Turkey Territorial Behavior? - Please Help...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Inkyspal, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Inkyspal

    Inkyspal New Egg

    Jun 21, 2011
    I have a 9-week old poult, "J.T.", who has lived alone in his coop since he (or she) hatched (gender is unknown at this point). Understanding that turkeys are social birds, and wanting to give him some companions, I bought two 4-week old poults a couple of days ago. I placed them into a separate brooder next to his coop where they can openly see each other. Yesterday, I decided to see how he would react if I placed one of the poults into his coop. I held my hand up around the poult to protect him. J.T. immediately ran over to the baby and began attacking it...Thankfully, my hand protected him from the pecks. I quickly removed him.
    Now, here's the strange part...twice I have brought J.T. and the two babies into my living room and place them onto the floor on towels. J.T. is the sweetest turkey in the world to them. He lies there while they walk all around him, peck on him, even walk on his back and he just lies there like a rug and lets them do anything they want to him. They all three eat treats together and act like the best of friends.
    So, this afternoon, when J.T. was in his coop I thought I'd try placing one of the babies in there with him again. J.T. immediately ran over to him and began the pecking...again, my hand was protecting the baby, so all that J.T. pecked was my fingers. However, if I hadn't have been protecting him, I know he would've hurt the baby.
    I'm so confused by this behavior. How can he be so sweet and humble when he is outside of his coop and so aggressive when the peeps go into his "house". I am assuming that this must be something territorial? How will I ever be able to unite these birds into one home? In the coming months I plan to build a large pen behind my house where they will all live together. Maybe if I place them all there together from the beginning, there won't be any territorial issues? I'm open for expanations and suggestions!

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  2. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Because they were IN HIS house... try a different neutral ground and see how he behaves

    When you go to put them in the new coop put them in at the same time.. that way it's neutral ground that no one has claimed yet

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by