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Really Old Turkey


Avery

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I have absolutely no idea how this turkey has survived this long. We seem to have a year round resident flock of turkeys, that roam the nearby woods and fields, and roost in the winter behind my house. This is at least the fourth year in a row that I have seen this turkey, identified by the fact that he is a tom with his bad leg on the right side. He has one bad leg, so he balls up his foot and walks/hobbles around really using only one leg. This year, it seems that he has had offspring, as he has been traveling with some young ones and a few females. We get to watch the males display in our neighbors driveway every year, and this guy has always been in the background. He is a survivor though, as we had a den of foxes in the neighborhood this year, (with adorable kits), as well as a bear, and undoubtedly coyotes. I do realize that it is possible that there may have been several turkeys with the same bad leg every year, but I like to think that it is the same one.  

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And some of his curious youngsters...P1100687.thumb.JPG.0c0271081b68ef6073193b1ae95bc9e3.JPG

 

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  • 3 months later...

I’ve done some shallow research on turkey sexing and aging, and since we know this isn’t a juvenile bird, I think it could possibly be a female bird with chest hairs. There isn’t a spur on the good leg, and the breast feathers are edged in buff, not black. Also, it has feathers on the head. Am I wrong in this? I’m really curious to know what sex Gimpy is! The Tom’s in our flock are becoming very obvious, and Gimpy is not. Old age, or wrong sex?

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On 3/3/2021 at 4:29 PM, Avery said:

I’ve done some shallow research on turkey sexing and aging, and since we know this isn’t a juvenile bird, I think it could possibly be a female bird with chest hairs. There isn’t a spur on the good leg, and the breast feathers are edged in buff, not black. Also, it has feathers on the head. Am I wrong in this? I’m really curious to know what sex Gimpy is! The Tom’s in our flock are becoming very obvious, and Gimpy is not. Old age, or wrong sex?

@Tony Leukering, @DLecy, @Hasan, @The Bird Nuts, or anybody else who might know about turkey gender, care to give your thought on the sex of this bird? I’m quite curious. Thanks!

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Your WITU is a female. WITU breast feathers edged in buff/russet and lacking a spur indicate a female. I believe a small percentage of females show the “beard” filaments on the breast as well.


I’m assuming your bird is an adult, but I don’t know enough about the Complex Basic Strategy of molt exhibited by WITUs to truly comment on it’s age.

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13 minutes ago, DLecy said:

Your WITU is a female. WITU breast feathers edged in buff/russet and lacking a spur indicate a female. I believe a small percentage of females show the “beard” filaments on the breast as well.


I’m assuming your bird is an adult, but I don’t know enough about the Complex Basic Strategy of molt exhibited by WITUs to truly comment on it’s age.

Awesome, glad my research was correct. Yeah, I know it’s not a juvie since I’ve seen this bird for years. Thanks!

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