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#1279907 - 04/07/09 09:36 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Hillbilly Hunter]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4243
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

Offline
4onaside,.. maybe i'm alittle confused about what i have read in my books and you can help me out.
I was under the impression that only the hens that had been bred were broken down into smaller hen groups of 2 to 5 birds. BUT,.. hens that were still in flocks of say 10 to 15 were not bred,.. but in waiting. Is this correct or not??

The reason i ask is mid week last week i was seeing the break up occuring,.. seen 3 seperate groups of hens that were runing in groups of 2 and 4 birds in each group. Also was seeing single mature hens that were by themselves on roost. BUT,.. was also seeing a big group of 16 hens still together on roost and during the day.This was on one of my hunting spots and i have not seen this only 1 other year ,.. which was 2004. Most of the years by the start of season the big flocks were allready broken into smaller hen groups and breeding had occurred(mid to late march),.. and i'm like mega,. it seems in some areas its a few weeks later this year than the past few.
I've only been reading and researching for a few years now on turkey biology,.. so always willing to listen to those that can teach me more. Can you elaborate more on the sperm? I understand its different than a deer,.. were a doe can be bred by more than 1 buck while in heat, but its a shorter cycle than birds. I thought turkey were more like chickens,.. being bred multiple times with mutiple sperm so she can complete her clutch over a 6 to 12 day cycle,. or until the clutch is complete.Is that not correct? I'm just confused on your statement that sperm has been set in most by the start of season,.. and i just didn't see that this year by what i have read up on. Opening weekend,.. i seen zero hen groups or single hens,.. were i had in the past 3 years.
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QDMA member...Cannon co.
Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
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#1280129 - 04/07/09 11:43 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
4onaside
12 Point


Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 5070
Loc: Jackson,Tn

Offline
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
4onaside,.. maybe i'm alittle confused about what i have read in my books and you can help me out.
I was under the impression that only the hens that had been bred were broken down into smaller hen groups of 2 to 5 birds. BUT,.. hens that were still in flocks of say 10 to 15 were not bred,.. but in waiting. Is this correct or not??

The reason i ask is mid week last week i was seeing the break up occuring,.. seen 3 seperate groups of hens that were runing in groups of 2 and 4 birds in each group. Also was seeing single mature hens that were by themselves on roost. BUT,.. was also seeing a big group of 16 hens still together on roost and during the day.This was on one of my hunting spots and i have not seen this only 1 other year ,.. which was 2004. Most of the years by the start of season the big flocks were allready broken into smaller hen groups and breeding had occurred(mid to late march),.. and i'm like mega,. it seems in some areas its a few weeks later this year than the past few.
I've only been reading and researching for a few years now on turkey biology,.. so always willing to listen to those that can teach me more. Can you elaborate more on the sperm? I understand its different than a deer,.. were a doe can be bred by more than 1 buck while in heat, but its a shorter cycle than birds. I thought turkey were more like chickens,.. being bred multiple times with mutiple sperm so she can complete her clutch over a 6 to 12 day cycle,. or until the clutch is complete.Is that not correct? I'm just confused on your statement that sperm has been set in most by the start of season,.. and i just didn't see that this year by what i have read up on. Opening weekend,.. i seen zero hen groups or single hens,.. were i had in the past 3 years.
Those are great points, which I am really not qualified to answer. All that I was reporting was stuff that I have read from multiple sources(turkey biologists) that have made the point that most hens are probably already bred by the time the season starts. I would think that certainly the season opening dates would enter into that from year to year, and also variations between different years(which is what you are reporting). I have never mentioned this to any biologist,and I have never heard it before, but I was watching a turkey farmer being interviewed on, I believe, CBS Sunday morning, who said that it was not even necessary for a hen to be bred at all, in order for it to produce fertile eggs!! This is mind blowing to me. However, the guy was dead serious, and if anyone should be an authority on that point, it should be him, in the business of raising thousands of turkeys each year. If this is true, why wouldn't the same condition exist in wild birds as with tame ones(same bird)? Obviously, any bird can lay eggs, but I was always under the impression that there had to be sperm present in order for the eggs to be fertile. Has anyone ever heard of this?
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Lord, keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth


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#1280139 - 04/07/09 11:49 AM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
captain hook
10 Point


Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 4340
Loc: Knoxville

Offline
Never heard that before.
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#1280180 - 04/07/09 12:17 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: captain hook]
REN
Good ol' Boys "Team Grizzly"
12 Point


Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 5039
Loc: Wilson County, TN

Offline
wow never heard that before either and I am not real sure how a turkey can be an asexual animal or posse hermaphrodite traits.....


will have to look into that I guess.
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#1280294 - 04/07/09 01:41 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: REN]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5027
Loc: Mississippi

Offline
It's really quite simple...

