Topic Options
#60955 - 08/29/02 07:31 PM Turkey questions
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a pair of bronze turkeys that are about 8 months old. The hen is just starting to come into lay. When the hen goes in the shed to sit in the nest, the tom follows her in, and they both come out together. When I seperate the two, the hen goes back in the shed and stays there till she lays. While she is in the shed, the tom is in the next yard calling, and becoming distressed.

Is this behaviour normal?

Thank-you

Top
#60956 - 08/29/02 09:04 PM Re: Turkey questions
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Daniel, I do not know about Domestic Turkeys, but wild turkeys and most hens prefer secret (they like to think secret) places to lay undisturbed and safe. Wild turkey hens hide their nests from the Toms because the Toms will destroy the eggs and thus keep the hen laying longer. Instinctively, the Tom may be wishing to be with the hen when she leaves the nest after laying, because this is the best time for successful fertilization of the next eggs. CJR

Top
#60957 - 08/30/02 07:41 PM Re: Turkey questions
Anonymous
Unregistered


I would try getting a few more hens for your tom. We have some turkeys, and they're a bunch of real dummies! Thats what we like about em. wink

Top
#60958 - 08/30/02 11:21 PM Re: Turkey questions
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
CJR is correct about the Tom's behaviour. Early-hatched turkeys often come into breeding about this time of year and will lay a nice setting of 12 or more eggs before they give in to the lower light and temperature levels. One tom and one hen may give your hen problems. I like to try to keep 4-6 hens per tom so that the toms don't tear them up too badly (although it's simply easier to put saddles on the hens, it makes the hens 'look funny'. Still saddles are safer for the hens and helps provide the toms with increased stability while mating, hence increased fertility).

Top
#60959 - 08/31/02 01:53 AM Re: Turkey questions
Anonymous
Unregistered


We are only allowed to have 2 turkeys where we are, because we are in a residential area. Over here it is the start of spring, and I have only seen the Tom mate with the Hen one day before her first egg (6 days ago). He is very interested in her, but she just seems to ignore him. As for saddles, arn't they only for heavy breeds? My Hen is 6kg, and Tom is 10kg.

Thanks

Top
#60960 - 08/31/02 03:32 AM Re: Turkey questions
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
Daniel, Thanks for reminding me that we (fortunately) have posters from all over and not just here in the States. I got a kick out of reading a post somewhere about bandicoots (which is a more nifty problem than just rats, mice, and the neighbor's dogs). I leave it up to you concerning the saddles: a 20+lb mounting a 15lb. hen may eventually lead to problems if the tom's access is not limited. It may be no more than a scratched up and featherless back on the hen...or it could be much worse. Before using saddles I sometimes had even Royal Palm Hens whose flesh (over the hip-bones) had been gouged into by the toms claws, to the point where the body cavity was opened. This didn't happen to all (or even many) of them but it did happen, and even once is too much IMO. You could just have the saddle handy and keep an eye open on the situation or simply restrict the tom's access to a few hours after the eggs are laid. But, with turkeys, this hazard is a real one. Look at the claws on your male: if they were on a more aggressive animal you would definitely give them a healthy respect. Now, think of how they are used in order to mount the hen. In the wild, the turkeys have a breeding ground to which the hens come and then leave after they are serviced by the male (we have a beautiful flock of wild turkeys on our section that come and serenade my domesticated turkeys every spring). In a pen, there is no escaping the attentions of the male. Turkeys have given me more problems in this area than chickens but even among chickens there are some males that are just overzealous in their procreative activities and so I bring the hens to their pen and thence back to the main flock. Don't be alarmed, just be aware.And, good luck.

Top


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2