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Very strange Turkey behaviour!!!


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I hope someone can help me with my mysterious behaviour.

I have a small flock of turkeys, 6 females and 2 males

(father and son) last year all was well on the turkey front the male, Snoodles,

did the business and I had lots of chicks.

 I kept a male from last years chicks as a 'just in case'

something happened to Snoodles, as we live in a very romote area and finding

turkeys is extremely difficult.

 This year all was going well Snoodles was up to the task and

eggs were being laid, then he had an accident and broke his foot, the foot has

healed reasonably well although he has a pronounced limp he was still doing his

job, displaying and doing all the 'man things'. I treated him with medication

at the time of injury but no treatment for the past 6 weeks. The other stag Mr

Whitey started to fight with Snoddles sensing weakness I supoose so the stags

were split up and have access to the females seperately.

 Now here is the oddity, Mr Snoodles a fine handsome chap has

taken to sitting on eggs  and brooding

chicks at the expense of everything else including food!!! He seems to have

lost his male role in life and has no interest in the ladies other than

discussing childcare!!

 Has anyone ever known this to happen before?

Will Snoodles become again the sexy beast he once was?

Should I be doing something to help him regain his libido?

Could he be going through a sex change?

 Any help on the subject would be much appreciated as

Snoddles is my main man and favorite pet out of all the poultry.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi, turkeys not really my area, but i think it is behavior attributed to his possible demotion in the group, although not usual behavior for a strong male, is the other male now showing signs of domination that he had not before ?  the end result is you are giving seperate access for both, the injury and subsequent battle between the two males for top slot had affected snoodles somewhat. do you keep the males seperated now ? if so then it may be compounding the problem, the dominant male has to find his own route back to the top, no real help from you can be given, if he has lost his "crown" and does not attempt to regain, then the animal must still feel he is not physically able to compete.

any medical problems need to be outlawed firstly which could be causing this, i have not been a great help but demotion in a group for any animal will have affects on behavior, but role reversal is not the usual form.

hope he is well


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I think that Monty may well be right. I've heard of similar behaviour

in chickens and the advised "cure" is to practice flock mating, ie

allow both males to run with all the females until they sort it out

between themselves. If you are uncomfortable about your older bird

perhaps getting hurt then you might try errecting a couple of mirrors

around his pen - the appearence of apparently competitve males (who

conveniently don't fight back!) can sometimes stimulate agressive

behaviour and get the hormones flowing again.

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