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Turkey sexing question

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cgjsmith, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2007
    tennessee
    Hi all, I bought two sets of turkeys from two different people in the last month. I though we ended up with 3 hens and a tom because the "male" in the young set never acted like a male. well I went out to the barn today and all 4 turkeys were strutting (well fluffing there feathers only the tom we know is a tom was thumping and gobbling) My hubby sad that he though only the males were suppose to strutt. Any one able to shed some light on the situation? Please please please don't tell me we have 4 toms. Crystal
     
  2. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Well... at the moment I'm encountering the same problem as you. I have 1 tom, 1 hen, and 2 "unknowns". My "unknowns" are having me lean more towards a gobbler for the blue slate, and a hen for the bourbon red... only catch is, they BOTH have beards. The blue slates behavior is a little different from the bourbon reds.
    Yes, hens can occasionally, very rarely, strut. Are you positive they were strutting? Is it cold where you are? Maybe they were just fluffing up because they were cold?
     
  3. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Actually it's not rare for hens to have a beard. Even if theres two in the flock. Not common, but not so rare.

    Not rare for hens to strut either, all hens can if they want to, generally they are not strutting idiots most adult toms are.

    Only toms gobble. Also only toms can do the dramatic color change on their necks and heads, doing a quick flash of deep red on the neck and either red or white or blue(or all those) around the faces. Also only the toms can very visibly expand and contract their snoods.. if you have one turkey with a snood that looks much thicker and hangs down more than halfway down the beak or down side of face.. that's a tom. Hen snoods stay thin and short even as adults.

    Also look for the difference in the "naked" appearence of the throats and faces, toms tend to be very bare with a lot more bumps, they usually have 3 or so especially large bumps where the bare skin meets on bottom with the feathered part of front neck.

    Try turkey calling or raspberring at the turkeys, toms often try to gobble back at that, although sometimes some young toms don't gobble so easily until they are older. Then they will never shutup.. gobbling at door slamming.. at a rooster crowing.. almost any sudden noise.. I had a tom that would gobble EVERY time a he could hear a woman talking. Every time.. Even if she was talking for more than a minute, he'd be gobbling madly along as long as she kept talking.
     
  4. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2007
    tennessee
    I;m pretty sure I have three toms then. My only other question is why would a hen and a tom fight? And I mean a drag em out pecking fight? hubby thought it might be a territorial thing, I figure we won't know until we see eggs being laid. C

    wouldn't you know spelling was never my thing
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Hen and tom fighting? Is the hen older? I kind of doubt a hen would get in that kind of fight with a tom of same age or older.. Adult hens can sometimes be quite aggressive with young toms they don't think deserve respect, yet.. lol Other than that, turkeys have a pecking order just like chickens do and when two get in a fight and neither wants to back down, it does turn into a full on fight. Best to give a shelter so the loser can hide out if they're in a pen or coop, the winner usually wants to "keep on reminding who's the boss" for a long time and can continue to peck at the back of head until it's all messed up for real if the loser can't get away. In my experience these serious fights usually were between the same sex(yes, two hens can get in a fight that bad) or a young tom decided that he wasn't gonna take being henpecked by an older hen anymore.. and she disagreed with that.....

    One more thing I forgot to mention is that hen can have feathers that go up almost to the head on the back side of neck, on toms it stops way down below the neck. This is assuming the birds are more than um.. 6-8 months old.

    Why do you think there's three toms? Just curious.
     

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