female turkeys with beards?

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female turkeys with beards?

Postby CarolynEarley » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:00 am

Hi folks. We keep turkeys and chose one to invite for dinner (yum). This was a large white male with a beard - or so we thought. When it came to jointing we found to our amazement that the male turkey had eggs forming inside... so not a male after all. :-)07 We checked through the feathers just to check and yes, it definitely had a beard. Is this usual? We have 4 more large white turkeys and one of them also has a beard. Could this be a female too? The reason we want to know is that we hope to breed from them and if no male then obviously that will be a problem. :roll: None of them have been 'displaying' themselves or gobbling like males do. However, we also have some black turkeys, two females and one male. This male does 'display' himself and gobbles. Will he mate with the white females as well as the black ones? :-)17 All advise appreciated ...
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Re: female turkeys with beards?

Postby CarolynEarley » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:08 pm

An update on this as I have not had any replies ... we have four large white turkeys sporting beards. We thought they were males because of the beards but they are all now laying eggs - so having a beard definitely does not mean that you have a male. :-)07
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Re: female turkeys with beards?

Postby Tim » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:16 pm

Ah we learn something new every day.

I did read your original post but was lost!! Thanks for the update though. I guess you won't be short of eggs.

I don't think there would be a problem with the black stag mating with the white Turkeys... I guess you'll soon see :-)
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Re: female turkeys with beards?

Postby CarolynEarley » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:00 pm

Yes we have had lots of eggs - all the females have been laying (the bearded ones as well). The Black Stag, Denzil is 'active' with both black and white females, but seems to be choosy as there is one white female he does not mate with. We were not successful when we allowed the white female to sit on eggs as she squashed them all in the space of three weeks - she is very heavy! So now, we are thinking of letting a black female sit on future eggs if they go broody as they are much lighter. My husband made an incubator with an old kitchen cupboard and a light bulb so we are trying that out, as well as having 5 chickens sitting on turkey eggs too. D-day for our first hatchings is 2 weeks away so we have our fingers crossed for then. ☺
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Re: female turkeys with beards?

Postby Lordcluck » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:32 am

Turkeys appear to delight in confusing their owners as to their gender! I have a friend who owns a 'pair' of Crollwitzer Turkeys, the 'Stag' of which sported a fine beard/tassel up until his second year, and Displayed magnificently to it's beardless mate, until it moulted it's beard and came into lay a few springs ago, and now the two regularly go broody together sitting their enormous combined clutches of clear eggs! if these are taken from them, they seek out broody bantams and share-sit with them! it's nothing to see both Turkey hens brooding on top of two or three sitting bantam hens in double-decker style! On a similar note, another friend has a mature Bronze Turkey stag, who has suddenly become broody and is sitting his hen's clutch?!! He is well and truly broody and will not budge from the nest, pecking at anyone who tries to interfere with his duties! It remains to be seen if he stays the course and hatches anything!
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Re: female turkeys with beards?

Postby CarolynEarley » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:18 pm

They are great aren't they! Now we are trying out having our smaller black turkey hen sitting on eggs. She seems broody enough so we gave her the eggs today and she is quite happy at the moment. We have shut her is not just to try to keep her there but also to keep out the big fat white females who squash the eggs. Fingers are crossed that she stays.
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Re: female turkeys with beards?

Postby AlexArt » Thu May 17, 2012 11:50 am

Bearded ladies!!! LOL!! They do make you laugh - although mine are driving me nuts at the mo as all 3 of my girls have gone broody for the last few weeks and have stopped laying which is a pain as I was hoping to sell their eggs and hatch a few more! I have had 8 hatch under a broody hen and 4 more in the inci - but they just won't stop sitting on anything egg shaped or the other chickens/ducks when they are trying to lay!! I did try and let one sit and she kept coming out of her box every morning with several squashed eggs stuck to her so I gave up and stuck the 4 that were left out of 12 in the inci - daft birds!!!! - and mine are ordinary bronze so not even that heavy - I think broody chooks are the way to go with turkeys - or maybe broody stags - that made me laugh!!!:D
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