If you’re considering adding turkeys to your homestead or farm, and are not familiar with them, you may want to read this article.
Okay, so you want to hear a turkey story? Well, it goes like this…
As I’ve said in other posts we’ve had different poultry for around 8 years for the purpose of education, eggs, and enjoyment. One of those poultry birds were two turkeys, one male and one female. We purchased them from a local farmer in our area at the time.
We were having fun with our little, hobby farm. We had dwarf goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and now turkeys. We enjoyed our farm life, raising our children around the livestock, and growing our gardens. And then one day…
Yep. One, special day.
The female turkey sat on her eggs long enough that she now had five baby chicks! Since we also had dogs and a few barn cats, we decided not to keep the chicks so we sold them. One by one they quickly went away, and we were happy.
Happy is not the feeling that I would describe Mr. Tom Turkey, however. Nope, not at all. Mr. Turkey seemed very angry that his chicks were gone. He was being very, very territorial. At first he didn’t even like being separated from them, much less their complete disappearance!
The next day, after we sold the last chick, I was in the house one morning before my husband left for work. Suddenly there was this loud smashing sound and glass being broken and thrown everywhere! I had no idea I could scream like I did, but I SCREAMED! I screamed because I was right next to the window that was being shattered and I could see glass being blown across the room in front of me. I looked towards the window when I screamed and saw something brown.
Of course I thought some strange man wearing a brown shirt was trying to get into the house. I start running barefooted on our vinyl floors to get away from the destruction. When Mr. Hubby gets to me he looks me over to see if I am okay. When he realized, and I did too, that I was okay we headed towards the window since the destruction stopped.
In our amazement, it was that Mr. Turkey!!
He had jumped up on our air conditioning unit and saw his reflection in the window. Since he was feeling quite territorial, he decided to take it out on the “other” male turkey he saw in the reflection.
I couldn’t believe that I was so close to that window and walked away with only a small scratch on my leg. We found cuts in our vinyl floors from the glass that was thrown across the room. I was surprised too that I had walked across that floor without cutting my bare feet. It all happened so very fast.
My sweet hubby caught that Mr. Turkey and took him to a nice, greener pasture for him, with a nice creek for him to enjoy, plenty of miles away from our home!
Turkeys are very territorial. There were other times when we would simply walk outside and he would come towards us with his feathers fluffed out ready to attack us. That doesn’t work very well with children and visitors. Unless the visitors aren’t welcome, then Mr. Turkey is a good idea. : )
Roosters can be similar, but obviously are not quite the threat with their size being so much smaller.
I never liked the way our roosters “behaved” with our hens. They’re pretty aggressive too, which is something to think about before purchasing them for your homestead.
I suppose my main purpose for writing this post is for the purpose of helping you understand the territorial side of male turkeys and roosters. I’m sure, however, that there have been plenty of farmers and owners of turkeys who have never had a problem with them.
I would still recommend purchasing turkeys for your farm for meat as long as they’re inside a good fence, or that you only purchase females. The problem with fencing turkeys is that they can fly right over your fence.
What has been your experience with turkeys? We’d love to hear it!
All the best!
Elk Mountain Market, LLC