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Hens Strutting

This Turkey Tuesday is about strutting, in this case by hens with broods. These pictures, sent to me by Brian Lovett, show a really interesting series of behaviors that involve 2 hens strutting while poults are grouped beside them. We all know that both toms and hens will strut, for toms it’s associated with displaying for hens and asserting dominance to other toms. When hens strut, it usually appears to be directed towards one hen showing dominance over another. I’ve seen many pictures of hens strutting around hens, but I’ve never seen hens with poults strut. What could be at play in these pictures? Throughout this series of pictures, the poults remain behind the fan of the hen to the right, and the hen to the left never changes her position. The hen to the right finally comes out of strut and walks off in a “half-strut”, still clearly posturing – and the poults follow her. Are the poults all hatched from the hen they follow? Are the hens posturing to each other, or perhaps to other hens that were not photographed? Could there be some other critter around them they’re trying to convince to leave them be? We’ve documented instances of hens that didn’t hatch their own clutch joining flocks of hens that did hatch poults, maybe the hen on the left is attempting to tag along and the brood hen was trying to tell her who was boss? The take home is, strutting is something all turkeys do, even hens with poults. Has anyone seen this behavior or captured pictures of it?

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2 Responses

  1. I have 2 pictures of hens with poults strutting. In both cases there were 2 hens present.

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