Turkey behavior

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Pampered Hen, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a first time turkey owner. I have a 4-month old pair of BRs and am naturally worried that my male might turn mean at some point. Is agression commonplace in toms or rather rare? And what can be done in case they become mean?
    So far, Franklin the jake is a nice boy and rather on the shy side. Trudi, the girl on the other hand loves attention. She seems to have an obsession with my hands... She goes for them like they are a snack. She is big enough now, that it hurts and she janks hard! I can pick her up easy and when she is in my arms or sits on my lap she is totally docile and gentle. But as soon as I let her down her focus is back on my fingers. Is there something I can do to break her of the finger snapping habit?
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    In all our of years of raising turkeys we have had 1 aggressive tom. He was bought as an adult and I always figured that was a factor. All of ours are used to being around us and have never been a problem. We never really even figured what set him off, our daughter came into the pen one day and was strutting around her and she kicked at him. After that it was game on. Whenever you went into the pen he would come at you. I tried everything even to the point I figured I killed him a couple of times kicking him so hard but nothing worked. He has some of the best markings I have ever seen on a Royal Palm so we sold him to an older guy with no kids and fenced in pen. He is still mean as a snake but has a couple hens and doing well.

    With the fingers once they get a habit it like dogs, pop them and say no.

    Steve
     
  3. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Steve!
    I will try to train that pesky bird.
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Either that or get used to it, if she eats one you still have 9 to go right.

    I should have added on the tom and agression. Don't act scared or back down from him, like any other animal and children if they can push you they will. [​IMG]

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  5. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Steve,
    Preferably I keep all my digits…

    I learned to stand my ground with an aggressive Wyandotte rooster and am currently raising the "packing peanuts" that were shipped with the turkey poults: half a dozen Rhode Island/Production Red cockerels with a mean streak. I don't give them an inch - when they drop a wing or look at me wrong I make sure they know that I’m the boss. But then, since I don’t want roosters in my flock (and certainly not aggressive ones) these guys will become dinner soon and it is not really essential to teach them manners.
     
  6. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2010
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    I'm beginning to think that the hens are generally the more aggressive, apart from the stags showing off to one another. We have hens bullying and even displaying to the 7 week old poults.

    As for aggression against yourself, I agree with the advice above that you must not give way. My wife once ran from a protective setting hen and was then attacked every time she got to the coop door. You must face up to them and advance. Waving a stick helps. You might copy some of their posturing and noises, especially if you also want the neighbours to stay away from you.

    I don't know what to say about the friendly finger pecking other than keep them tucked away!
     
  7. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    My hens are pretty mellow, but they are Royal Palms, the more skiddish of the turkey world. I have 3 Blue Slate toms with attitude!! I am in the process of "stick training".

    [​IMG]
    TURKS WITH ATTITUDE!
     
  8. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, impressive birds your blue slates!

    I do appreciate all your advice. You turkey people are such a neat bunch and willing to share your wisdom!
    I will be peppering you all with more questions as time goes on and my pair of lovely BRs matures. [​IMG]
     
  9. Pampered Hen

    Pampered Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quick update on that pesky turkey girl of mine: Trudi hopped the fence yesterday and wandered over to my neighbor - walked right into his lap, snuggled down and coaxed him to sharing his blueberry snack! Looks like she is set on becoming the favorite bird around here.
     
  10. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Nice bird, nicer neighbor! I wish mine were like that -- a couple are ok, one in particular is a jerk. The neighbors that is, not the birds.
     

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