Blackhead

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BigPeep, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. BigPeep

    BigPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    5
    111
    May 27, 2009
    I know there have been some posts on this but I didn't see anything recent that addressed this precise question.

    I have turkeys for the first time this year. They are confined in a turkey tractor and the chickens are in chicken tractors. I had thought it would be safe to have the chicken tractor go behind the turkeys but not vice versa. Eventually, the turkey tractor would find its way, however, to where chickens had been at some point in the past. Also, I plan to overwinter the turkeys in a pen next to the chickens.

    I had thought that the parasite that causes this disease would die when the droppings dried out but I am now reading that it may survive for several years if they get into earthworms and something involving the chickens.

    To date I have gotten all of my chickens directly from hatcheries or a local source that I believe to be safe (they have turkeys plus chickens with no problems to date with the turkeys). I am assuming that if I avoid introducing chickens from swaps or direct purchase other than from hatcheries, they will not be coming in with blackhead as there would be no way for it to get into an egg.

    Is that the case?
     
  2. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,390
    34
    191
    Feb 22, 2010
    Thailand
    I can answer only from what I have read here and in books because we don't seem to have a blackhead problem in our area.

    What you write about blackhead seems to be the general wisdom. The chickens carry the disease with no ill effects but it gets into the ground, worms then carry it and, even a few years later, a turkey will pick it up. On the other hand, you will read many cases here where people keep chickens and turkeys together with no ill result. You might ask the hatchery for local advice because blackhead seems to be a localised problem.

    My feeling from what I have read is that, if you keep turkeys, it's better not to allow onto your land anyone who might have had recent contact with live poultry. Also, people advise quarantine for new poultry to allow time for any disease to show itself. This wouldn't work for blackhead in chickens, of course. Whether or not you risk skipping that for hatchery purchases depends on how confident you are in the hatchery.
     
  3. Aj1911

    Aj1911 Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    2
    121
    Jun 4, 2009
    well this thread is 8 days old but i figure this would be of help.

    if you worm your chickens with something that kills the ceceal worm you can break the life cycle of blackhead and be 100% fine

    but you must worm once a year at the least and worm your turkeys as well and it has to be something that kills all worms unlike wazine which is for round worms only.
     
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    25,007
    69
    388
    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I have had both living together since May and haven't seen any probelms thus far except the Male turkey is a terd at night time to the hens-they fight for the good roosting spot!
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I wouldn't say 100% fine on the worming, but worming all fowl with Safeguard etc... helps break the cycle. If you keep on hand a medication like Fishzole , which active ingredients kills Blackhead, and know the symptoms then you should be fine. Most people keep them separate because Poults are more fragile than chicks and coccidia can be passed around, and it's just better to prevent than to treat if you can help it.
     
  6. godsgurl4evr

    godsgurl4evr Out Of The Brooder

    42
    0
    32
    Sep 2, 2009
    Bladensburg, Ohio
    I am reading this thread with interest! Last year we raised turkeys for the first time we raised 50 and of those 50 probably lost 20 to what I believe was blackhead. (causes the spotted liver?) I did research and research and research on this and could not find any help...basically all I found said they would live or they would die. It was very frustrating and heart breaking! If I remember right the hatchery I usually buy from has Fishzole in stock is this something I would put in their water? We didn't do them this year because we are working at getting our whole bird situation more organized but I sure do miss them! We have one hen left and she lives with my chickens...she beats up the roosters [​IMG] Not really they don't take her on but I have one rooster she hates and will chase around the pasture.
     
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    619
    3
    140
    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    These three sites have pretty much most of the information.

    This page does have some medication that can be used
    http://www.millerhatcheries.com/Information/Diseases/blackhead_disease.htm

    http://www.helium.com/items/1356131-blackhead-disease-in-poultry

    This link is some what graphic, As it shows what the liver of an infected
    bird looks like.
    http://www.nwtf.org/conservation/bulletins/bulletin_25.pdf

    But you must remember the any wild bird can bring many virus, bacteria and other things not welcome to your flock.

    Even if you don't keep turkeys and chickens together you still need to keep those cages and pens clean, and monitor the health of you flock.

    What is not said in these documents is that blackhead is more predominate and more likely in warm wet climate.

    Our most recent experience has been with avian and turkey pox in the dry form. Most likely it was brought into the flock by the influx of doves we had near the coops and pens this year.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  8. jrsqlc

    jrsqlc Obsessed with Peafowl

    487
    2
    121
    Dec 22, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    ok, great write ups!!
    Now say we get an infected bird, Flagyl will fight the parasites and can help the bird to live!! But flagyl is hard to get, and how do you administer it?
    Not to mention, it comes in many strenghts.

    Is Fish Zole (Metronidazole) the same as Flagyl?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  9. BigPeep

    BigPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    5
    111
    May 27, 2009
    Thanks everyone. What this isn't telling me is how a new born chick could wind up with the disease so as to introduce it to a flock if the chick is purchased from a hatchery. I would expect that a protozoan would not be able to get inside of an egg. The egg is developed in the ovary and falopian tube and only enters the cecum once the shell is on. The only way I can see the chick getting it is if the chick is allowed to run around with the adult chickens and eat things from the yard and coop. If the eggs are incubated in incubators and then the chicks are all shipped directly, I don't see how the protozoa can ever get into the chick, and hence into the flock. Therefore, if you get all of your birds from hatcheries and don't buy adult birds, how can you ever get it in your flock?
     
  10. jrsqlc

    jrsqlc Obsessed with Peafowl

    487
    2
    121
    Dec 22, 2009
    Northwest Ohio
    Quote:Because it is in the gound.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by