Aggressive Turkey

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JulieSherris
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Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192150Post JulieSherris
Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:22 pm

I know that some turkey toms can be quite aggressive, but our boy George, has been fine with me - so far....

He attacks strangers though & that means anyone he didn't see yesterday - so that means everyone apart from me, which has been a problem for hubby & for the daughter & the little one when they visit!
So... I thought that I should be keeping him & his 2 girls in their pen for a few days, see if it will encourage to start mating/laying, etc.... Went in this afternoon to give them their afternoon feed & there was George displaying, turned blue & was attacking me!

I'm wondering if he'll calm down once they start to mate, or is it a territory thing? I have put a cane near the gate to the pen as a safety measure for when I have to go in, but would like to be assured that Georgey boy won't be like this forever.... will he??? :dontknow:
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sortanormalish
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Re: Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192248Post sortanormalish
Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:21 pm

It is actually both. He attacks strangers because he is protecting his territory and he has a natural role as protector.

But this time of year they get pretty aggressive and the girls seem to love it, so let him be the big man for a few weeks, but be seen as often as possible. I suggest feeding from outside the pen if you can.

I have more than a few scars from strutting toms and ganders and have found it normal for them to behave exactly as you have described.
"You are a strange little mouse."
"Thank you." -Tale of Despereaux

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JulieSherris
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Re: Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192250Post JulieSherris
Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:04 pm

Aww, thanks for the reply - I shut them into their shed at night - the woods are right next door so I don't want to tempt the foxes round too much.

He doesn't like the long canes, so herding him in is not a problem & I do the food & water before opening the door in the morning - I shall just have to wait & see what happens as the season unfolds - fingers crossed!
The more people I meet, the more I like my garden :wink:

contadino
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Re: Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192261Post contadino
Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:14 pm

sortanormalish wrote:It is actually both. He attacks strangers because he is protecting his territory and he has a natural role as protector.

But this time of year they get pretty aggressive and the girls seem to love it, so let him be the big man for a few weeks, but be seen as often as possible. I suggest feeding from outside the pen if you can.

I have more than a few scars from strutting toms and ganders and have found it normal for them to behave exactly as you have described.
Ah, every so often this forum throws up a gem of advice. After reading the 1st post, I was thinking "Destructive bird. Kill it. Eat it." but it seems I was wrong.

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JulieSherris
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Re: Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192275Post JulieSherris
Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:10 am

I was thinking the same thing, Contadina, but I really wanted to hang onto him for breeding - and until the last couple of weeks, he's been such a little character & quite good company out in the garden.
I know that something has happened to make him change & my best guess was the mating season - but the girls haven't started to lay yet - so really I need to know what comes first... the mating ritual, or the eggs!! :dontknow: :scratch: :lol:
The more people I meet, the more I like my garden :wink:

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Barbara Good
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Re: Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192303Post sortanormalish
Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:30 pm

Funny isn't it that in so many ways the human animal is just like any other. Don't we all prefer to be courted a bit first? Wouldn't you change color if someone walked in on you in the act!?! :oops:

I know our turkeys are domesticated, but even domesticated animals cling to some thread of their wild ancestors. In a natural setting he would have to compete with other males before breeding and at the same time prove himself the best man to the ladies. In birds that lay few eggs, turkeys among them, breeding rituals start well before egg laying because each egg is precious to the survival of the species.

We have lots of wild turkeys around here (out in the country surrounded by farmland). You should see how they are behaving right now. It sounds like someone is being murdered when the toms start fighting!

Oh yeah, If your turkeys are breeding naturally, no AI needed, then here in the states we would call that a heritage breed. I know they are called something else somewhere else :? Heritage breeds tend to be more like the wild turkeys in behavior, so things get pretty nasty before they are done. He probably won't calm down until she is on the nest and then he'll get right back at it or even worse when he has little ones to protect. I have seen two toms and a hen kill a dog over an already dead poult. If you have fox problems, then he will at least make enough noise to get your attention.
"You are a strange little mouse."
"Thank you." -Tale of Despereaux

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JulieSherris
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Re: Aggressive Turkey

Post: # 192305Post JulieSherris
Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:58 pm

OK, so the new plan now is to change the pen boundaries - although this isn't going to be done until Thursday at the earliest, because I've checked the weather reports!!

Basically, I can increase the pen area to double the size, but I can also pop in an extra gate to block the birds in at one end & behind the shed - this will let me go in & clean the shed area as & when required, without George & I falling out too much! After this, I shall leave them to do whatever comes naturally and what will be, will be.... fingers crossed for a successful season with them!
The more people I meet, the more I like my garden :wink:

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