Crippled Turkey

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Smitty's Farm, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    We have a 6 month old Bronze Breasted Tom Turkey that was born with a defected leg. He has been managing to get around until this week. He can barely stand to hold himself up and is not walking at all now. It is so sad, b/c he is our family pet. He has the sweetest personality. Has anyone else experienced this?
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Broad breasted bronze turkeys are supposed to be butchered by 16 weeks. They are bred to grow fast, just like broiler chickens. They are not meant to be pets, although some of us have kept them as pets successfully. I had a hen that lived for 3 years. The males are usually down on their legs by 6 months or much earlier in most cases. The most humane thing you can do is put the bird down. I am so sorry and know how hard that decision is, as I was faced with it not too long ago. :aww

    Jody
     
  3. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Jody,

    Thanks for your reply. I have suspected that this would have to be the end result.

    My husband decided he wanted a pet turkey, so I decided to order one when I ordered our chickens from the hatchery this past spring. Of course I had done a ton of research on chickens and none on turkies at the time. I did read later that the over breeding of turkies and their fast growth rate could cause leg deformaties.

    It's just so sad b/c "Henry" is the coolest boy! He has grown up with the chickens and thinks that he is a big chicken. He's soooo sweet and cuddly. I never knew I could love a turkey so much.

    My husband was going to put him down this weekend when my daughter and I was out of town for a soccer tournament, but decided not to. I'm glad that he has given me a chance to say goodbye.

    Thanks again for your reply,
    Kim
     
  4. potter

    potter New Egg

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    I'm experiencing the same problem right now. It sounds just like what I did. Six months ago I ordered 8 chickens and 1 bronze turkey without researching about turkeys. I'm heartbroken to have to put him down,everyone loves him. I live in Florida and we have a lot of sandhill cranes,some come up to the pen and talk to the turkey, its pretty funny. I had a feeling this would happen, I tried to stunt his growth by feeding him chick starter instead of the game feed but to no avail. I'll bet he weighs close to 40 pounds now,because I have to pick him up and carry him to the food and water or outside the coop. Yesterday I thought he was getting better because he was able to stand for a couple minutes, but today it was no better.
     
  5. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Quote:Yep, sounds like you are going through the same thing. I haven't made the decision just yet to put him down. Henry did seem so much better today. He hasn't been in the chicken pen in over a month b/c the chickens were picking on his butt feathers, but he coops up with them at night. We use to help him walk up the ramp to the coop at night, but now my hubby carries him in our log holder. He was able to flap himself out of the coop by himself this morning. I don't know what Henry weights, but it is probably 35 - 40 lbs. It is really sad, b/c we are so attached to him.
    Keep me posted on your turkey. It's just such a hard decision.
    Where in Fla do you live? I grew up in Fla.
     
  6. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    None of the Broad Breasted will grow naturally or stay sound on the legs. You are best to put them down sadly or find someone willing to process them. You may not be interested in the meat yourself as your attached to these birds but personally I feel better if they do not go to waste so birds I have been really attached to I give to a friend who I know processes humanely. I have taken birds for others for the same reason, I can process a bird I'm not attached to and respect their need to not be involved.

    I know it's very hard as they have good days and bad but as you have already seen some days they really suffer and the other poultry get to be very cruel in picking on them. One day you can come home and find them badly picked appart when they can't get away or defend themselves. In my last batch I had one with a bad leg who got lame and I should have put him down that weekend, well it did not get done and I seperated him on the Wednesday as he was barely walking. Thought he would be safe till I got off work again but found him pecked to death on Friday, a few chickens had broken into the garden area. Felt really bad that I had not dealth with him more proactivly.
     
  7. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    April,
    Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's a hard decision that I must make soon. I think my daughter will take it the hardest. They have a very special bond. I just wish the Hatchery would have been more informative about the breed. I specifically told them it would be for a pet. I also found out later that they should have also suggested that we order 2 instead of one lonely one. Can you suggest a type of breed of Turkey that could make a good pet without the worry of growth defomaties?
    Thanks,
    Kim
     
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Any heritage breed makes good pets and even wild species can be quite tame. We raise wild eastern turkeys and they eat out of hand and come running just like the chickens for a snack. They also breed naturally and can fly very well. Before you buy a bronze, make sure to clarify if it is broad breasted. If they don't know, it probably is. There are regular bronze turkeys, so it's important to know the difference. I hear good things about royal palms, black spanish, naragansett, etc. Do a search through the various turkey breeds and see which feels appealing for a pet.

    Jody
     
  9. ml

    ml Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Till you had a turkey for a pet you have not lived. They are so unlike chickens in such a endearing way. I have a older burbon red tom that I adore.

    I made him a lower roost so he can get on and off of it at night. He would wait each am for me to bring him down and put him up at night. 30 lbs bird is a very big bird.

    Royal plams, Blue Slates and Burbon Beds belive are on the heritage list. The wild turkeys are very adapt to flying here and roosting in the tree tops.

    Agree with April on her idea of giving to a friend.
    Some one not attached to it as a pet.

    ML
     
  10. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Have been reading the turkey posts to learn more about them. I am/was considering a few turkeys to raise for thanksgiving next year. I knew about the meat chickens but didn't know BB turkeys grew so big they couldn't walk. Even though I wasn't considering them for a pet I am not to keen on having an animal that couldn't walk. I didn't really want a tom but a pullet instead. Do the pullets also have this problem like the BB toms? It is that the BB kind is cheaper to buy than the heritage breed. Do burbon reds and etc make a good eating bird?
     

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