Turkeys aggressive to chickens, killed baby duck

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by tinydancer87, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. tinydancer87

    tinydancer87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2011
    SE Georgia
    Ok, so I have three Narragansett turkeys, 2 females, 1 male, which freerange with my chickens. They are pretty cool, very curious, lots of personality. However, any time there is a new chicken, or babies, or basically anything new, they are persistently aggressive, ie. stalking new chickens and pecking, attacking, bushing up, etc.

    And worst of all, I just had a hen hatch 8 runner duck babies, and before I could get her isolated (they came a little earlier than expected), the turkeys had killed one. I know it was them because when my husband went to get the nest box and hen, he said the turkey was standing in the nest box over her, probably waiting for a little head to pop up so she could grab it.

    Has anyone else ever had similar issues? I love my turks but I guess I might have to sell them on craigslist. They are also mean to my existing chickens that they grew up with (turkeys are about 8 months old). The chickens are always darting and dodging around them. [​IMG]
  2. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Turkeys can be aggressive. They can get more aggressive in smaller pens and with other birds. I'd keep them separated.
  3. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 21, 2011
    I've got 3 12 wk old RP's that I've known from Day 1 I was gong to have to pen separate from my chickens. It's usually not a good idea to put 8 wk olds with adults and for the same reason it seldom works to keep turkeys with chickens. Some people do without problems. I decided not to worry about coming home to a dead chicken and just separate them.
  4. elevan

    elevan Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    My turkeys are kept in my goat buck field and the chickens / guineas are kept in the goat doe field. Occasionally a chicken or guinea makes it into the buck field and our tom turkey tries to kill the chicken every time...for some reason he ignores the guineas [​IMG] The turkey hen leaves them all alone. But then sometimes the tom turkey will chase the goats too. I'm glad mine are only around for a short season.
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Turks aren't much on change. That which is new is suspect/that which is old is probably new again... Have a coiled length of old hose down by the pond. The turks (especially the hens) always give it the twice over with soft ground pred alarms and teach their poults to do the same. Dead preds are prepped for removal, to a Turkey Vulture feeding station, by dumping them into a black, 5gal. bucket. The turks ALWAYS have to gawk and examine the bucket for evidence of a `bad thing' (never bother with any of the other 5gal. buckets). Those behaviors, just described, developed early on and now, after nearly 6yrs, are habits bordering on compulsions.

    Our chooks were pullets when our heritage turks transitioned from the brooder to the out-of-doors. The chicks were brooded with BBB poults so the chooks already knew about turkeys. The chooks still rule the roost. All the turks defer to the chooks when treats are available, chooks kick the turks out of the fire pit (dirt bathing central) and the chook hens are the primary enforcers (more so than the roo), spreading their hen hackles, leaping and biting at the turks to keep them in line. Our runt BSL hen has but to growl and the turks give her a wide berth, or just retreat This behavior in the adult turks is picked up by the poults.

    Who/what they imprint on and what they experience shortly thereafter, fixes `flock-nonflock'/dominance-submission pretty permanently. Always best to separate to be sure (during spring/fall - homonal/new turks, the histories of which are unknown).

    I'd be tempted to watch them and, whenever they started to get aggressive, discharge one of those handheld, compressed air, alarm horns - see what happens.

    Good luck, all!
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  6. jamesnoldsr

    jamesnoldsr Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2011
    North Central Texas
    We have some young turkeys - 3 Royal Palm and 3 Bourbon Reds. We too had some baby ducks hatch under a chicken hen. I was moving the baby ducks out of the pen when one of the turkeys grabbed one of the poor little ducks by the bill and ran off with it. That poor duckling's bill bled like crazy but I got ahold of the turkey and got that duckling back. Talk about trauma! The duckling was screaming, I was yelling at the turkey- the dogs outside the pen were barking.... I now keep them separate.
  7. tinydancer87

    tinydancer87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2011
    SE Georgia
    Quote:This is SO TRUE. When I introduced a new hen a while back, they stalked her and pecked her for like two days. Same with a BR rooster that they were raised with--once he reached a certain age, they HATED him. Stalking, attacking, pecking him relentlessly. They finally got over it, but not before he was injured on is beak and comb.

    I have a hen setting on eggs now. I love the turks, but I think the best thing is to sell them and focus on my chicks. I know that if they were gone I wouldn't have to keep the hen and baby ducks in the kitchen, which is quite smelly.

    Thanks to everyone for their responses!
  8. syble

    syble Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Its just a turkey thing, i have chickens and turkey flock, separated by a fence they see each other, but if the wrong chicken makes it over the fence they gang up on it. or if the quail make it out they gang up and kill it, no middle ground its done for!

    I brought a young muscovy drake home, (for christmas) the turkeys hate it so much they constantly want over the fence to get at it. only difference is that the duck fights back... next year... fully enclosed turkey isolation igloo!!!!

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