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Bourbon red hen's eye is gone...

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Turkey experience zero. Have been around chickens all my life. Acquired a breeding pair of bourbon red turkeys last June after breeding season had ended. Two weeks ago they started up the strutting and preening and dancing around each other, but they both seemed very aggressive in going for the head and face with their beaks, grabbing and pinching, then back to the dancing. Over the next several days, I saw a bit of dried blood on him, but she was getting the worse end of the deal. Her face was covered in injury marks. I felt that since she was still engaging him and not trying to get away that I should just let nature take its course. I never did see him pin her.

Now her eye is gone. Noticed issue from a distance two days ago, and just hoped it was the lid closed by injury, but then caught her this morning and the damage is complete. Eye area is filled with stuff, probably eye tissue, but doesn't look badly swollen or infected. I am going to apply neosporin (only thing I have on hand) and hope she heals well.

So is this normal, a fluke, or a match made in hell? Do turkeys tear each other up this way? Is this survival of the fittest at work?

I can find no mention of this type situation on the internet, and don't really know anyone with turkey experience.

post #2 of 2

I would definitely use the Neosporin twice a day in the eye, and look for signs of infection. Terramycin eye ointment can be found at feed stores if you ask for it. That is oxytetracycline. Here are 2 threads that talk about turkey behavior and one about infections from pecks, and you can do a search at the top of this page for more:

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