A Turkey Breeding Video

The following video shows the slow dance of turkey mating.  The film is almost 10 minutes.  If you advance the picture to 2 minutes, you will be closer to the action.


Note that the gobbler is watchful until he is breeding.  That is the time of greatest danger of getting shot.


I get questions about how long it takes for a turkey to breed — I felt this video answered the question.  The video is from You Tube.

Next time: We will return to mistakes turkey hunters make!


This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 7:47 am  Comments Off on A Turkey Breeding Video  
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Talkin’ Turkey: Behaviors During Breeding

Today, I have a couple of important things to tell you about breeding and how they affect a turkey hunter.


While the hens are feverishly building nests, laying eggs and breeding, the toms are sharpening their spurs, preening and strutting.

Remember, toms call the hens to them for breeding.  Therefore, be cautious about which calls you use … and when.

A New Strategy for Late in Turkey Season!

Here’s a strategy for the closing weeks of  turkey hunting season.   By that time, most of the hens have mated and are setting.

The guys are hoping for more sex and they are searching for the remaining hens ready to breed.   This is a great time to use your caller, imitating a shy hen.

At the beginning of the mating season, toms are noisy — insisting hens come to them.  By the end of the season, they are not so picky.

This might be a great time to use decoys.  You are looking for ways to distract the males from the fact you are there.

How Long are the Hens Fertile?

Once hens have bred, they stay fertile up to 8 weeks.   So what?

Let’s say a hen has bred in the early weeks of March, incubated and hatched her poults — and lost them due to predators or difficult weather.

During that 8 week window, hens can lay a new clutch of eggs and have another brood of poults by early June!

Of course, when the fun is over and new poults start hatching, the gobblers head for the hills!  They want no part of diapers and baby training.

At that point, the males get together and travel in flocks, leaving the hens and youngsters behind.

How Old is that Gobbler?

Jakes Have Longer Tail Feathers in the Center of the Main Fan; All the Tail Feathers of a Mature Tom are the Same Length.

A quick tip here:   Are you aware that young jakes have longer primary feathers in the center of their fan-shaped tails?

In fact that is a way to tell a mature tom from a young jake!

Nature is Amazing!

Biologists estimate that 1/2 of the young poults die because of  predators and bad weather or habitat.

Predators can kill entire nests of eggs and yet the hen can have a second clutch of eggs without re-breeding.

Nature is fascinating!


This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on April 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm  Comments Off on Talkin’ Turkey: Behaviors During Breeding  
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Turkey Mating Ritual in the Spring


Anxious Gobbler Looking for a Hen!

Anxious Gobbler Looking for a Hen!


During the dark days of fall, gobblers tend to flock together. But as the longer days arrive, gobblers separate, jakes leave the hens and hens start dreaming of new poults in their nests.

Thus, the increased sunlight of spring summons the turkey’s mating ritual.

Getting Ready for the Mating Dance

Over time, the gobblers establish a pecking order within their group. The dominant bird does the breeding. Since he isn’t into nappies and raising the young, he constantly scurries off to find (yet) another mate.

Wildlife departments schedule spring hunting season during this time that turkeys breed.

The same bird that “doesn’t do nappies,” also expects the females to  come to him. Spring hunters call gobblers, hoping the male will do the opposite of what happens in nature — the gobbler going to the hen-sounding hunter.

Peak Gobbling Periods

The two times turkeys “gobble-obble” most are – during spring mating season and when the hens start their nesting. Most of the breeding is finished by the nesting, but big gobblers become more aggressive and try to find the remaining receptive females.

Gobbling starts as soon as daylight starts to appear, while turkeys are still in their roosts. Once the gobblers hit the ground, they start calling hens in earnest. This calling continues until the warmest hours of the day.

Just before it is time for the evening roost , males start some serious calling. They may have been looking “in all the wrong places,” but “at closing time,” all the hens start to look beautiful.

They don’t want to roost alone, so they may start their strut.  The strut  is actually the way most turkeys are shown (see photo): chests out, wings down and tail feathers in full array.


Biologists believe that the midmorning hours are when most mating occurs.  Weeks before this takes place, hens start looking for a nesting place (usually on the  ground). They prepare the spot and start to roost nearby.

It takes the hens 10 to 15 days to lay the whole clutch (group) of eggs. She feeds before and after laying.

If, while she is feeding, the nest is attacked and destroyed, she will breed again while creating a nest in another location.

It takes about 26 to 28 days for the poults to emerge.


Come back for further adventures with our hens, poults and gobblers!  They walk, they talk, they gobble!

Will the little poults survive?  Will their fathers care?  Stay tuned.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  
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