Attacking Turkeygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We were given a Turkey just about two months back . The last few weeks the turkey has been acting awful. We go in to feed the animals in the pen and the darn turkey just flies at you ! When you turn your back on it it will jump at you from behind . This turke yis about a year old . We have never had a turkey before .....is this how a turkey behaves ??? I have gotten to the point that I do not want to go any where near the turkey and will no longer go into the pen unless someone is there to watch my back . Would appreciate any info on raising a turkey . How long do turkeys live . When is the best age to slaughter a turkey and how would one kill and dress the turkey ? Thanky you for any help Therese
-- Therese (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 18, 2002
We butcher our turkeys at 6 months. If not sooner. Is this a hen or tom? I have found that older hens will become aggressive. A couple good swift kicks will do the trick. Sounds mean but...
-- tracy (email@example.com), January 18, 2002.
what breed?? color? if its a wild turkey mix,, yes, ,they WILL attack you,, but a well places hit with a stick upside the head works wonders,, so will a hatchet
-- Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 18, 2002.
We butcher our turkeys at 17 weeks. It will not get any better. You will have to butcher it. It may be very tough if it is that old. YOu will have to slow cook it. I would also brine it before I cooked it.
-- Mike & Marci (TheBlubaughs@amazinggrazefarm.com), January 18, 2002.
We have raised turkeys (small groups) for years, sometimes the wild turkey strain, sometimes domestic broadbreast. Most have not been aggresive, but occassionaly some are. It has always been a tom, in our case, who became aggressive. We have never found a way to cure it. Striking back only adds to the problem. Get rid of the tom as soon as possible. If it is a broadbreast and is more than a year old, it can easily weigh 40 lbs. dressed out. It is well worth cutting it into portions that will fit into your roaster and roasting it. Just be sure that after butchering you let it rest in a refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours before cooking, or it will be very tough. Even better would be 2 or 3 days. To capture him for butchering, wait until night. Use a flashlight just to see where he is sitting. Be careful when you grab him as those wings are powerful and can bruise you up a little. Covering his head with something to keep the light out also calms them down. Good luck, but please don't keep that turkey. They are not all like that.
-- Dianne Wood (email@example.com), January 18, 2002.
This is the beginning of breeding season for turks, and we often had problems like this with toms in February in Wisconsin. Not sure why he would do this when there are no hens to protect, but some are just nasty, and I would butcher it.
-- Earthmama (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 18, 2002.
We have never been able to keep a lone Tom turkey without him becoming aggressive. We usually butcher the spring hatch in the fall. If you have small children around be extra careful. I had one attack the 4 year old grandson once and he was totally terrified.
-- diane (email@example.com), January 18, 2002.
Had an old tom turkey a while ago...he died of old age here on the homestead of natural causes. But he wasn't aggressive in any way what so ever...in fact...he was the opposite. I use to run when he would get to close to my leg...you know what I mean ??!! He probably was 5 years old when he died. We did have a rooster that would fly at you behind your back...he met with Dr. 22 one night. Had geese that we raised from young but when they got older they would attack me...not my hubby though. Sold them at the auction. I would have a turkey dinner this Sunday. It's not worth being hurt or the children either.
-- Helena (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 18, 2002.
I have had the hens become aggressive, never the tom.
-- tracy (email@example.com), January 18, 2002.
Therese, I am guessing that maybe this turkey was raised as a pet and is a Tom. Could be wrong of course but the only seriously mean turkeys we ever had were those that were raised by well meaning but ignorant people who found out they had created a monster and gave it away to nice people like you. We always accepted these "gifts"(right along with the hand raised, mean roosters)and butchered them right away! They only get worse as mentioned above. Sorry. LQ
-- Little Quacker (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 18, 2002.
I agree a whole lot with Dianne Wood. We raised several wild strained bronze turkeys one year and the more dominate tom got very mean. If you ever put yourself between him and his hens, you were in trouble big time. It didn't matter if you hit him, kicked him, just beat the tar out of him, it only made him even meaner and more aggressive. One day he started to come after me and I picked up a stick and shook it at him. With one flip of his wing he sent that stick flying end over end back behind me. Thats when I dicided it was time to get rid of him before he tackled some little neighbor kid. The last thing I wanted would be a lawsuit against me.
I used a big dip net to catch him with and ended up breaking the handle to it. Gee, that tom felt like he weighed 50 lbs. Even tho he was meaner than a devil, I still couldn't get myself to kill and eat him. We had raised him ever since he was a small chick and had him for nearly two years. So we gave him away. The new owner couldn't handle him either and ended up butchering him.
-- r.h. in okla. (email@example.com), January 19, 2002.
Well, I am stunned! We have only had turkeys once (just doesn't pay since the hatcheries won't ship less than 15-20) but the one time we did they all followed us around like pets. They even escaped the turkey coop one day (kids forgot to close the coop door tight) and the whole bunch (toms and hens) came squaking up a storm on the porch calling us to come out and play!
Maybe I had wierd turkeys. But then again I have some strange chickens right now. They won't come in thier coop (stay out in the run)all night unless I turn on a light for them! I have tried everything including locking them in the coop for a month but, nope...they will freeze to death all huddled up together unless I turn on the light to let them know to come in. Go figure!
-- Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2002.
I have six turkeys right now roaming around the yard, 3 hens and 3 Toms. None are agressive or mean and they follow us around like puppies. However, if you do have a mean one, it will not get nicer and hitting it back will only make it more determined to "get you" next time. STEW POT, STEW POT, STEW POT! Before you get hurt or a child gets hurt. Turkeys can bruise you with their wings, and when they jump at you, they do it feet first for a reason. They have very sharp nails and don't hesitate to use them. We've raised turkeys for years and have never had a mean one, but we've had mean roosters and I simply will not put up with any animal attacking me. Especially one that I feed! All our mean roosters go to the stew pot. A turkey that old will be tough, so you can pressure cook it, then make soup or stew out of it or simply bury it out back. Cindy
-- Cindy (email@example.com), January 19, 2002.
Thank You All for your advise !
I was feeling kind of awful for wanting to get rid ot the turkey . But there is just something wrong with feeding an animal and having it try to attack you . We are missing a bantom rooster and I am now wondering if it was the turkey who got to it . Thanks again ! Therese
Are there any thoughts on preparing this turkey for cooking ? Can one tenderize a turkey ? Thanks again Therese
-- Therese (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2002.
Don't stress it before killing - keep things calm - say a handful of corn, then a bullet in the back of the head, or the back (blunt) edge of a cleaver across the back of the neck. Always let meat age - at least 24 hours in the fridge - maybe up to 72 for a big tom - before freezing. Moist cook (say pot roast, or a roasting bag, until either all done or almost done). Brown first if you like, then brown last thirty minutes to get crisp skin if it matters to you. With big turkeys you can get two decent roasts out of the Marylands (leg and thigh); and two others by splitting the rest of the body down the centre. Save the bones for soup, or stew along with minced giblets, heart and kidneys; and potatoes, onions and carrots. You can pressure- cook neck and other boney bits, then put through food-processor, then add to stew as well. Maybe add lemon or lime juice (or vinegar) as well to dissolve bone. Calcium-rich, prevent osteoporosis.
Same thing can apply to a big goose - or even on a slighter smaller scale for a huge chicken (older game or Jersey Giant).
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), January 19, 2002.