1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Young male turkey challenging husband and teenage son

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mimsky, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. mimsky

    mimsky Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    25
    Jan 25, 2014
    A friend gave us a six-month-old male turkey, a month or two ago. I think he's trying to establish alpha male and is in competition with my husband and 19-year-old son (who's home from college). We got him to guard our free-range chickens (who roam all day and go into the coop at night. He does not.) He's great with the chickens and when my 12-year-old son, my daughters or I go outside, he does lots of male posturing, puffing up feathers, etc. But if we turn toward him at all, he backs off. Twelve-year-old picks him up often, no problem.

    But it's gotten to the point where my husband and son have to fight him off all the way from their car to the house. He hasn't attacked but keeps trying to fly at them and I'm thinking he doesn't want a hug. Any advice? I'm at the point of looking for another home for him, which I hate to do because he seems to be keeping critters away from my dozen laying hens.
     
  2. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

    261
    26
    93
    May 31, 2013
    Middle Tennessee
    It probably has more to do with your visiting from college son being a "stranger" to this turkey. When your son isn't home, does the boy go after your husband?
     
  3. mimsky

    mimsky Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    25
    Jan 25, 2014
    Hmmmmmm, I don't think so. We've only had him a couple months but it does seem like it started when man child came home for Christmas.
     
  4. mrclif

    mrclif Out Of The Brooder

    64
    0
    29
    May 27, 2013
    Alabama
    He thinks he's the boss and he's lettem know. The color of peoples clothing has an effect on turkeys moods, red for instance is labeled in turkeys mind as aggresion, white generally is a sign of dominace in turkey visual language. It's neat to watch toms and hens for that matter waddels chage colors with moods.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  5. chknoodles

    chknoodles Chillin' With My Peeps

    261
    26
    93
    May 31, 2013
    Middle Tennessee
    Your young gobbler is territorial and your son is a "stranger" and he's just making sure your son realizes he's low man on the pecking order pole..hahahaha. Your son may have to challenge your turkey by walking towards him and not turning his back until Mr. Gobble backs away..and I mean REALLY backs away (a turk may back away a few steps while he's "thinking" about how to continue his challenge and right when you turn around to walk away, here he comes again). However, you may not want to even bother doing that if your son is heading back to school soon.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    177
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    If you don't have a couple already, pick-up a few cheap, telescoping umbrellas (basic black is good). Tom closes in - stand ground, extend arm,/hand with umbrella in it and open it in his face then, keeping umbrella between turk/self - slowly walk toward him and "herd" him into run & close gate.

    Can just try herding him with a couple of long bamboo garden poles or rakes (arms extended at sides - sticks/rakes augmenting the "wall of human" confronting turk) - but perform all moves slowly, deliberately and with confidence. An umbrella popping open in front of tom should break tom's pattern.
     
  7. Book Em Danno25

    Book Em Danno25 Overrun With Chickens

    my females do this to me!! they puff up and spur and peck at me. they do it to my mom, but not my dad. maybe its territorial? they only peck at me by or in the cage, but by the house, they are fine.
     
  8. PaigeBundy

    PaigeBundy Out Of The Brooder

    20
    0
    24
    May 13, 2014
    Louisiana
    My tom is still doing the same thing!! Some days are worse than others. The color of your clothes idea is really interesting bc he really gets mad when my husband and I are leaving and coming from work in our royal blue scrubs but not as bad other times! The umbrella idea is also a good one, can't wait to try it. Thanks for the ideas! Following this post!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,817
    241
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    Our tom displays a lot more and gets pretty close to our daughter, she works a lot so she is hardly ever around. Saturday we were working on the coop addition and Tom the turkey kept displaying and getting close, I tried to explain to her that for him she is a stranger and will need to move tword him and make him back down...Now she says he intimidates her and she wont do it.. I got frustrated because we also have grandsons and have had to make sure I am with them when they go out, but thankfully the boys have been brought up knowing how to deal with Nanny's roosters and such, hopefully the transition to dealing with Tom the turkey wont be difficult. Until I am confident tho they aren't allowed out there by themselves (They are 4 and 5)
     
  10. Heidi T

    Heidi T Out Of The Brooder

    29
    2
    26
    Dec 10, 2013
    Can you bribe the turkeys into not doing the "big and bad' thing. I have a coffee can of corn they seem to really like. Back off = corn. I have two BB white (maybe) I won in a raffle. Straight from the factory farm. Fun to watch but short in the brains department I'm sorry to say. I like the fact they scare strangers. I need a sign for the door that says "The dog just sounds mean. Watch out for the guys behind you"
    Keep the information coming.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by