Turkey tom losing feathers

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Jedwards, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

    288
    22
    88
    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    Over the past 2 weeks I've been noticing my tom is losing feathers on the underside of his breast. I read through a couple threads so I have a few ideas but counted a few out.

    I inspected him for mites, didn't see any I don't think. Everyone else is fully feathered including the hen so I dint think it's mites since it's just him losing feathers.

    He roosts on a 2x4 at night not on the ground. Maybe it's rubbing on there? Has this happened to anyone else? that's my only idea

    His diet should have sufficient protein he gets lots of supplements not sure if he eats them or not but the hen does. And I think it may be too early for moult.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The feathers don't pull out easy I tuggged on a few. Not sure if that's new ones growing in or broken off ones. Thanks everyone
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    4,033
    2,756
    341
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    When I had toms losing feathers in this manner, it was because of fence walking and rubbing them off on the fence. The reason my tom was fence walking was because there was another tom on the other side of the fence. Both of them rubbed their breast feathers off.
     
  3. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

    288
    22
    88
    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    He's my only tom but I've had him from a poult last year and this is the first it's happening. I have to try and find out what he's rubbing on then. Supposed to hit some low temps here this weekend hope he fares well. Thanks!
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    4,033
    2,756
    341
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    I have only seen it happen during breeding season on adult toms. The cold temperatures didn't seem to bother my toms. The layer of fat under the skin seems to help more than the feathers.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

    288
    22
    88
    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    He struts every waking hour but I haven't seen him mount the hen yet. Hopefully he will get the urges
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    4,033
    2,756
    341
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    That sounds just like a normal tom. Right now I have one tom with two hens and have not yet seen any breeding attempts. He is a very young tom.

    The other tom with four hens is doing his breeding attempts very early in the morning. Even if I had not actually caught him in the act, I can tell that the breeding is going on by the messed up feathers on the hen's backs.

    If you only have the one hen with him, you will need to protect her from him when she goes broody. A tom will take the hen sitting on a nest as an invitation to breed. This will result in broken eggs and possible injuries to the hen. The simplest method to protect the hen is by making a nest area that has an entry big enough for the hen to get through but small enough that the tom can't get in. Seed the nest with a fake egg or two to help get the hen using the nest. One of the best materials for making such a nest area is to use pallets since they allow the hen to see out and also allows good air flow.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

    288
    22
    88
    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    I've been looking to get another hen for him but it's a tough time right now with spring right around the corner. Everyone is holding on to their hens for eggs or they want $$$. What do you mean by the pallets? Just a simple nest box hut type construction? and with an opening small enough so he can't get in
     
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    4,033
    2,756
    341
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    I made a box with four sides and a roof and an entry hole that the hen can get through but not the tom. If it is set up in a corner it will only need two sides and a top.

    Spring is never a good time to be looking for adult turkeys. It is when I get the highest dollars for extra adults that I have. This year I didn't even have to advertise them.
     
  9. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

    288
    22
    88
    Aug 5, 2014
    Berks County, PA
    Okay that's what I thought you meant. Yeah, unfortunately I wasn't proactive and missed most of my opportunities to acquire an extra hen without spending an arm and a leg. This is the first year I'm breeding my own turkeys (well planning on hatching the eggs anyway ha ha) and only the second time I have even done it so I'm practically new at it. Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by