Why is my female turkey aggressive?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Razz Gavin, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Razz Gavin

    Razz Gavin Out Of The Brooder

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    My turkey is approximately 8 months old and is EXTREMELY socialized and loves people. She's always been aggressive towards other animals and scared of other birds but she absolutely loves to cuddle with people.

    However, starting around 2 months ago she became aggressive towards my cousin. They've never had problems before and he did nothing to to ask for her anger. She was sitting on the back of my chair with me as she normally does and he came over to say hello to her and she began to turn red, raise her head, and threaten him. Ever since then, she gets mad just from seeing his face and turns into a complete brat and wants to bite everyone. Just recently she began doing the same to my aunt.

    She's never been aggressive towards a person besides one incident where I took her to the fair. Me and the her were alone in the cage together then a friend rushed in suddenly to join us. The turkey became aggressive towards her, but in this case it was understandable. My friend was a complete stranger and she intruded into the already cramped space and it makes sense that my bird would've become protective and territorial after being startled this way.

    Why is she suddenly turning aggressive towards certain people without even being provoked?
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Eight month old Jenny. Has she started to `present' herself to be bred (to you or anyone else?). If you can post up a shot of this `terror' it might be useful. Turkeys, between 6 months to a year of age are rather `growing' rather hormonal. This writer has never seen any aggressive behavior from a human imprinted jenny/hen (other than the expected hissing from their nests) directed at a human. However, If I had a `sulky' turkey jenny/hen she'd remain in the run when anyone else was available for targeting - these guys are just too big to tolerate this sort of behavior. Turkey `adolescence' is rather compressed - once she's over a year old (hen) then this `challenging' will probably fade away (sort of like the jakes intensity of sparring/social order rearranging decreasing into more formal patterns after they hit adulthood).

    Is this the only turkey you have? Is it kept with or range with other poultry?
     
  3. Razz Gavin

    Razz Gavin Out Of The Brooder

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    No she's never presented herself for breeding(unless that's what she's really doing when she randomly sits down on the ground and wants her head to be cuddled) and I don't have any pictures of her threatening people and she's currently asleep so I don't want to disturb her. But she raises her head and sticks her beak straight up at them and turns red then makes a sound that I'm not sure how to describe but it's sort of like a 1 second gobble. We have many chickens and 3 peafowl but she's the only turkey we have. She doesn't hang out with any of them and is actually afraid of most of them because they all chase her. The only other bird I've ever seen her have real contact with is a blind rooster because I keep them together at night
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Wasn't so much interested in a photo of the turk attacking a human (though I'd be interested in such as I've yet to see one posted), just a shot of the turk standing around - as the description of the behavior leaves me wondering about the sex. The girls do get their dander up (note the fence that keeps little miss tough girl safe from her mama). [​IMG] A year later and mother and daughter are vying for `flock control' (though the hens simply can't maintain the `pose' for any length of time) - a nip to the head of the young one and that was that. [​IMG] Presenting? Good for educational purposes and obviously available (a `lap' turkey just hanging out with humans won't assume the position - note the location of ankles and feet, less likely to be `tipped over' during mating attempts). Hens that have imprinted on humans and present so are easier to breed with a `borrowed' (strange) tom as the hen will present to the human and the tom can do the deed and be caged up and returned to owner forthwith. [​IMG]
     
  5. callieisspooky

    callieisspooky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ivan, will a jenny who has imprinted on a person breed with a tom who has also imprinted on humans?

    Razz, that sounds a bit like tom behavior to me. Maybe she is feeling anxious because she's the lowest in the pecking order. I've noticed my most aggressive birds are the low pecking order sort, though they only show aggression toward new, strange birds (such as crows).
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Yes. Really, the only difference between the sexes in an imprinted turk is that the hens will present to humans during breeding season. The toms are pretty much toms (will mate with anything from nothing but air to an empty boot in lieu of a hen - but they rarely attempt to mate with an occupied boot). Our toms (both human/hen imprinted) will sidle up to eat a grape from the `hand' but prefer to remain aloof & somewhat distant (though they'll follow one around just to see what is going on). [​IMG]
     
  7. Razz Gavin

    Razz Gavin Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to have to seriously consider that "she" may actually be male. She's fluffed her feathers up and stomped towards me quite a few times when she was younger and has never truly presented herself for mating. She has a furry head and has no beard or spurs yet, but she's still young so maybe it's just too soon to tell. Her hormones are probably just kicking in so that's why she wants to beat the rest of my family up. I'm probably the only one she doesn't threaten just because I've always been her mother and caretaker.
     

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