Winter flocks of gobblers and hens/jakes (which were separate during the winter) begin to 'bunch up' in early spring. This is the time when you'll often see 4 or 5 longbeards with 25 or 30 hens and jakes. The gobblers are just about ready to breed at this point, but the hens are still a ways out. The gobblers compete for dominance, then you'll see a single gobbler (sometimes two if they are evenly matched) with his harem of hens who have chosen him to be the one. Once breeding starts, the hens will be rebred (usually daily) during nesting and egg laying if the gobbler remains present. If the gobbler is removed after initial breeding, sperm can remain viable to continue to fertilize a portion of the remaining clutch or sometimes all of the remaining clutch.

I am fortunate to be able to observe most of the birds I'm hunting (not hunting woods birds whom I never see until they are in gun range). After logging 1000's of hours observing them, I can state with certainty that breeding has not yet begun to occur on my farms during March. I've witnessed hundreds of hens being bred over the years, not one earler than April 3 or 4.

What I saw opening weekend was gobblers following the hens around, often masturbating, but no hens were yet receptive. And no, breeding did not occur a week or two prior. There isn't a 'second rut' like in the deer population.

The 'turkey biologist' info you've read is put forth as an average for the entire state, with a few biological hours logged in many, many areas and averaged. Not 1000's of hours logged in a concentrated area.

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#1280434 - 04/07/09 02:56 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: megalomaniac]
Huntaholic
8 Point


Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 2087
Loc: Baxter, TN. U.S.A.

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As I understand it, ONE breeding is sufficient to fertilize a whole clutch of eggs Jeremy. The only time she would NEED to be re-bred is if that first clutch gets destroyed.

Edited by Huntaholic (04/07/09 03:06 PM)
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#1280459 - 04/07/09 03:05 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Huntaholic]
Hillbilly Hunter
Killbilly
16 Point


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 17665
Loc: Branchville

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One breeding should fertilize 3 or 4 eggs. She will average 5 eggs a week.
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#1280536 - 04/07/09 03:55 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: Hillbilly Hunter]
deerchaser007
10 Point


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4243
Loc: Bradyville, TN USA

Offline
Very interesting guys,.. and thanks to all for sharing there information. Its been fun this year since i was on lay off that it gave me much more time in the woods before season and the first couple weeks of season to really try to understand turkey behavior and why they do what they do. I usually don't get to see stuff like that and don't get the hours in that i would like,. but the more i can learn,. the more it makes me a better hunter.

Lots of different responses on the breeding part and fertilizing part ,.. i'm not here to say anyone is wrong or right,. you are all very knowledgable guys and i have a great deal of respect for that ,.. i have no clue except for what i have read, and think this would make for a great discussion. Thanks guys!!

Sorry if i misdirected your thread captain!!
_________________________
QDMA member...Cannon co.
Guard your tongue in youth,.. and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people!!
(Minquass)

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#1280544 - 04/07/09 04:10 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: deerchaser007]
4onaside
12 Point


Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 5070
Loc: Jackson,Tn

Offline
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
Very interesting guys,.. and thanks to all for sharing there information. Its been fun this year since i was on lay off that it gave me much more time in the woods before season and the first couple weeks of season to really try to understand turkey behavior and why they do what they do. I usually don't get to see stuff like that and don't get the hours in that i would like,. but the more i can learn,. the more it makes me a better hunter.

Lots of different responses on the breeding part and fertilizing part ,.. i'm not here to say anyone is wrong or right,. you are all very knowledgable guys and i have a great deal of respect for that ,.. i have no clue except for what i have read, and think this would make for a great discussion. Thanks guys!!

Sorry if i misdirected your thread captain!!
I doubt if captain objects. It's kinda fun to swap ideas.
_________________________
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth


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#1280612 - 04/07/09 04:52 PM Re: Harvest is up [Re: 4onaside]
captain hook
10 Point


Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 4340
Loc: Knoxville

Offline
 Originally Posted By: 4onaside
 Originally Posted By: deerchaser007
Very interesting guys,.. and thanks to all for sharing there information. Its been fun this year since i was on lay off that it gave me much more time in the woods before season and the first couple weeks of season to really try to understand turkey behavior and why they do what they do. I usually don't get to see stuff like that and don't get the hours in that i would like,. but the more i can learn,. the more it makes me a better hunter.

Lots of different responses on the breeding part and fertilizing part ,.. i'm not here to say anyone is wrong or right,. you are all very knowledgable guys and i have a great deal of respect for that ,.. i have no clue except for what i have read, and think this would make for a great discussion. Thanks guys!!

Sorry if i misdirected your thread captain!!
I doubt if captain objects. It's kinda fun to swap ideas.


I could care less, harvest is up, I have 1 tag left, but I do wish about half the jake harvest would return to the woods, oh well.

I like turkeys, and like hearing views on their biology and so forth, I Know a little, but can always learn more.
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Fear Obama

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