Will my wild male turkey kill my cockerels?


10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
Southern Md
I have a small backyard flock of 10 hens and 2 cockerels. 1 white rock roo is almost a year old and the ameraucana is 7 months. The wild turkey roamed the neighborhood alone as a young one last spring. Once he discovered my hens in July he basically moved in, roosting in the trees above the coop at night and hanging with the flock next to their run or free ranging with them during the day. He makes a habit of chasing both roos each time I let them out then they all settle down and that is that.
Yesterday when I let them out, he chased them and when they settled down to peck he arched over them and grabbed each of them by the neck and held them there. They didn't struggle too badly but i freaked out and picked him up from the rear (he doesn't let me touch him) and he dropped the roo each time. Happened twice with each roo and I put everyone away.
Sorry for the long explanation. So is he feeling his spring oats and dominating my roos and all will sort out? Or will he kill them? I can't see what I could do to change the situation. I won't kill the turkey.

the Old Rebel

Rest in Peace -2011
12 Years
May 12, 2007
Hendersonville NC
I'm not a turkey expert by any means, but I've had turkey toms that killed their own offspring. To be on the safe side, is there any way you can let the hens out without the cockerels? Can you get a turkey hen for the tom?? I think with the male/male situation you've definitely got a problem. I'd be careful letting them mix. You MAY have a problem with your two cockerels a little later on. I've had roosters that were brothers who grew up together and spent two years together, turn on each other and one kill the other one. It happens in a split second of time.

I HOPE someone who knows more than I do will respond to this too. I'll be interested to see what others have to say.

Good luck with your birds!!


11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
Hastings, Nebraska
It's getting to be spring, the Turkey is trying to set dominance over the Rooster because he has adopted your flock as his. His behavior is somewhat normal for a turkey tom this time of year. Yes they will sort it out. But because he is so much larger then the Rosters he could hurt them.

We have two Toms and 5 hens in the outdoor pen, yesterday the biggest tom decide he had to reestablish his dominance and kept going after the smaller one. The smaller one just kept trying to get out of the way. They finally settled down in the late afternoon, and no damage to the smaller one.

When it's a Tom turkey against a Tom turkey of the same size usually they don't do much damage. But against a Rooster they can.

If it's a true Wild turkey there is not much you can do about it this time of year any way except call the Game and Parks in you area to have it moved.


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