Toms or Hens? Sexing Turkeys
When I went to pick out my poults, I had never sexed a turkey chick before. I looked up the basics online but a lot of it was guess work. The man I bought them from would not tell me which was which because he didn’t want to have favoritism buying (basically us buying up all his hens leaving him with only Thanksgiving dinner candidates). We had to point at which ones we wanted, and he would box them up for us and if we didn’t know what we were doing, well then, that was our problem. (kind of harsh huh!)
I am glad I had researched a bit online beforehand so I would know that the hens would have a more triangular shaped head and the toms a more boxy head before we came. (I research everything!)
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Turkeys and “Blackhead” Disease
Several years ago my neighbor had some turkey poults and I just had to have a cute baby turkey! My largest tom I lovingly named “Turk.” He would sit on my lap and snatch mosquitos off of me before they could start biting, he would cluck at me and follow me around like I was the leader of the flock. I spent my evenings just watching my birds. Much to my dismay, my sweet Turk died from unknown causes at about 8 months old. I suspect it could have been “Black Head”, a form of histomoniasis which is transmitted by the protozoan parasite Histomonas meleagridis.
I decided at that point I didn’t know enough about turkeys to raise them and gave up.
Several years ago, we had a few turkeys we had obtained from a neighbor. I just loved my big ol’ male turkey named “Turk!” He would sit in my lap and peck mosquitoes before they ever had a chance to land on me. He’d follow me around hoping for a rub or a pat and maybe a snack. He was just like a big feathered pup. Sadly, he died and I have not had another turkey since, that is until now!