I have two young turkeys with yellow/bloody poop. The adults are fine its just the younger ones. I think in the last two years I've lost like 15 to this disease. Last year I bought a group of babies and raised them until they were like 4 months old. One day they got droopy with yellow poop the next they were dead. This year my adult sweetgrass hatched 10 and 8 died and two are left. I've tried sulmet when they got sick and it never worked so I locked these last two up with copper sulfate in their water for 5 days and I let them out today but one just pooped blood and the other still seems droopy. It's never adults or babies just the juvenile ones. If I can't figure it out after this I think I'm giving up on turkeys! I feel bad I can't do anything. why aren't the adults affected just the young ones? is there anything I can do?
Are you sure it's blackhead
and not coccidiosis
Perhaps you can send a deceased bird in for necropsy to be sure
Have you tried worming with an effective wormer such as Safeguard or Valbazen?
Have you tried treating for cocci with Corid (Amprolium)?
With coccidiosis, if birds have been exposed they can either fight it off and become immune to particular strains or get very sick and die. "IF" it's cocci that would explain why the adults are ok but the little ones are suffering.
Keep in mind that I am not an expert and this is just a possibility and it can't hurt to try worming and give Corid to at least rule it out.
Just had another thought. Do/did they get medicated chick feed? or no? Medicated chick feed contains amprolium to help prevent coccidiosis. If they didn't get medicated feed then you may want to at least try treating with the Corid (active ingredient is amprolium).
Edited by Free Spirit - 12/3/15 at 8:42am
Depends on if the Corid (or Ampro) is a powder or liquid. Here's a handy link. You will want to mix the solution for 0.024% severe outbreak.
The adults may have been exposed to it at one time or another and developed an immunity. The younger ones may have been more susceptible and unable to fight it off and became sicker. It's hard to say and I'm sorry that I don't have a better answer for you. Medicated chick feed contains the amprolium (active ingredient in Corid) as a preventative for cocci in chicks. Here is an article that can answer your questions and help you understand http://www.easychickenry.com/coccidiosis-in-chickens.html . The pictures show a bloody stool which is a tell tale of cocci, but they don't necessarily have to have bloody stool to be infected.
And because of the poop you mentioned I would also add a wormer to the treatment. I recommend Safeguard paste or liquid with Fenbendazol. The active ingredient Fenbendazole is effective to kill the cecal worm (found in blackhead). You'll have to get a weight of the birds you are treating to get an effective dosage amount needed. You can find it at Tractor Supply or some feed stores sold as Safeguard equine paste or Safeguard for goats liquid. Dosage for Safeguard would be approx. 0.23ml per pound of bird weight and given orally with a needless syringe. In this thread is a picture on how to give an oral medicine correctly so you don't accidentally aspirate the bird with very easy to understand photo's http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048620/how-to-provide-emergency-and-supportive-care
I still am not certain if this is what your dealing with but it is definitely worth trying to at least rule out the possibility.
FWIW here are a couple of links with some handy information
Re: Safeguard Fenbendazole
FOR THE REMOVAL AND CONTROL OF:
Gastrointestinal worms: Roundworms, adults and larvae (Ascaridia dissimilis); Cecal worms, adults and larvae (Heterakis gallinarum), an important vector of Histomonas meleagridis (Blackhead).
Ignore the dosages in this article as it applies to fenbendazole medicated feed. The equine or goat versions I mention in the post above is going to be the best and quickest method for your current situation. You can always give the medicated feed at a later date as a preventative if needed.
This one is information on the differences of coccidiosis and blackhead. How they occur and steps toward prevention.
