We had two turkey poults that we bought from a feed store about 2 1/2 -3 months ago. They were doing great, eating drinking, good weight. Fed them game bird starter. They had graduated from indoors to outdoors to free range on 1 fenced acre. Active, talkative, healthy. One day one was droopy, the next day dead. Two days later the other one was droopy, next day dead. Do not believe it was parisite related as they were very fleshy birds. No nasal discharge, coughing or sneezing. Fine one day, droopy one day, dead the next. I know this is vague but it's all I have. Any ideas at all.
Turkey poult death...why??
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Sorry about your turks. Had you been getting heavy rain on the days just prior to the onset of the symptoms? We had a three yr. old tom that insisted on spending the nights outside the shed (was very warm but heavy rains). He was fine in the morning and dead by midnight. Necroscopy revealed e.coli in the lungs (rain splashing it up from the ground and then inhaled).
Could also be a toxin of some sort. Do you have chickens or other poultry on that acreage as well? If so, how are they doing?
oh geez sorry.. if it were just the one i'd say that sometimes poults just flomp over.. sometimes people say they are 'hard starts'.... but if both it might be bad feed, they got chilled, or got into something.
Harp or Steve might have some insight.. guys?
and sorry for your loss - its always sad and disappointing.
Thanks for the replies and condolences. Will answer the Q's as best I can. As far as rain goes, we're about as saturated as we can be here. This week is the first week we haven't had rain every day and we did just have a rain 2 days ago. VERY wet here. The food I feed them is not medicated. (they were on a mixture of medicated chick starter and game bird starter up until about 3 weeks ago). They were, however, medicated with Sulmet last month. I read on here that Cocci thrive in wet weather so I treated them because of all the rain we've been having. They also got Wazine last month. We have ducks, geese, guineas, and chickens in the same acre enclosure. All is well with everyone except last week we did lose a guinea for no apparent reason. Didn't notice anything wrong with it then it was just dead. I saw one of them poo and it was a little loose, but it was the first one that was not feeling well and he wasn't eating just drinking water that day. Stringy white and clear. No red noticed. The second one had a normal poo that morning, was dead that evening. I have been working very long days this week so, sadly, probably wasn't as attentive as I should have been but I do see everyone every morning and evening(though it may be late and dark). So far, fingers crossed, everyone else is alright. Thanks again.
The fact that you had hit `em with the Sulmet and that the droppings were pretty much normal would make me think e.coli. Even if the runs are raked daily there is still e.coli (usually not a problem). It is pretty much fatal if inhaled: Few initial symptoms/then low energy acting puny/the skin of the head and neck become cool and dry to the touch (very unusual for healthy turks), if they are encouraged to move around they will make what seems to be a sneezing sound (now know that is a turkey's gasping for breath)/ then dead within 24hr.s of initial symptoms.
Were your turks cooped at night or did they sleep in the rain? Seems that inhalation during heavy rain is the most likely means of infection in a non commercial setting.
If it wasn't for the lack of other symptoms (not the rapid course) and other healthy poultry in same area, I'd suspect a toxin.
Good luck and if this happens again line up a necroscopy if possible OSU/UO nearby (vet school)?, only way to be sure.
Edited by ivan3 - 6/5/09 at 9:33pm
My turkey babies were locked up at night out of the rain. I'm guessing by what you've said it certainly must have been e.coli(though I never heard a sneezing sound). I sure would like to have a tom turkeyor two. With rainy season almost over...hopefully, do you think it would be safe to get a couple more? What type of precausions should I take if I do get more. Someone on Craigslist has some 4 week old's I'm thinking of trying. I certainly don't want to get them just to have them die. Thanks
clhbubba, the only reason I mentioned the e.coli (might be something utterly different) was the lack of symptoms and sudden death. The breathing (sneezing) wasn't sneezing at all but more like Cheyne-Stokes breathing in a human (our tom was pushing 30lb.).
A couple of other things consider/ temp. swings (I know that here in midmo we've been having some pretty cool temps off and on recently), genetics (unlikely) and some plant toxin. The fact that you also had a Guinea die would make me wonder, and I'd be watching the others as often as possible for anything untoward. They don't have access to pond water, do they?
If you have another one of your flock die suddenly please consider a necroscopy (might get it for free or at cost at university).
Once you get the turks out of their `gangly' phase they are some tough customers.
Well i lost 2 of my 4 1/2 mo. old turkeys. Went out day before yesterday and found one on its back. I turned it over and it went to eat and water. Yesterday went out again on its back. I got it out of there and butchered it. This morning i go out and found one dead. They are nice big birds. They are eating me out of house and home. I do not know what happened. Only have a month to go with the other 2. Makes me think i should go ahead and butcher them as well.