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Breeding for a Blackhead Resistance?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by gatrapper, May 23, 2016.

  1. gatrapper

    gatrapper Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2015
    Hey y'all,

    I recently purchased 8 bronze breasted turkey poults and I have been thinking a lot about building up their resistance to blackhead.

    Is there a way over several generations to breed for blackhead resistance. We have all seen people around the world adapt and build resistances to protozoa in the water.

    Why can't a bird?
  2. ShannonR

    ShannonR Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2015
    northern California
    I have had these thoughts before myself. First, look at how long chickens have been domesticated vs how long turkeys have been domesticated. Turkeys are a relatively newly domesticated species, only several hundred years vs thousands of years for chickens.
    I do think blackhead resistance can be done, but not as quickly as you would hope. Still, you should see some small improvement in about half a dozen generations if you do select for blackhead resistance...

    Blackhead resistance could potentially be accomplished on a commercial scale also by gene splicing. GMO turkey anyone?

    There is a blackhead vaccine available, if that is your idea of building resistance. I am not sure how all the vaccine works though.
  3. gatrapper

    gatrapper Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2015
    I plan on keeping the birds inside our shop in a 4x8 brooder until 8 weeks plus. I plan on not using any medicine for the birds, but we are using a holistic approach. I read that the protozoa cannot survive in a highly acidic environment. Our birds are being fed garlic, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, and oregano on a daily basis. We switch up which added supplement each day.

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