Turkeytom and fertility

Small Red

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 9, 2010
I have had Turkeys for some years (Bronce & Narragansett) and this year is the first time I have had problems with fertility.

I have one tom and 2 hens. My tom Victor is hatched 2010 so this is his first season of breeding. This year only about 10-20% of the eggs have been fertile
It has been no difference during the year, results have been the same every second week when I put eggs in the incubator. Eggs from both hens are fertile so he mates them both even if I very seldom see him in action. Victors father was also shy so I seldom saw him breed either, but he still had about 90% of the eggs fertile. Both hens had good fertilityrates last year when I had Victors father as tom in the flock

I like Victor because he is a very nice type and size (very good results from poultry shows) and its not to easy to find a good quality turkey tom in Sweden. He is also a nice bird that behaves well with people and as he and his ladies roams free on the farm during day that is important. He has never been ill and health is important. He is also unrelated to my hens so there is no inbreeding.

As this season has been a breeding disaster resulting in only 7 chickens I need to do something about it.

Is it possible Victor will mature and do a better job next year?
Shall I have Victor for dinner and keep one of his young sons?
Shall I by a new unrelated tom?

Thanks for advice!


10 Years
Jun 30, 2010
Aitkin, MN
Victor should have been good to go after one year. Since you don't know why Victor is so ineffective, keeping one of his sons is not a very secure solution. If it were me, I would try to find another tom. You could keep Victor or a son for one of the hens to test if Victor is just a late bloomer or if his sons would do just fine. But why would you? If Victor and his line are prone to low fertility, even for just the first year, that is not a trait you want to keep in your flock.

I wouldn't worry about finding another friendly turkey. The friendlies outnumber the mean ones by about 1000 to 1.

My first choice would be to find a new tom. Second choice would be to try an offspring and hope that his poor rookie performance is not passed on. Third choice would be to see if Victor outgrows his little problem.

Good Luck!


Deluxe Dozens
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
Riverside/Norco, CA
I had the same problem with my first midget white tom. Changing bloodlines, getting a brand new tom, was 100% his first year. Show winner is no good if 80% of his babies never hatch. Just depends, do you want ribbons, or do you want lots of baby turkeys?

Small Red

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 9, 2010
Quote:I want both

Well so far you are thinking the same way I do.

I just wanted to check with you if late bloomers was a common turkey problem. I'm also in to breeding geese and with some breeds it's quite common that the males are not taking the businesses with ladies so seriously the first year. Would be to bad if I had Victor for dinner and then found out that it was common that turkeys needed 2 years to develop.

As Turkeys are a lot more common in America than here in Sweden it's not a totally easy task to get hold of a new tom but I will give it a try. If I don't find a new tom I will keep at son and hope that he will do better job...

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