Turkey behavior/breeding

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Smoky73, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Colorado
    We got our turkeys for pets in April of this year. We had 3 toms and 1 hen, so I went and found a few more younger hens. So now we have a total of 7, 3 toms and 4 hens. They are all great and have been friendly. Winter time is upon us, and we had to force them into a building each night we built as I was afraid they would get too cold. This last week, the fighting has started among the boyx and girls, bloodied birds but all flesh wounds nothing serious. Yesterday the first time the biggest black spanish chest bumped my husband in the leg. Did not bite him or anythng, just body slammed him essentially. Scared my DH a bit as he was not expecting it. Is the fall mating season for turkeys? Just trying to figure why all of a sudden this has started. We assume it might be like Elk in the Rut in the fall. And should we expect to start finding eggs soon?
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    What is going on right now is the boys sorting out their pecking order. As they mature they are not satisfied with their pecking order status and wish to move up to the lead position.

    In spring the fighting will become much worse My hens start laying around the last week of March. Since you are in Colorado, your hens should start laying a little earlier.

    My recommendation is to eliminate at least one of your toms. You may want to keep one as a back up but come spring you should separate the toms and only allow one of them with the hens.

    Your tom that body slammed your husband is a good candidate to be removed. His behavior is likely to only get worse as he apparently was not raised to know the difference between a person and a turkey. He will only continue to use stronger tactics to assert his dominance. You either need to break him of the idea that people are turkeys or eliminate him.
     
  3. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Colorado
    Thank you so much for the reply. All of the toms and the 1 hen were raised by us since day old, so maybe he thinks that they are people too LOL. They follow us everywhere when lose. I sure do not want to kill any of them, and would hate to get rid of one of them to someone else, however, if it does indeed get worse, we will likely butcher one. I believe the one that attacked my husband is also the one that has this growl. It is very loud, and sounds just like a tiger roar to be honest. I have not taken care of them myself for several days, so maybe we will see what happens while I am off of work. If it attacks me that would be no bueno LOL.
     
  4. LittleRock

    LittleRock Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 30, 2014
    Sunny So Cal
    I find this intriguing as this is my exact set up. I have three toms and four hens. My oldest Tom was hatched in April and I've had him since. He is older and larger than my other two toms so there has been zero aggression from him. Thankfully! I do plan on separating them come the new year to help prevent any fighting.

    I did have a pair of Blue Slate toms that were only a couple of weeks younger than my oldest Tom, and they did show aggression towards me. They would also constantly pick fights with each other. They were my wife's favorite variety but we both agreed that it is not what we want in our flock. We sold one this past weekend and processed the other one. The coop appears much more tranquil now.
     

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