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Turkey hens fighting my rooster

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Parrotchick, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Parrotchick

    Parrotchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2009
    Boonsboro MD
    I asked on one of the chicken forums but nobody could give much help.

    Last fall, my muscovy drake Ivan started singling out my biggest rooster, Stella, to attack. (I think that Stella is actually # 2 in the pecking order but he is the biggest; the top cock is a bantam who is very dignified and generally avoids drama and fighting). I thought it because the duck was raised with chickens and therefore had identity issues. I was able to separate him.

    Several times in the last couple weeks, my 3 Bourbon Red hens, about 8 months old, ganged up on Stella, pecking him and chasing him. They put up their tails and pretend they're boys. Like Ivan, they had no interest in any of the other chickens/roos, even the ones that look very similar to Stella. They seek Stella out from a group. Tom just stands nearby, looking glamorous, while poor Stella puffed up and did his best to fight off these goofballs. I had to repeatedly shove the hens away, letting them know that I'm the top bird in these parts and they're gonna have to get past me first and they will not win. It took a lot of shoving to convince them to give up.

    All my birds have plenty of food/space/birds of the opposite gender. This has always happened during free range time. Usually the different kinds of birds pay no mind to each other, though now that I think of it, the turkeys hens, usually one at a time, have spontaneously latched upon a duck to harass and chase. The ducks won't fight back though; they just run away or try to get lost in the crowd.

    I just discovered a bunch of turkey eggs by my neighbors house, though apparently none of the girls have spent much time sitting. One did for the first time try to spend the night on the "nest" the other night but I brought her home. I always keep them in a pen at night and do a head check when putting everyone to bed. Could they just have crazy confused hormones?

    I'm not sure what to do. The turkeys have caused pandemonium since I brought them home two months ago just because of their size and general outgoing nature rattling the others' nerves. I adore them otherwise. Getting rid of or eating anyone is not an option. I already have a bunch of social engineering-the turkeys get the chicken pen at night while the chickens are in the coop. During the day, I let the turkeys out, and if I'm home the chickens can free range too. I hate to keep the chickens stuck in the pen because the turkeys are naughty. I guess I could shut the turkeys in the pen, but that's a lotta big poop in a small area. I suppose I may be stuck doing that.

    Any other ideas? Why are they doing this? Will it pass.
     
  2. MovieFanz

    MovieFanz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2010
    Hen turkeys hate seeing a rooster mate. They will attack. Most of the time it is not fatal but sometime I have found a rooster near death. It is normally the stupid rooster that fight back instead of running away. Just today I broke up a hen that would have killed the rooster. He is from a aggressive fighting breed. I moved the hen and she forgot about him. I have never had them attack any ducks or geese.
     
  3. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    My turkeys spend the night in the chicken run and my chickens spend the night in the coop. When I let them all out in the morning to free range, the rooster tries to mate the chickens, and the three female BRs chase him. He runs. Sounds like the same situation yo have, except since they can't all get along, my turkeys will eventually either all end up on the table or will get a separate living situation. Too bad, their personalities are disarming in every other way.
     
  4. poultryfan73

    poultryfan73 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2010
    Tioga County Pa
    Sometimes me hen turkeys would attack my rooster...but only for a little bit...nothing for me to worry about
     
  5. Parrotchick

    Parrotchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2009
    Boonsboro MD
    Hmmm, if the turkey hens are upset by the chickie porn, I would think they would be more apt to go after Stanley, who only has one thing on his mind. Others have their special favorites, but Stanley, near or at the bottom of the pecking order, tries anyone he can get. He's quick and agile too so often the higher roos don't get a chance to chase him away before he's done. All the roos get their turns at various times with the ladies, but Stella takes his other roo responsibilities, like guarding and finding food, very seriously.

    At the petting farm where I worked this fall, the turkeys and ducks and a few geese were together in a pen that was really too small for all of them. The turkeys had the poor ducks and geese terrorized and some got their necks bitten up pretty badly by the turkeys. It was always the hens doing it too; the toms were really laid back. And they didn't distinguish between their victims being male or female;both got it until we finally removed some of the birds to give more space. That's why I was reluctant to get turkeys, even though their personalities were pretty cool otherwise. In fact I waited, but then weeks later, some turkeys decided to get in and on my truck, so I figured they were very motivated to be with me.
     

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