With the turkeys now showing strong signs of mating, it is important to remember the necessity for segregation if you want to effectively manage your breeding groups. You really must put your breeding groups together early and keep them segregated. By early I mean before treading actually begins. If you wait until you see dislodged feathers in a pen before you separate your turkeys then you are probably too late.
The reasoning behind such early segregation is based upon research undertaken by renowned turkey breeder Marsden many years ago. His research showed that the sperm from a single mating at the beginning of a season could still be viable at the end of the season. It is an amazing ability and is probably an evolutionary survival strategy. Understandably sperm viability will diminish as the breeding season progresses, but fertility is still possible.
So, if you want to be assured your turkeys are ‘breeding true’ then you must keep unwanted stags away from your selected breeding groups from a very early stage.
Given the vulnerability of the traditional varieties of turkey the need to keep heritage bloodlines pure is vital, and early segregation is fundamental in achieving this.