Blackhead Disease Up North


8 Years
Aug 25, 2011
I am very new to this and am sorry to ask repetitive questions....

Has anyone ever heard of blackhead in Northern Wisconsin or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

Is it more/less common in areas that have very long, cold winters, with lots of snow?

Are certain soils more risky? My yard is pure red clay

Will worming my 3 chickens help?
If I keep them separate in the summer when they are outside, would it be possible to keep them together in the winter, we get many many feet of snow and I don't think I will be able to let the birds out in it. I thought that they might like to be together to keep warm, I do plan on some type of heat, but nothing too hot, just something to keep it above freezing. Below zero is very common up here, I am currently in the process of insulating and replacing really old windows in my childhood "playhouse"... now the new and improved chicken/turkey coop...

If chickens are exposed to this blackhead stuff, will it go away(worming?) or does it always stay in them?
I bought some wormer Wazine 17, I have not used it yet because the label confused me: It says for meat chickens you can use 14 days before butchering... but for layers not to use if you will be eating their eggs... Does this mean if I worm my hens I can never eat the eggs, or does it mean I can worm them and just not eat the eggs for 14 days? Either way they are not laying yet, but I am confused...

I was planning on separating the 3 chickens and 2 turkeys because of this blackhead disease, but no one around here seems to have heard of it, and I also thought I should separate them once my chickens start laying eggs, I didn't know if my turkeys would hurt the eggs or not, and I wasn't sure if the oyster shells would be bad for my turkeys(especially my tom)

My 5 birds have been together since they were at the feed store 15 weeks ago...
My gold star(named Red Wing) thinks she is a turkey, she follows the turkeys around while my other 2 chickens a buff orpington (named Canuck) and my Araucana (named Pouf Head... my boyfriend named her, he is not Mr. Creative) do chicken things.
But I notice that the turkeys do eat the chicken poop, they always have, on purpose and often. I realize this is a problem.

I wish I could get some pictures on here...
I got some cute pictures of my tom he started strutting when he was only about 8-9 weeks old, (I got him on 5/10 and he was strutting alot around 7/10. I noticed when he was even younger once in a while he would attempt to strut but didn't really have enough feathers ) they are cute pictures.

Unrelated question: I read that the broad-breasted bronze and white turkeys cannot breed... Can the standard bronze turkeys breed?

At about 15 weeks old about how much would a broad-breasted bronze tom weigh compared to a standard bronze tom?
Lots of great questions--I'm really new to turkeys, but do know a few anwers.

Blackhead--it is not killed with a wormer; and your state extension office will know if it common in your area (see a phone book for the listing). Chickens, once they have it, are carriers, which means they aren't sick but they will give it to others.

BBW and BBB cannot naturally breed because of the very heavy breast muscling; heritage turkeys are less muscled and are able to breed with the hens. I'm thinking of trying a heritage tom on a BBW hen.

I don't have a good answer for your last question on weights; I'm still learning to.

Welcome to BYC!!
The more humid and damp/warm soil (happy helminth vectors) the greater the prevalence. The drier the runs the better (good drainage/amend soil with sand, etc.). You ought to look into your State's DNR (might do surveys of Wild Turkeys/Pheasants taken by hunters, every so often, to examine for disease - check with local Wild Turkey Federation, etc.).

Regular worming schedule with something like Valbazen is very helpful. Keep some Metronidazole on hand for treatment.

There are more bad things that are more common. Good husbandry (unstressed/healthy turks) will go a long way to preventing/minimizing most.

Some things that the Nova Scotians considered when introducing Wild Turks (all diseases listed aren't specific to NS):

function here on BYC will throw up many useful threads on Histomoniasis.

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