Two hens, two toms

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by eviered, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. eviered

    eviered In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2009
    I got 6 poults this spring: 2 eastern wild, 2 spanish black, and 2 regular bronze. I am hoping to have a hen set a nest in the spring. I ended up with just the eastern and the blacks making it and I have a hen and a tom of each. Should I keep the two toms? I kind of like having an "extra" tom around in case something happens, but don't want to have it be "turkey wars" around here come breeding time. They are very tame. My daughter takes care of them and they follow her around like dogs. They free range on 10 acres, pretty much stay close to the house -- they are very curious -- like to stick their beaks in everything, which can be a real pain. Right now the toms have been strutting their stuff on a regular basis and kind of "mock fighting" with one another.

    I did want to butcher at least one for thanksgiving, but I can wait another year.

    One awesome side effect of the turks -- we have been overrun with grasshoppers this year in our part of the country. Everyone I know has been effected -- except me! Those turkeys make short work of the hoppers.
  2. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Songster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I would keep both if at all possible, but they may fight. It would be hard for me to eat my Tom Turkey, they have too much personality. If you do, from experience, I'd pretend to give him away first, and not tell the kids. Mine cry and carry on silly and yes, they ARE farm children but can't seem to eat the birds no matter what. They always name them "something" and then won't eat home grown chicken. I think they'd come undone if they thought they were eating Turkey Tom. Maybe you've done a better job, I failed miserably at, "we eat what we raise". Maybe during breeding season, you could pair up the turkeys somehow, then let each hen set her own eggs? My Tom gets along enuff with his nemesis Mr. Duck and the turkey hen ignores him. Just thoughts. [​IMG] HenZ

    ETA: Welcome to BYC!!!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  3. eviered

    eviered In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2009
    It's funny, I kind of cured them of the "we can't eat that" by getting 25 meat chickens that are are raising. They kids HATE those birds, think they are "gross" and I have to admit, they are a little icky to look at, they grow so fast and are such pigs. We also have egg layers: leghorns, aracunas and australorps. They are a different story. The kids walk around carrying those like babies, -- we could never get away with eating those, although I did have to dispatch of two roosters that were supposed to be pullets and they didn't seem to mind what was on their dinner plate that day :)

    Turkeys are certainly different though. Much more curious and very persistent in that they always want to see what we are doing.
  4. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    Why can't you keep the toms?? Two hens and two toms may not pose a problem. We fell in love with our BB tom and hen. But they wont be with us much longer as they were bred for the table. No, I cant eat them, like I said we fell in love with them. Our neighbors are going to take them. Keep 'em around if you can. [​IMG]
  5. Bantam Bodon

    Bantam Bodon Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    Osceola Mills PA
    If worse comes to worse and you REALLY want to keep both, just keep them in seperate pens, they wont be able to fight and or hurt eachother that way and youll be able to keep both.
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    I think you will be fine keeping both toms -- because of 2 reasons:

    1) they have grown up together (I assume you haven't kept them in separate pens, and they are a "social" group, roaming together).

    2) they are free-ranging which gives them less of a "territorial" manner and less of a reason to fight. In my experience, a social group of turkeys that roams freely together can have almost any number of hens and toms.
  7. eviered

    eviered In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2009
    Yes, all of my birds free-range on ten acres. They have the run of the place. I pen them up in their "house" (turkeys have their own house, chickens another) at night to keep predators at bay. I don't like penning up the birds, it just makes more work for me taking care of them, and they are much happier and healthier when they can just go where they want to. Plus they eat a LOT of the bug population which is really nice.
  8. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Songster

    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    Bug control is niiiiiiice... [​IMG]

    And it's FREE! $$$

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