very gentle tom turned very aggressive

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by thomastheturkey, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. thomastheturkey

    thomastheturkey New Egg

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    I didn't know what a royal palm was until I fell in love with Thomas T. Turkey, (about one year old) who I found at an aucion. I never even owned a bird before but here I was bringing home a "gentle" turkey. I thought he would make a fabulous pet, and he did for about 4 months. It's a little complicated........I'll try to be brief. I felt that Thomas was lonely. He demanded constant attention, petting and company. So I wanted to get him a buddy, but I had trouble finding a tame royal palm hen, soooo.............now here I am with 10 five-week old poults (the least that I could buy at a day old). They have started spending time outside and at first I was concerned that Thomas was going to hurt them as he pecked at them. But it seemed more of an act than an actual threat, so I let them get close. NOW......no one can go near the poults. No one can go near Thomas. In fact, he outright chases and attacks EVERYTHING! The cats, the dogs, my husband, my son and EVEN ME! He tolerates me the most and I can still pick him up, but I am afraid of him. I realize he is protecting the poults, at least I think he is, but he won't even let me near the enclosure to care for them. He still acts like this when the poults are inside. I don't know what to do?!!! I don't wan't to separate him from the poults and I don't want to have to pen him because he was never penned in his life and when we do pen him, it seems he will die of a stroke!

    One other thing. One afternoon Thomas was chased by a hunter's unleashed dogs onto the game land behind and around our home. He got lost and spent two nights on the mountain before we found him. He has not been the same since. Now, this all happened right around the time the poults started going outside, so I don't know which event is causing the problem, but I guess it really doesn't matter at this point, I just want the old, loving Thomas back!

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  2. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I gotta give him credit, he is a survivor!!! It seems that domestic animals always get a little wild when they're in the wild. Also since you have young mates for him, he may be getting more protective. He may settle down once they're old enough to mate with?
     
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    That Royal Palm tom sounds VERY dangerous. He could scar you for life. Hey, I know how you can be safe..... Give him to me! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    :welcomeSounds like he has taken on a protective role for the poults. Thomas is now a turkey not a pet. edited to add:welcome Why are the smilies messing with me?[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  6. thomastheturkey

    thomastheturkey New Egg

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    Thanks all. Well, when I got the poults, it was with the idea that he would start being more like a turkey and less like a human. So, all in all, it's good, and I guess I got what I wanted.......and what he wanted, too. It's just bitter sweet. We will persevere and hopefully we will have babies next year! Either that or Thomas is going to go live with birdaholic!! [​IMG]
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I'd have me a turkey stick and be schooling this tom just like a roo....a tom turkey can do tremendous damage to your legs.

    You need to forget all about Tom the pet and start treating him like Tom the Turkey and establish yourself as the Boss Gobbler. Never let your guard down and be consistent with his training.....or have him for Thanksgiving.

    My husband's grandmother had a tom like this one and he was a terror to anyone who visited...and they used to laugh about it. Until I would only visit with a club in my hand...he quickly learned that I wasn't an easy mark and would avoid me thereafter. They can learn....school should start soon! [​IMG]
     
  8. thomastheturkey

    thomastheturkey New Egg

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    Thanks, kissed. He may not make it to Thanksgiving if my husband has his way. He would be dinner next week! Thomas has been the most brutal to him. I'm giving him a pardon for now and we will see how "school" goes.
     
  9. Jkioneil

    Jkioneil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what isw this schooling with a stick?
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Well...for an aggressive roo I take the roo stick with me to the coop and watch for an opening or opportunity to tune up the roo. If he approaches me in any way that I would consider even remotely bold, I will whack his feathery behind right on the fluffy feathers. As he starts to run away, I will touch him on the back lightly with this stick.

    Then I lie in wait for him to re-enter the coop while the rest of the hens are feeding.....and surprise him with an "attack", a light tap with the stick...just enough to surprise him and make him run.

    He should be very wary of you at this time, if he has any smarts at all, and be walking a wide berth. Stand still and let him get comfy again....let him walk towards the feeder and as soon as he gets near it, tap on the tail feathers enough to make him jump and run. Do not let him eat while you are around.

    If he attempts to re-enter the coop after that, whack! Slap that stick against the wood right by his little beaky face....no entrance for lower roos until the BIG roo is done in the coop.

    Do NOT let him breed a hen...if he attempts to do so, wait until he is getting set and tap him on the back and follow it up with a tap to the behind as he runs away.

    Be consistent and we watching....I've never had to do this behaviour more than once to establish dominance but my roos seem pretty darn smart. Could be a dumber roo would take more lessons.

    After the first day you can allow him to walk around but occasionally make a lunge towards him if he approaches near you...make him flinch and run. Never let him eat or breed while you are there. Occasionally go out in the coop after they hit the roosts and make him get down by shoving gently on his chest or just grab him and set him on the ground....he can't have the choice pick if you are in the coop.

    All of these actions are what an alpha roo does to a subordinate roo in the flock...I've watched. A lot. I don't have claws or beak but I do have a light weight roo stick that can surprise a fella from a distance.

    After a mere day or two, all you have to do is watch and correct any relapse in behaviour...so far I've not had any roos that relapse.

    With a turkey, I would use a much heavier stick...they have more bulk and feathers. Do NOT let a tom strut and display in front of you...this is an act of dominance. Do not let him do the dance....whack that bird and then chase him and whack him again on the butt. Jump out from around a corner and whack that butt or touch him on the back with the stick. Keep him jumpy and wary....just like he is doing to you. Turn those tables and see who backs down....you are bigger, you are armed and you know just what will startle a bird. Use it. As often as it takes to make this tom walk around on the perimeter of things and trying to stay out of your reach.

    Don't worry about hurting these birds...they are lightweight and they bounce. Their feathers protect them from most injury...unless you have a Louisville Slugger and are intent on killing, you really can't hurt them by using this method.
     

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