Edited by Free Spirit - 12/4/15 at 12:29pm
Sorry, forgot to say that with blackhead, you'll often have poults and young turkeys look OK one day and be dead the next, but as the birds get older they do develop some resistance. So, it's not at all uncommon to have adult birds that appear fine but have your young dropping over dead every year. I'm copying info below that I posted on another thread about my experience with blackhead after moving to my new home; hope it is useful:
I had turkeys with chickens for years with no problems; blackhead was not in the soil. I've retired to a smaller place in another state and blackhead is present here. We have a specialist avian vet here, so I got his advice and information. Getting rid of the chickens won't make a difference. The blackhead organism is a protozoa parasite of cecal worms, which are a parasite in earthworms. When it's muddy and the turkeys are eating earthworms that come to the surface to avoid drowning, they will get the parasites if blackhead is present in your soil.
Young birds are most susceptible; as with coccidia (which are present everywhere) they develop some immunity/resistance as they mature, if you can prevent them from being overwhelmed by large numbers of the parasites when they are first exposed. Young poults first put out on pasture will become infected, look sick one day and be dead the next. Medicated chicken feed containing amprolium is a coccidiostat (stops coccidia from reproducing, doesn't kill them), and has no effect on blackhead. Also, if you have waterfowl, like I do, amprolium will kill them.
If you can eliminate or reduce the number of cecal worms in your turkeys, you are reducing the numbers of blackhead parasites they can transmit. Cecal worms live in the cecum (surprise surprise), but the blackhead parasites migrate into the liver. The characteristic sign of blackhead, other than sudden illness and quick death in poults, is yellow droppings from compromised liver function in adults, and the birds act like they are not feeling well.
You can control/reduce cecal worms in your turkeys when you have muddy conditions, with Ivomec by mouth. 1/10 to 3/10s of a cc of the cattle liquid, depending on size of turkey. Ivomec has a large safety margin but don't go crazy. The vet said Panacur could also be used but I don't know the dose, but do NOT use Valbazen as it will kill the turkeys. I repeat the Ivomec dose every 10 days during my wet seasons, and this has worked well to prevent or reduce the blackhead infestation. I have not lost any poults since I started doing this. Adult birds with blackhead are less likely to die suddenly, but look ill and develop yellow droppings. Any turkey that starts having yellow droppings should be treated for blackhead directly. As a protozoan it is sensitive to the Ronidazole, Dimetridazole type of medications. You could buy powder to put in the water, but you would have to isolate the bird and keep track of how much it consumes. I had a sick adult tom (when I first moved here, that's how I learned all this from the vet).
Because I also have pigeons, I knew that both drugs were available in pills intended to treat pigeon canker. These are readily bought online at Pigeon Supplies Plus, or other suppliers. Either drug works, you have to calculate the dose based on the dosage of the pill and your turkey's weight in kilograms. After doublechecking with the vet on the dose, I used Ronidazole 30mg. pills and gave my Royal Palm tom 3 pills by mouth every evening. No, he didn't like it. I am a small person, I found it easiest to do this by kneeling over him to push him in a sitting position on the floor, pry open his beak and drop the pills way down his throat (behind the back of the tongue). Because this was treatment, not prevention like with the Ivomec, the vet recommended 14 days of treatment. He did recover, and the vet tested him to see if he was free of parasites afterward, and he was. However, he sustained some liver damage and he will always have yellow droppings. This was 2 years ago, and he's fine. By worming the other turkeys during muddy seasons, none of the others have been infected with the blackhead parasite. My birds are handled often, so they are pretty easy to catch and medicate as needed, which is only a few times a year, less often than worming a horse or cow (or outside dog). I am able to worm all of my turkeys by holding them with my left arm wrapped around the body, their feet resting on my bent leg, and stuffing a small plastic syringe (no needle!) with Ivomec into their beaks. Again, I am a very small person and not strong.
You could decide to stop keeping turkeys if you have blackhead in your area, but I've had mine for 15 years and enjoy them tremendously and I'm not giving them up. If you have it in your soil, you might be able to keep adult turkeys who have developed a resistance, but you are almost sure to lose your young ones as they go out on pasture.
I hope this helps.