Are turkeys fragile or did I just get a run of bad luck?

chookmama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 5, 2011
27
2
24
I haven't yet raised turkeys (they're on the list for next year) but have been studying up on them a lot. The thing I've heard that might apply here is that it takes 8 weeks before they have a fully developed immune system, so up until that time they're subject to catch things very easily.

Fascinated by the experiences quoted here of adding a chick to the poults - the stuff I've read caution that turkeys should never be raised near chickens or even where chickens have been w/i a couple of years because the poults will die of things that hardly bother chickens. But obviously - from these stories there are some advantages, too, if everyone is healthy. They also said not to raise turkeys on the chick food because of the protein levels - if you don't get the proper gain in the first eight weeks your turkeys will never 'catch up.'

all hearsay.... as I stated up front...
 

Unclebean

Rest in Peace 1977-2013
9 Years
Jun 10, 2010
430
0
109
Tower City, PA
Quote:My 27 Porter poults that died the first week, were eating and drinking. They would be fine one minute and dead the next. Is that what your finding happened?

The poults arrived looking very good. They were energetic and chirping to the point of driving us crazy! Slowly I would find one or two lying on their side (still breathing). I tried putting them back on their feet, dipping their beak in water and the food dish but they didn't respond to it. A few hours later they were dead. I noticed some of the poults pecking at the other poults eyes. Now I'm thinking I should have checked the eyes of the dead poults before I disposed of them. I was using just a Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder at first and later added a heat lamp thinking the Brinsea was not warm enough. Even with the heat lamp I had poults dying.
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
234
273
Central Oregon
This isn't turkeys, but my experience with ducks is that if they have shipping stress, they look just fine and can be dead a few seconds later.

I managed to get my batch with shipping stress through it, but I didn't know they had it until one keeled over dead.

If they have been badly over-heated, or chilled, or dehydrated, or maybe just very badly jarred, they don't look sick. They just die. Also, my ducklings that were the worst have ended up with some sort of mild lung damage. They 'snore" when they are sleeping. I can see how chicks might be dying for a couple of weeks as a result of shipping stress.

Unfortunately, the post office cares very little about the health and safety of the shipped chicks. There is nothing a hatchery can do about that.
 

seymojo536

Songster
12 Years
May 16, 2007
106
2
131
Central Ohio
Quote:My 27 Porter poults that died the first week, were eating and drinking. They would be fine one minute and dead the next. Is that what your finding happened?

The poults arrived looking very good. They were energetic and chirping to the point of driving us crazy! Slowly I would find one or two lying on their side (still breathing). I tried putting them back on their feet, dipping their beak in water and the food dish but they didn't respond to it. A few hours later they were dead. I noticed some of the poults pecking at the other poults eyes. Now I'm thinking I should have checked the eyes of the dead poults before I disposed of them. I was using just a Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder at first and later added a heat lamp thinking the Brinsea was not warm enough. Even with the heat lamp I had poults dying.

Poults chirping usually tells me they're chilled. They really need that 95 degrees the first week to thrive. How big was the space they were in? Did you have a wind shield set up around your brooder? Wouldn't take too much of a draft to lower the temps to where they were using all their energy to survive.
 

TammyP

Songster
10 Years
Oct 2, 2009
130
4
113
SW Wisconsin
The farm store where I got my turkeys from ....they order from McMurray too. This year, every single white turkey that came in either died before they put them in the little pens to sell or soon after. I picked out 1 white one that was the only one left that had not died yet, 3 BBB and 2 bourbons.......the white one wasn't doing well at all and one of the other turkeys was a bit sluggish too..... so when we got home, my daughter put on a 'fuzzy' sweater and snuggled it up under the blanket to keep them warm....the babies seemed to perk up a bit after an hour or two of being warmed up/snuggled. You can tell by the pic that the white one just was not doing well at all. By the next morning the white one was dead, she just was too weak to make it.


The other poult that was a little droopy too survived and is doing quite wel now..... I'd say that it was a horrible hatch from the hatchery for the whites.....something just didn't go right somewhere along the way.

Below is a pic of my daughter snuggling up the babies to keep them warm.....she snuggled them so long that she fell asleep! I had to take the pics cuz it was so cute but then had to remove them cuz I thought she might roll over and squish them.






~Tammy
 

bucket04

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
85
5
31
Falcon, Colorado
After I lost my first turkey poult, I realized that I had to show them how to eat and drink many, many times during the day. I kept the box near my kitchen so I passed by numerous times during the day (and often went over to see them 'just because'.) I would show them the food probably every half-hour or so, and made sure that each one (I had 6 by then) ate and drank each time. After a few days they all seemed to figure out that eating wasn't a one-time deal.
Next time I will be trying marbles in food as well, just to see if it speeds up the process.

On the chance that it wasn't starvation, were you using the same bag of food for both batches? If so, I would toss it and get a new bag just in case.
 

yinepu

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 16, 2011
7,629
261
278
Texas where we don't feed the Trolls...
Quote:I always put marbles in their food.. it really gets their attention.. i think at one point mine get angry at them and are more determined than ever to peck those darn things out of there.. occasionally they will bury one.. so i check ever so often to make sure they have their marbles where they can see them... lol.. dont need my turkeys losing their marbles!
 
Top Bottom