Mortality and Reproduction of Stocked Eastern Turkeys in East Texas

Mortality and reproduction of 65 stocked eastern turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) were studied using radio telemetry on 2 different areas in east Texas from February 1979 through July 1981. The known survival rate was 62% after 1 year and 48% at the end of the study period. The known mortality rate was 11 % after 1 year and 21% at the end of the study period. Predation on hens during the nesting and early brood-rearing season was the greatest loss of adult turkeys. A high rate of nesting and renesting indicated a high reproductive potential for these turkey populations. Average poult loss for 3 reproductive seasons was >67% and nearly all losses were recorded within 14 days after hatching. Low poult survival was considered the greatest limiting factor on the turkey populations.

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