3 day old turkey can't walk = Help!


10 Years
Jun 21, 2009
I am new to this blog site and new to raising turkeys. We actually raise a small flock (10) of chicks, mostly Rhode Island Reds and some Aracaunas for our own eggs and recently raised 15 Jumbo Cornish X Rocks for meat with great success. While at the feed store yesterday picking up horse feed, the lady at the counter said she had 1 of 7 baby turkeys left that came from Texas the morning before . All had died, all had been picked up from the post office lying on their side and just flailing. The one left was doing the same thing and said if I didn't take it home it would be left unattended and probably die before anybody would return on Monday morning. SO.... I now have the baby turkey in my kitchen under lights. The poor thing seems to have a balance issue and "blindly" pecks at food and water. I have taken some starter feed and mixed with water and sugar, the turkey is propped up with use of a towell, sleeps ALOT, awakens to eat/drink slightly and then goes right back to sleep.

When attempting to get the turkey to stand/walk, he can balance only for a few seconds and then when tries to step forward, falls backward, landing on the same side everytime and just kicks its legs out without success of anything.....

Should I go ahead and put it out of it's misery as I am getting up in the middle of the night several times to make sure it is eating/drinking something OR will it eventually mature some and learn to walk.

I don't know if it is a neuro issue/resulting from some shipping issues from Texas (we are in Ohio) or has a "turkey neuro?? disease", both it's legs seems to be going in the right direction without swollen joints.....

Appreciate your advice, experiences, ideas????



11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
North Fork Eastern Long Island
Former CFRN myself.

I would keep it simple and assume your turkey is suffering from shipping stress and lack of care while at the feed store.

It sounds like you are doing everything possible.

I would continue to push the sugar water and a few crumbles if she will take them.

Probably no need to put her down. She is either going to bounce back sometime today or not.

Best wishes.


12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
Wilmington, NC
I agree with JohnL1935, getting the sugar water into the little one is very important at this point, and you are doing all that you can. The little one seems to have a will to live and hopefully will succeed with your help! Good luck, let us know how things work out.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom