On turkey hormones



Maybe it’s the wacky weather, but our tom turkey has hit sexual maturity.  (Re:  weather.  The less said the better, as I would rather not jinx us, but let’s sum up by saying 1* to 63* in 4 days, and all 18 inches of snow is now melted and has moved through our basement.)

Is it all the sun?  He has been practicing the traditional pose for about a month off and on (mostly off) but his “on” switch appears to be thrown, and stuck.  As I blearily did critter chores pre-coffee this morning, I kept hearing this noise.  Pft.  Pause.  Pfftt.  I realized it was the tom.  Apparently, he needs to suck in some air to fluff up!  Such…puffery!

Of course our hen turkey wants nothing to do with him.  She’s escaped the pen twice today.

img_9268He:  HeybayBEE.  You come here often?  She:  Psst, lady!  Get me outtahere!

9 responses to “On turkey hormones

  1. LOL! LOVE the caption. I about spit coffee all over the place here. Glad my tom’s not the only one! 🙂

  2. Has your turkey gotten aggressive since he became a studmuffin? I’m heading toward turkey gathering in the spring, but I’ve heard a few stories that have me a bit apprehensive. Your fellow is spectacular, but I think females might be a safer choice to put with my goose. My only male peep has been nutty from the first day. You’ll be surprised to hear that I call him Sandwich when he is having a particularly annoying day.

  3. Lina Cisco’s Bird Egg beans is the closest I could find to the Robin Egg beans so I guess I am just going to have to say they are the closest I can come to them.

    What really gets me as their son threw out the beans (seeds) the year he took over the house after his mom died. (Sigh) Gone forever, but not forgotten.


  4. ahhh haaaa! love it. did you do the girl the favor? if ya ain’t feelin’ it you ain’t feelin it. help the woman out.

  5. Josephine was a turkey. She responded to her name and purred (not other word) when petted. She ate like 3. My parents wanted to breed her. They got a male – Napoleon, of course. She would have nothing to do with him. Nothing. She was not even such a good layer, so we did not even get a lot of eggs out of her.

    My parents really wanted geese and were trying to breed a pair. And finally, it looked like everything went right, and mother goose was laying and staying on top of the eggs. But the eggs kept disappearing. Blame the cats, blame the dogs… until Josephine was caught in the act of eating the goose eggs.

    That was the end. It took 6 months in the freezer to forget that THAT bird was Josephine…


  6. What beautiful turkeys! We loved our turkeys this year. So sweet and… yummy too. Anyways, I’ve searched through your archives and can’t seem to find where you got those beauties. We were thinking we wanted some Bourbon Reds. What a handsome fella you have!


  7. Hah, Ang, I was glad to see Jake was doing it as well. We got some snow last night so we’ll have to see if it cools his ardor at all (it’d cool mine: it’s cold out there.) And today was only a one-egg day so I think I’m going to miss out there too…

    Pamela, well, he chases the dog around but she asks for it (literally: chasemechaseme!). He’s still as sweet as ever to me and the child, but then they were hand-raised, which I am sure helps. But yes the hen is nicer. I love the geese too: no aggression there either though they are a bit less social than they used to be. But yes, that must be an annoying roo if YOU call him “sandwich”!

    Linda, well damn that’s too bad. If you go to Dave’s Garden Watchdog and put in the variety you can find who sells the Bird Egg beans: they’re around, I have seen them in at least 4 catalogs.

    Shelly, hah! She’s fine. He isn’t…doing it yet, he’s just being puffy and pftty. She just as easily could have been flying out to eat some grass: it was actually visible here for a few days.

    Sylvie, that is a great story. I know there’s something triggered if the girls are raised alone that they’ll never really warm up to a guy’s affections. But what a booger, eating those eggs. It would take me a while too. Our girl purrs too, and just “talks” all the time like some of my favorite (bossier) chickens do. Here’s crossing my fingers that neither the geese nor the turkeys become egg eaters because they live together! This spring we’re building separate nest structures so we’ll see.

    Hi Kim. Yeah, I need to update my tabs above; I thought I would do it on the long weekend above to include things like new farms and places like the hatchery. I got them from Privett Hatchery in New Mexico: I also got the geese and the last batch of meat birds, which I was especially pleased with. They were really great, really chicken-y in their habits and had no health problems. My daughter got me to spare one (Chicken Patty) and she is the sweetest if largest bird we have. So yes I would definitely recommend them.

  8. Doncha just love them! There’s nothing more beautiful—I so understand Franklin’s desire to make them the national bird.

    Interestingly enough, my hens are by far more aggressive than my toms. Not to us, but to each other and other animals. The only animals we have that are aggressive towards us are the ding-dang geese with whom I have a love/ hate relationship. They have one more spring to make themselves useful….

  9. Wow, Danielle, who knew the hens could be aggressive? Our girl is sweet as molasses and just as sticky if you get near her 😉 Are yours African or Chinese geese? I’ve heard those two kinds are fairly territorial. Ours are just big babies, frankly. They’re also pretty chubby (as is the breed) but they can fly fairly well, which is kind of surprising to see.

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