Turkey hates my baby! Stop the aggression?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ligeia, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. ligeia

    ligeia Out Of The Brooder

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    We just got two one year old Bourbon Red Turkeys. Long story short, we only have the male left and are trying to get him more bird friends shortly. Anyway, the problem is I also have one 2.5 year old daughter and a 6 month old son. The turkey seems to adore my daughter. Follows her around, gobbles at the dogs and stands there next to her if she falls down, stuff like that. With my 6 month old, if I put him down on the ground or in the bouncer, the turkey RUNS over and attacks him! I can yell at him, push him over, pick him up, run after him flailing my arms, nothing seems to dissuade him from the idea that attacking my son is the ultimate goal. Is there anything I can do to assert my dominance on behalf of my son? How can we get him to stop attacking the baby? He loves everyone else in the family and any friends we've brought over, he just hates the baby. We were hoping he would be a familiy pet so this is a bit upsetting! Will he calm down when we get him some more bird company again?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  2. backyardchickenfarmer

    backyardchickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I dont know what the problem is but maybe because your son is smaller then the turkey, the turkey may feel that he can over power you son because hes bigger then him. just a thought [​IMG] good luck!
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Hi!

    I'm going to make the same observation here, that I've made in numerous rooster threads: Eye surgery is expensive, adequate seperation of human infants/young children/unwitting guests from roos and toms with fencing is cheap.

    I would no more allow the toms and roo out of their runs when our grandkids are here than I would leave a soldering iron on the kitchen table while they're sitting there with their crayons.

    Our roo is an excellent fellow. When we range the flock, and they all gather on the back deck to preen and gossip before going to roost, he'll often hunker down between Cass and I on the top step and take a siesta. However, if I wear the mudboots with the yellow stripe of rubber running round the sole he transforms into a Phoenix on PCP and will flog mercilessy (well, until I pick him up and haul him around for a bit).

    There is an element of unpredictability that cannot be zeroed out. Your children can get just as much enjoyment from seeing the tom (and, I'm hopeful, his new friends) on the other side of the fence (I'd suggest 6ft. 1"x2" welded wire), and you will not have any difficult explaining to do at the ER, e.g., "You said it was a turkey that caused this?"...

    ed: (roo singular)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Once a turkey turns agressive I have never seen them stop. We had a Royal Palm tom a few years ago that was the nicest turkey, he would eat out of your hand, let you pick him up no problems. One day my step daughter came into the pen and he went over to her and she kicked at him and the fight was on from that day forward. He went after anybody that went into that pen. I tried everything, I could make him submit but just as soon as he got his wind back he would come at me again. He had such nice markings that I couldn't take him to the freezer so we sold him to an experienced breeder that had a large pasture and a couple hens for him. Last we heard he was doing well, king of his pasture and still mean as a snake. lol

    I agree 100% with Ivan, turkeys are large powerful birds and could do major damage quickly. I have about a 6 inch scar on my chest where I picked up a tom with no shirt on of course (smart me) One of his nails cut me open just as good as a knife would have. fence is very cheap for your kids safety.

    Steve in NC
     
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Methinks the turkey should be the guest of honor for Valentines day dinner for your son's sake or anyone elses.
     
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    The turkey probably sees your daughter as his property, like a hen and your son like an intruder. He may be cute with your daughter now, but he may turn on her (or try to breed her). I would keep him away from the kids.
     
  7. ligeia

    ligeia Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the replies. I probably already know the answer to my question but is there any way to be more certain of a friendly turkey? Are there breeds more likely to be friendly or would it help to raise one up from the egg if we want one that will be nice? Just wondered.
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Hand raise them from day one (yes, poults), if they imprint on you it will help later on. But it will only mediate the individual character of the turk (and sometimes, not so much). Turkeys (from our rather limited experience) make up in social accumen what they might lack in raw intelligence (and they are much smarter than they are given credit for) and it seems to make a big difference if they recognize you as `Mr./Ms. HAND/Boss Bird from day one.

    We hand raised ours. We had two Slate toms (now one), our survivor is just as pacific and easy going as can be (never charges cars, never jumped a chicken) same or more so with the Royal. The Big Slate Boris was a pushy boy with little tolerance for frustration (never did anything more with me than push against my leg when he wanted grapes) and a bad attitude. He tried jumping a hen once (not attempting to mate but to kill), hopping straight up in the air and aiming to come down with his thirty pounds concentrated in his two big feet, directly in center of the hen's back (missed). Roo kicked his butt for that one. He wouldn't let anyone get out of a car (kinda handy, that). He succumbed to disease.

    Spend time with them and don't take any guff.

    They are very interesting and entertaining yard comrades, overall.

    Good luck,

    John
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are numerous accounts of lovingly hand raised poultry that are sweet as can be as youngsters, then upon reaching sexual maturity will often times attack anyone that comes in contact with the perceived imprentee as parent in order to protect him/her. Some have even done serious bodily harm to children.
     
  10. reveriereptile

    reveriereptile Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised some giant whites from chicks this past summer and I never had any problems with them attacking. One of the toms when he was little would get on my hand and try to take a bath on it even when he got big enough that only one foot would fit on my hand. We just finally ate him though. I think one reason I didn't have any problems with them was due to the toms being so heavy. We had to eat one cause he got way to big that his legs started bowing real bad. We did buy some more turkeys but I'm not sure how the tom is. He is a 2.5 yr. old blue slate and we bought a hen and two bourbon red hens. The hens seem alright to go near. I don't know how the tom will be when we take him outside during the summer.

    I've had similar expierences with a white chinese weeder goose that I raised as a baby. I could go up and pet him, feed him by hand, and he would follow me around. Then one day he started running up and biting people from behind but didn't mess with me. Then I was near his pool and he came over and gave me a light pinch on the arm like he does with his ladies to make them get out of his pool. Then finally the day came that I was kneeling down to pet him and then he bit onto my pant leg and tried mating with my leg. He got to the point that I used the feed bucket to block him from coming near me. I got tired of not getting to stay around with my chickens so when I seen him come near me I used my foot and gave me a push on his chest. Just strong enough to show him who the boss is but not enough to hurt him. I did that a few times and only had a problem once in a while with him after that. Finally sold them cause they were noisey and crapped way to much.
     

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