Blackhead disease prevention 6/6/2015

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Oldhawkins, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Oldhawkins

    Oldhawkins In the Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2015
    Ok, been reading up on the dreaded Blackhead disease. I raise chickens but added turkeys to my flock recently. (All raised together from chicks.) While researching info on turkeys, i stumbled across blackhead disease and how NOT to raise turkeys with chickens,or at least house them together which is exactly what im doing. I cant afford to build another coop just for the turkeys so i basically read everything i could on how to prevent blackhead. So far my flock is fine together as the birds were all started from chicks and on new ground.My flock is allowed to free range my 2.5 acres. So here's how im going to approach this.
    From what ive read,blackhead is a protozoa carried by the caecal worm. The caecal worm is carried by all poultry but passed between chickens to turkeys primarily thru cloacal drinking,consumption of earthworms,and consumption of infected water or feed by fecal contamination.
    To interrupt this cycle ive developed a plan.
    1st. Dust all roosts where birds sit at night with Diatomaceous earth. It dries out the poop,dries out any caecal worms or protozoa and can minimize transmission from bird to bird. I sprinkled all roosts and nest boxes even the floor of the coop to accomplish this. I plan on doing this weekly. Diatomaceous earth can be bought online,at feed stores, or at hardware stores.
    2nd. Worm all poultry on a tri monthly basis or so to shed caecal worms. I found a product called Strike 3 by Durvet. It comes in a 1lb bag with a measure scoop. Directions say to mix 1 lb into 50 lbs of feed but can also be portioned smaller as per directions with measurer provided. The active ingredient is Hygromicin b. I found this at my local Tractor Supply store. I also ordered a product called Rooster Booster online which basically will do the same thing.
    My thinking is to minimize and control Caecal worm incubation and transmission in my birds thru regular worming schedule. With the Strike 3 medication, birds can be slaughtered after they have gone off the wormer 3 days and likewise egg collection can resume after 3 days.
    3rd. I watch and interact with my birds daily. Since turkeys are especially susceptible, they are observed for change in behavior and routine fecal observation as blackhead often causes noticeable stool discoloration. If a bird is suspect, i found a product called General Cure by API. It contains the drug Metronidazole which kills the protozoa that causes blackhead. It comes in 10 pouches of 250 mg powder and can be mixed in food or water but i will use specifically to treat the sick bird if it happens. One packet (250 mg) to treat one bird bi weekly. I found this product at Petsmart in the fish care isle.

    Also i have added to all my scratch feed ground Chile peppers. I bought a bag of dried chile peppers at Wal-Mart and grind them into particles about seed size in my blender and mix it into all my scratch grains which i feed my birds a daily. This also is supposed to help with control of caecal worms/blackhead protozoa.


    If i have any issues with blackhead or the treatment for i will post updates here as well.
    I hope this helps anyone...
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    There is a key ingredient here. If you have blackhead in your flock, keeping chickens and turkeys together is a problem. If you do not have blackhead in your flock, it is not a problem. Just because something can happen doesn’t mean it always will. Many people have both chickens and turkeys in the same flock without a problem, but it can be a disaster. Good luck!
     
  3. Oldhawkins

    Oldhawkins In the Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2015
    To me,taking precautions so as to prevent something before it happens makes more sense then waiting until i have sick and dead birds and wasting a ton of money to try and keep them alive. Turkeys are more expensive to purchase and raise then chickens and for each bird that is lost its a hit in the pocket. I need my meat birds and breeders to live or it just isnt worth the time and money to raise them.
     
  4. OMG! This is exactly what I needed!! I'm new to turkeys. And bought one impulsively with three chicks. I had no idea how sensitive they could be. I just love my turkey and your information will help me keep her healthy! She has had runny greenish poops, but otherwise has been good. And now has mites because its something we go through every summer with the chickens. Thank you for your research and for posting this!
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Very good post, but thought I should add to it. [​IMG]

    The API General Cure also has praziquantel, so it might be a better idea to buy something with just metronidazole... like Fish-Zole, Aqua-zole or Meditrich. Of course one could use APi General cure, but something with just metronidazolel would be better and easy to give the proper dose.

    If one has an outbreak of blackhead, the treatment is metronidazole at *no less* than 30mg/kg for *five* days *and* Safeguard at 50mg/kg once and repeat in ten days.

    -Kathy
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    I have blackhead here, so I do have to treat several birds a year. Best to have the medications on-hand just in case, right?

    -Kathy
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Exactly... no harm in adding peppers to feed and worming with a proper wormer on a regular basis. [​IMG] It also really helps to get baseline weights and to watch them very closely. Caught soon enough, blackhead can be treated, but if not caught soon enough, the bird will almost always have a secondary E.coli infection that will need yet another drug, usually something like Baytril.

    -Kathy
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Welcome to BYC!

    Go buy some poultry dust or 5% Sevin for the mites/lice (DE doesn't work), Safeguard liquid for goats and some metronidazole (Fish-Zole, Aqua-Zole or Meditrich) tablets. If you want to be really safe, buy some Baytril, too. You may never need the metronidazole or Baytril, but it's something you should have unless you will be able to take your poult to a vet if it gets sick.

    -Kathy
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General


  10. Thank you,Kathy.

    I have been all over town every farm and feed supply, local vets, and friends with kids in 4H and FFA. I have an email in to the director of animal science at calpolySLO...so far nobody has had blackhead or trouble with mixing turkeys and chickens in my area. I wonder if it is a regional thing? I did get the metronidazole and the Savin dust, and cayenne pepper and crushed chili's and DE (which I already had been using- I did one thing right.) I don't understand doseage. 30mg what per chick or poult per day? How do I do that! I'm not going to traumatize them by catching them, forcing a squirt of treated water down their throat every day for 5 days. By day 5theyll never come to me. I'll need a net to catch them. Can I just put it in the waterer?
     

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