appeared quite traumatized. While we where still in the pen the tom went and stood atop the poor hen who couldn't stand. We shooed him off of her and took both the hens to warm and dry shelter. (It's cold and wet here.) We're not sure the hen that appears the worse off will survive.

    The three turkeys were raised together and about are eight months old. There was another tom in the group but once the toms started fighting we separated him from the others but they are next door to each other and can see each other. The two toms were posturing with each other yesterday but we didn't think anything of it because they can't get to each other.

    Anyway my question is why in the world would a tom attack the only available hens around him to the point of almost killing them? We've not had this problem with our chicken flocks that each have a rooster in with hens. Is there anything we can do to keep the tom from attacking the hens? Or will we have to keep our tom separated from the hens forever? We were hoping to have them mate and hatch eggs but if the tom is going to continue attacking the girls all we'll have is dead hens. Do we just have a super aggressive tom who needs to end up in the freezer? He's never been aggressive to either of us. These are the first turkeys we've had so we have no history to help us out.

    Have any of you dealt with this problem and what did you do about it?
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Not all toms are good breeders. My guess is that he wanted to breed and the hens didn't. The feathers missing from their backs are most likely from a severe bad breeding attempt.

    Hopefully you can get the hens to recover by keeping away from the toms. In the meantime, I would process the tom that caused all the damage. Once the hens are healed, you may try the other tom with hopefully better results.

    Having the toms separated but being able to see each other may also have contributed to the problem since it got this tom wound up without being able to take it out on the other tom.

    Good luck.
     
  3. BantieMama

    BantieMama New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2015
    Thank you so much for your excellent advise! Makes so much sense. The Tom that did the damage has been our favorite until this morning. But processing him and trying the other Tom with the girls (once they heal) sounds like a good path to take. Thanks again!
     
  4. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

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    Check under those wings in case he gouged them with spurs.

    Noticed your new here so....:welcome
     
  5. BantieMama

    BantieMama New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2015
    Thanks for the advice (will certainly take it) and the welcome! Great advice and a warm welcome is always appreciated : )
     
  6. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Turkey for dinner tonight
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

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    BantiMoma....how are your hens?
     
  8. BantieMama

    BantieMama New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2015
    Ha Ha! It's entirely possible : )
     
  9. BantieMama

    BantieMama New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2015
    They are doing pretty good. Both are standing, eating and drinking and their raw places are healing. We have them in a pretty small space in our greenhouse (which does double duty as an "intensive care" ward) and they seem perfectly content. They are not trying to get out or wander around the greenhouse. I want to keep them in there for a while longer since it is pretty cold and wet here.
     
  10. fairie

    fairie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi I know this post is quite old. But I am wondering if you can fill me in on what happened? My Tom has been standing on his 2 girlfriends. And I am concerned that it is not because he is tryign to mate with them.
    Thank you
     

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