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Is my turkey dying?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have a 7-8 month old Tom who is about 45-50 lbs. Found him in the coop the other morning laying down (head stretched out on the ground). It was very cold out, so I brought him inside. If he is sitting (which he does most of the time) he seems fine. Eating, drinking, no drainage from nose or eyes, breathing normal. When he tries to stand up (which is very difficult for him) he stumbles and starts doing this open mouth breathing where his mouth is all the way open, like he's gasping for air. Sometimes it sounds raspy or almost honking. When he sits back down he calms down and breathing is back to normal. He is a bronze and very large...has always had a hard time walking because he is so big. Not sure what to do with him...he is currently living in my bedroom where he is warm and I can monitor him. I live in the mountains of Colorado and it is below freezing outside. Any help would be appreciated. I wasn't sure whether to give him antibiotics (I have Tylan 50) or what to do. I'm not sure if he is ill, in pain, or dying. He is a pet, not going to eat him. Thank you in advance!

post #2 of 5

If he already can't hardly walk, he's probably dying from his weight. His legs can't support his own body anymore, and it's overloading his heart; this happens often with meat breeds. They aren't mean to live longer than when they'll be sent to market, to be honest. I'm really sorry, but there's not much you can do for him, other than try to keep him as comfortable as possible, which seems like you've been doing a great job of already. However, if his condition worsens, you may sadly have to put him down.

post #3 of 5
@littleolddog, Welcome to BYC! How is your turkey today?

-Kathy
post #4 of 5

So sorry about you turkey! X2 on Kiaton's post. Meat breeds get too heavy for their legs and it becomes hard to walk. I personally only have one heritage tom who has a monitored diet and isn't very heavy, but a friend of mine has broad breasted and one of her toms had the same problem. They're just too big :-/ I'm not sure what you can do for him, other than make sure he's comfortable, and his food and water is in reach where he doesn't have to get up to get it.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help and kind words everyone. He is doing about the same...no better, no worse. He seems to like living in my bedroom, lol. Lots of blankets and pillows and a warm place with good food and cold water. He gets up a few times a day and moves, but mostly just wants to sit. He was raised indoors until he was about four months, so he's used to being inside. We live in Colorado, and it gets way too cold for him outside. I guess I'll just keep him inside and monitor him until he gets better or worse. I also have heritage turkeys (Royal Palms) they are going on four years and are very healthy and not too big at all...but they are sort of standoffish and not too friendly. The bronze turkeys are so friendly and sweet. I also have a female, she is large too, but can walk and is very active.

Thanks for everything.

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