turkey fights

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bibliophile birds, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Christiney

    Christiney Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2011
    I had two white hens who I had to separate. One would get beat so badly I couldnt stand it anymore. So I made two pens.
  2. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    It's going to get worse? Great.
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Have always had two-three toms (going on seven years). Yes, they do spar for dominance. Having a large enough run and someplace to retreat to when the attacks become compulsive (usually only happens if hens gang up on low tom on the totem pole), e.g.,, easy to reach roost, helps limit the incessant pecking.

    Penning the hens out of sight of the toms will suppress all but the usual pecking order fights. Though our toms have sometimes sparred right through the night, none have been killed, all have healed up and the actual amount of their lives consumed leaving one another's feathers strewn about has amounted to about 2%. Hens? even less.
  4. Luv Turkey Talk

    Luv Turkey Talk Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2012
    Dear Golden feathers (or anyone available with advice),
    Im experiencing my first year with heritage turkeys and im very concerned about the ratio of male vs. female. I hv 2 RP jakes and 1 BS jake along with 4 RP hens and 4 BS hens. I'm currently awaiting my delivery of butterfly saddles to protect my girls. I expect the boys will soon become very disrespectful to the ladies. Twice this week i believe that two hens were either bred or an attempt was made (there were featgers everywhere and one RP and one BS hen were missing their down. There is plenty of jake fighting as they hv not quite finished establishing their pecking order. Although, they seem rather stupidly interested in the hens. I can and do separate the jakes (mostly between the RP's) by holding them by the neck and outstreching my arms. Then I usually pick up and hold one carrying it away to the food bin to get some corn to put in the pen to redirect them to the food. There is only one submissive hen that has been picked on the back of her neck by the other hens. The boys seem partial and protective to one hen each, like three sweet couples. I know this harmony will change and hopefully there will not be any severe injuries or worse. Would you please share your experiences or offer any advice to protect my family of chicks? I never would hv guessed that I would love these turkeys as I do. They are so tame and they all like to take turns napping in my arms while lying on their backs held like a baby! It's such a hoot! My BS is 22lbs and quite an armful to hold! LOL!
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007

    I'd probably separate the `hens'? (jennies same age as jakes?) into a separate run. Problem with Jennies (if they are just now becoming active 7-8 months) is that they'll seek out and present to a jake without counting the number of jakes. One will `belly up' for servicing and all jakes will either attempt to simultaneously mate the jenny or knock off the potentially successful suitor (even if he's got it backwards and is mounting her head... jakes are like that), bruising and lacerations can result.

    Separating allows for control of what turks are breeding (if you don't want mixed variety). Hens-only area allows one to control nesting arrangements (if you don't want poults then either allow no breeding or collecting eggs regularly is required) if no arrangements are made you'll have a hen wander back with a passel of poults or, more likely, find predator chomped remains.

    Yes, they are very sociable, generally easy going curious birds. In a larger sense, we've found it easier to manage/deal with hormonal turks than hormonal daughters...

    Good luck!
    2 people like this.
  6. judsenn

    judsenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2012
  7. BarneyChick97

    BarneyChick97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2011
    Mt. Vernon, Washington
    I said way back in this feed that we had all hens....no. I was wrong! My husband and I just figured this out. We are on our 3rd year with turkeys. Our first year, we had 2 toms and 2 hens. That year, the 2 big ones fought pretty good. I guess I was thinking that there would be some big thrash with spurs?? They got puffed up all the time, and they would whip their wings at one another. You could do nothing to stop it. Spray them with the hose, NOPE. Throw a bucket, NOPE. (they had cat like reflexes!!!) They would grab skin and pull, and there would be a little blood. They were definitely HUGE too. Second year turkeys, were all hens. PRETTY sure cause every single one was laying an egg. They were aggressive with each other too, and even puffed a little, but nothing as showy as first year turkeys. I don't remember 2nd year chicks acting aggressive either? This years chicks (3rd), we got today....and there is one in the batch of 4, that is kind of a punk!!! So, I wonder, ??? Will there be toms??
  8. retlaw

    retlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2013
    I found late morning and earlier afternoon is when they like to get the fighting going.
    Around that three hour period hell breaks loose and then it settles back down until the next day.
  9. Kate+chicks

    Kate+chicks Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2012
    This is our first Turkey year. We started out with a breeding trio (2 hens abd a tom) now we have 21 total. All 18 are their offspring raised as a natural hatch. We will be processing all 18 in November. Right now they are fighting something fierce. I hope they survive to process but they are really something to watch because they look like they will fight to the end. Interestingly enough, the older tom (the father) is not joining in bit is walking around in full display and gobbling. Like he is watching out that things do not go too far.

    The other weird thing is that my one hen is still laying. It was one egg a day until the beginning of this month. Now she is about 3 per week.
  10. WalterMellen

    WalterMellen Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 14, 2013
    I recently started having a problem with my turkeys fighting as well, and they were very vicious to one another. The toms harmed one of my hens, and they were bloody themselves from fighting. I removed the hens from the pen and relocated them far away from the toms. They still fight occasionally but not as brutal as they were when the hens were around. They will be 6 months old at the beginning of October, I wasn't really wanting to process them until closer to Thanksgiving, but I may have to to keep the peace.

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