What does this behavior mean?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by PatS, May 27, 2010.

  1. PatS

    PatS Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    My 3 week-old BRs and five week-old MWs have begun a strange behavior. One will sidle up to another, stand up as tall as it can and circle around the other, almost herding it. It does this a few times, and sometimes the one being circled will join in the strange dance. Then the one who started things will squat down low. What is this? Establishment of dominance?

    Also, the MWs have begun biting at our toes and fingers. What is the proper way to discourage this? (Those little beaks are SHARP!) One of them is losing neck fuzz. I'm not seeing her (?) friend picking on her, but there isn't anyone else who could be doing it. (The BR's are being brooded in another brooder for another week or two, till they get to be a similar size. They do run around -- and try to fly -- the uncarpeted areas of our house together for a bit each day for exercise, but are supervised.)
    Last edited: May 27, 2010

  2. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    mating behaviour... The squatting one is the female and the males is courting her.
  3. NancyP

    NancyP Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    yep, my chickens do this too.
  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    It's a dual purpose behavior, used for setting the pecking order and picking the dominate male.

    The one that is squatting down has excepted the lower position in the order, since one has excepted the lower position then there should not be any problems.

    If the female started this behavior then sat down it means she has picked the male as her main guy. Once the get old enough they would then mate.

    If a male started the behavior then sat down he has conceded that the other is senior.

    The next step is there might be sort of a cooing/twittering sound, this is a verbal challenge.

    Some times they work it out by trying to wrap there necks around each other, the males do this to see who is bigger and stronger. In this process they may grab the other snood or the skin on the others head.
  5. Quote:Exactly correct! [​IMG]

  6. PatS

    PatS Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Quote:Yes, they did that last night. Sort of like when people play "thumb war," only they did it with their necks.

    (Oh gosh, I hope I have some girls in this mix!)

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