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FOS and hatching problems in Turkeys

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
The Blue Slate turkey patrol, out bug hunting. The rear is being brought up by a couple of Maran hens and on the right a Bantam rooster checking things out.



I have been incubating eggs from my Blue Slate and Royal Palm turkeys and they began to hatch on Mother's Day. Two hatched quickly and with no problems...2 other eggs had pipped but were not making progress as far as hatching goes, so I gave them a little help by making the whole bigger.  They were then able to hatch out, but both have Flop over syndrome. I am taking this as a sign that they were not completing hatching because of the weakness in their legs. A couple of more eggs failed to hatch...it also appears that the chicks were fully developed but too weak to hatch. Probably due to the FOS observed in the other 2 hatchlings I helped.  One is a Blue Slate and since I only have one Tom he will be my Thanksgiving dinner this year as I do not wish this problem to continue in my flock.  The other chick is 3/4 black so I have no idea if that hen was covered by the wild turkeys that live on my property.



 



I hate having to cull, but I have accepted the almost inevitable conclusion that it would be more merciful in the long run.  I also allowed one of my Blue Slate hens brood and hatch her own and found partly hatched eggs under her with dead chicks in them. I am thinking FOS in these also.



 



There will be no more attempts to incubate and hatch out any more turkeys from this flock...the bad genetics will end with them. They will be sold as meat birds for Thanksgiving and I will probably not keep any more turkeys. It's upsetting when it doesn't work out as you hoped.



 



On a happier note, my broody chickens have hatched out a total of almost 80 chicks this spring. I pull and brood them for a better survival rate. I have Easter eggers, Lavender Orpington, Speckled Sussex, Jubilee Orpington, RIR, Lace Wayndotte, Dominque, Barred Rock, Cherry Eggers, Marans and a few other rare breeds.   



 



Farm life continues, back to work....



 

post #2 of 7
Pipping but not hatching can be from incorrect incubator temperatures, temperature spikes, low humidity, or poor ventilation.

Poults hatched with weak legs can be from incorrect incubating, genetics or a deficiency in the diet of the breeding stock. All poult hatch with clumsy weak legs to some point and need a few days to develop muscle strength and coordination. Always keep them initially on a non slippery surface, I use paper towels. They are prone to falling over and stumbling.

Hen hatches can often go bad, especially if the hen is inexperienced. I wouldn't judge by one clutch.

Blacks are a normal occurrence when breeding blue states. Yours are nice looking.

Sorry you are having so many problems. I personally hatch all my turkey eggs under bantam hens than pull them to brood them. Hopefully your next time goes better.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I may try that next year...I am vigilant about temp and humidity. The black chick has already corrected the problem and is walking around the incubator. I use Rubbermaid ventilated shelving liner to give them a solid non slip surface that is easy to clean.  My large hens are broody and vigilant about setting eggs so I may move any new turkey eggs under them and see how they do. I do not put the vent plugs in my incubator in order keep up a good oxygen exchange.   I don't think the light gray poult will improve, but I will give it another day or so. They will be kept in a separate brooder with food and water until they gain some strength.

post #4 of 7
I hadn't known about how difficult incubator hatching was until I was looking into it this year, than a whole new world of tweaking and fidgeting came into being for me. Thankfully my bantams went broody at the last minute and my hatching eggs went under them. I have a new appreciation for what they do.

I haven't been able to have a turkey hen successfully hatch and raise poults. I believe they need and isolated stress free area to do so and I don't have the correct setup for mine. I wouldn't give up just yet. It can take a few tries to figure out what works best for you.
Edited by oldhenlikesdogs - 5/10/16 at 1:58pm
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well, when I woke up this morning, you could have knocked me over with a feather....a turkey feather that is!!!   The black turkey had recovered the day before and went into the brooder with some baby chicks and they showed it where to eat and drink and it is gaining strength hourly.  The blue slate continued to lay on it's back, paddling it's legs frantically. After reading other posts, I decided to give it just one more day. I used a plastic margarine tub and put a paper towel on the bottom and a small cotton wash cloth rolled up into a donut shape and put the bird inside to keep it upright. I left it in the brooder set at 98.5 with all vents open with no water inside. I gave it water with a syringe and it drank eagerly. I figured it was a fighter...I have canaries, so I always keep a tub of homemade egg food in the freezer. It consists of hand rearing food, which has very fine texture, to this I add finely sieved egg yolks. I thawed some of this by adding hot water and letting it soften to a thinned pudding consistency. I was able to put this into a syringe and fed the poult at least once an hour...by the time it got the hang of it, the baby was filling it's crop within a couple of minutes. I last fed it at midnight, it was still flopping over on it's back, legs paddling.  I braced myself to do what was necessary in the morning.

 

Early this morning, I could hear movement coming from the brooder, and expected to find the poult on it's back, legs paddling. Instead it was upright, walking around, unsteady but not falling over, pecking at the chick starter had put onto the Rubbermaid liner. I put a small cup of water in and it toddled over to it and drank.  Once it gains enough strength, it will join the other turkeys in the brooder. 

 

I am happy to say I am glad I waited a day...had the bird not shown such a fighting spirit and will to survive I would have culled it. I'm thrilled I didn't have to. 

 

Now, I just have to think of an appropriate name for the little fighter!!:woot

post #6 of 7
That's great news, I never count no one out until they stop breathing. You handled that well, I don't think I would have thought about a container, that's a good tip. Maybe a good boxing name like Rocky.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #7 of 7
If a turkey poult is doing great and then stops breathing what should I look for. The first poult is doing god. When I opened the rest of the egg, their was no bleeding and the yolk was absorbed. The poult had no deformation and just stopped breathing. Today is day 29 and their are 2 more eggs that haven't pipped. Any suggestions.
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