Turkey Hens with poults sharing pen

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Corona~Barb, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Corona~Barb

    Corona~Barb Wing Shadow Farm Premium Member

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Roseburg, Oregon
    I have 3 turkey hens that have laid eggs in nest boxes. The first hatched 8 poults and was a great mom for a week. Then, hen #2 hatched 3 of 4 eggs. First time for me and I thought the poults would know who their mama was...NOT! They ran back and forth between the two hens during the day and split up for the night. One hen seems to dominate and occasionally keep the other hen away. At other times, they seem to co-mother the poults just fine. Poults are now 2 and 3 weeks old.

    SO, hen #3 is due to hatch in 4 or 5 days. She's setting on 10 eggs. The pen is very large (around 50' by 20') and covered. Are the new little babies likely to stay with their mom? I'm wondering what problems I'm looking at here. I don't want to move hen 3 somewhere else and upset her. I don't want the hens fighting over the poults. I'm not thinking the older poults will pick on the young ones (?).

    Steve, you have any thoughts on this?

    Corona~Barb
    So Calif.
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    It's hard to say what will happen. Once the youngest batch gets on their feet and moving around they will join or try to join the other poults like the first batch did. They will be smaller than the others and may get picked on at first. If the hens will share them I think it will work. Just have a back up plan for the third hen in case and keep and eye on the youngest ones.

    Steve
     
  3. Corona~Barb

    Corona~Barb Wing Shadow Farm Premium Member

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Roseburg, Oregon
    Thanks, Steve. I will be watching closely. I didn't think of the younger ones wanting to join the older ones. I have an 8' x 8' pen next to the big one that I have the tom in. He was still interested in breeding and I didn't want any babies getting squished under the mom when she covered them, so I moved him. He wasn't aggressive to the poults in any way. Maybe I could move him back in with the other hens and put hen 3 in the smaller pen if there are any problems.

    Barb
    So Calif
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Even though it's hens choice in turkey mating your tom may very well think the hens are laying down for him when they cover the poults - so that could be bad. Once the poults get bigger they will be fine together. Hopefully batch #3 will join right in.

    Steve
     

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