Broody Turkey seemingly attacked just hatching chick-Emergency.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mustangrooster, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    So, I’ll get straight to what I want to say.

    A while back I gave my turkey a chance to incubate and brood chicken eggs once she appeared broody. I was unsure at first, being a big strong turkey and all, but, I gave it a shot.

    She has been so persistent, sitting on the nest for over 2 months after the rain swamped her nest and ruined her eggs a number of times. I thought that since she was siting for so long, and I couldn’t break her, it was a good sign that she would be a GREAT mother.

    Hatching day was today (4/11/14) for one egg, (You see, she has different staged eggs, due to the other hens laying underneath her and adding onto her batch, the plan would be once this egg hatches, that the other eggs that are far from hatching would go underneath my other broody turkey)
    So I was excited, it was the egg from my favourite hen! Yippe, I thought. I had planned everything out so perfectly to ensure the turkey would be a great mother. The egg was coming along good, and a few times I peeked under to ensure the chick was still alive. The turkey however, tyrs to eat me (aka attack me till’ I bleed) every time I did so, which scared me-would she be that rough with the chick?
    I sat by the turkey for a bit to make sure that everything was ok, while little guy slowly made his way to hatch, just slowly pipping and peeping. My instincts where telling me to get this chick of the turkey NOW and put it in the bator, she seemed to be paying A LOT of attention towards the egg, but another side was saying LEAVE the egg DON’T mess with Mother Nature-she seemed to be talking back to the egg.

    I went to go feed the horses, as night was falling, I tended to the other flocks, and then I came back to the nest, peeked under while trying to not be eaten alive by the turkey, and found no remains of that egg. THE EGG WAS GONE. The turkey was NOT sitting on the nest properly and I specks of SAW blood around the nest.

    I was terrified, had she eaten the egg in the time that I left? I felt so guilty, upset, and angry! I searched the nest with the turkey off it, and found nothing, I kept searching and searching, picking up hay, moving eggs, doing anything possible- I could of prevented this!

    Going back for the last time to check the nest, I found the chick. Out of its shell, on the dirt, covered in leaves and muck, and the remaining egg yolk ruptured with just the sack remaining . He had spots where I could see the turkey pecked and the skin is off in some places of the little guys head. He was barely alive, only just in fact.

    I immediately felt like yelling at the turkey..and not letting her brood any longer. But as soon as I left the nest area, she went back to the nest. I was very upset, I could of stopped this very easily by listening to my instincts and putting the chick in the bator.

    I cradled the cold but alive chick in my hands and ran inside to the bator, I put him in there, set the temps, and hoped with all my might he would be ok.
    Hes still alive now, about 3 hours after the disaster. I have been tending to him all the way, cleaning him with warm water, so that he could fluff out, and clearing him of all leaves etc. and pretty much praying to dear god that he will have a chance at life, even if it means he/she will be my pet all his life.

    He is very weak. Still has not got any eyes open, but is starting to fluff, He is missing skin in places, he was not ready to come out of the egg when the turkey almost killed him. So therefor has no yolk absorbed, and has no yolk attached, just the sack empty of yolk. Im assuming the turkey ate the yolk. He has lost some blood. And right now’ it’s a miracle that hes still alive, this is a good example that chickens really are fighters. And he still gives me the peep and crawls around.

    He/she is in one of my old bator’s so I have been back and forth countless times monitoring the temp, because it swings.

    He may not live, im aware of that, but right now hes not in too much pain hes just resting and moving around occasionally. Most likely recovering from shock.

    Id like to add, that I had put 6 eggs under her when she had received new eggs after the rain swamped her nest. They were ones I had incubate in the bator' a while back, and I let her hatch them for me whilst the bator was playing up. As soon as they hatched I took them back..She killed all the black chicks (2 of them), but was fine with the white chicks until I took them back to the brooder!

    Im kicking myself. What can I do? Any advice that you guys can give? Anything at all? Whats the best thing to do? HELP.
    Im devastated :( :( what a horrible start to a life he/she might not live much longer.

    Over and out,


    EDIT: Id like to add that its beginning to go late into the night, so I don't know how long I can stay up and tend to the chick..On BYC the time is showed differently to what it actually is over here, just clarifying..
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    @mustangrooster , how is that chick doing? He sure got off to a tough start. If he didn't have a chance to absorb the yolk, he didn't get the nutrition he normally would have, so trying to get him to eat is really important and I'd offer vitamins/minerals/electrolytes/probiotics to supplement. With regard to the wounds, rinsing them out with saline and keeping them clean should facilitate healing. I personally use Vetericyn on wounds and have had good results (and you can spray it on).

    Given her track record, the hen doesn't sound well-suited to hatching eggs, but you've likely already reached that conclusion, yourself. Some just aren't a good fit for mothering.

    Best wishes for the little one.
  3. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Little chick gave up the fight for life. He survived the night, with me being there to keep him alive. But I soon dozed off unexpectedly , and as soon as I woke up maybe 2 hours later, i quickly checked the incubator, and little baby was curled up and stiff [​IMG]

    He/she had a good fight for life, and was strong In the time she/he was alive....but my guessing is that the incubator overheated in the time I dozed off therfor killing him/her. Chickens are strong creatures, no doubt.

    The little guy was pretty, too...speckled with orange, a white belly, and a light black head. Thankyou @FoodFreedomNow for all of your advice, and if this occurs in the near future, I will certainly use the info that you provided.

    Yes, im going to block of the nest for the turkey.... I no longer want her broody, she is also loosing condition, from brooding so long. Although she has tried so hard, I've given her a number of chances and a bit of leash to continue brooding and shes choked me on it..Im going to slip her eggs under a very gentle broody turkey, who is not nearly as aggressive as this one..

    Thankyou for the best whishes', if only the little guy was still alive. On the bright side, I have a lovely natured, very gentle, broody chicken, incubating 15 eggs. Its something to look forward too [​IMG]

    EDIT TO ADD: Whos actually had success with turkeys raising baby chicks...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  4. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm very sorry to hear that he didn't make it. You both tried hard for a different outcome. [​IMG]

    I hope your next hatching experience brings you lots of healthy chicks! Would love to see an update and pics. [​IMG]
  5. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps


    Yes, I will certainly keep you updated, and when I get more adorable chicks, I sha'll post pics! :p

    Just like to add, im going to let the turkey who technically killed the chick sit on her remaining eggs until I hear peeping, then I will take them off her. She is proving impossible to break...
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I've had zero success letting turkey hens hatch, my experience was similar but I pulled all poults and eggs the minute the poults were being tossed like footballs. I don't let my turkeys hatch anymore. I let my bantam hens hatch all my turkeys and than I raise them myself. People have success with turkey hens, but they need to be set up in a solitary manner and kept penned away from any other poultry it seems. Sorry you lost the poult. They certainly are quite fragile for a few weeks and need extra care.

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