Monday, April 12, 2010

Broody Broad Breasted Turkey!

Posted on BackyardChickens Forum.

I have been reading through other posts about Broody Broad Breasted Turkeys. Sigh... I wish I could make this easier for my turkey. I noticed some patterns from the past posts. These broody turkeys really steal our hearts, we really love them and want to help them hatch a brood. I have tried everything I can think of and now I may have to give up on my quest, sigh.

We got our turkey as a poult with a bunch of chicks. Because she was the biggest she instantly became Mama bird with all the chicks trying to crowd under her. Even though she was Mama bird she cried like a little baby for her humans and loved to be petted and held. To this day she loves human attention. My son will chase after her tackle her to the ground and she will sit and happily be pet for as long as the kids want to pet her. How could you not love such a bird!

She is more intelligent and different then my chickens. She notices every time we take eggs, hers or the chickens. As soon as she saw the pattern that all of her eggs were being taken she stopped laying, and only would lay if she found a really good hiding place where she thought we would leave her eggs alone. Even though she was not laying her own eggs she went broody and started sitting the chickens eggs.

When we had a wild baby duckling in our yard get separated from its mother she immediately sat down over it to protect it. She is very motherly. The duckling got reunited with its mother, but until it did she was happy to be a substitute mother.

We purchased her some baby chicks, and put her alone with the baby chicks. She was upset and wanted nothing to do with the baby chicks, and felt cagey for being locked up with them. When we let her out she wanted nothing more to do with them ever.

Next we bought her fertile chicken eggs. One by one they were crushed and ruined. I thought they were being attacked by the other chickens because they knew these were not their eggs.

Finally we advertised a want add for a Tom turkey. We bought a "Tom" turkey for her in hopes that he could help her hatch a brood. Imagine our surprise when the Tom turned out to be yet another broody broad breasted turkey sitting on a nest of eggs. Only after this did I do some reading, and find out that a Tom would not be able to mate with her properly.

Next we started looking into heritage turkeys. I hatched a plan of purchasing fertile turkey eggs and switching them out for her eggs and letting her hatch some heritage turkey eggs. Then I read some posts about broad breasted turkeys crushing eggs. So now I am thinking that plan wont even work.

Maybe I could get some heritage turkey poults and let her mate with them in a year when they are old enough. But even then, wont there be a scare of her crushing the eggs?

My husband says I should give up I have tried all I could. And that is very logical. But watching her be broody over non fertile eggs is sad .

Jeanine

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