Do wild turkeys get blackhead disease?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Denninmi, May 2, 2011.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I was doing a lot of weeding yesterday in my garden, and pulling up a lot of nice edible things -- dandelions, chickweed, dock, garlic mustard.

    Which I always give to the birds.

    I had to be careful not to give any clinging soil to the turkeys, since earthworms are the vector for the parasite that causes blackhead.

    Just got me to wondering -- wild turkeys no doubt would feast on earthworms, especially during those warm spring rains when the worms come out and carpet the ground in the morning.

    So, do wild turkey populations get blackhead? Or are they somehow immune to it?
  2. MissTurkey4

    MissTurkey4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    I think if they are where chickens have been in the last three years they can get it.
  3. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    yes it kills a percentage of wild turkeys every year. Blackhead is not an indigenous disease to the Americas so turkeys have not evolved with it. It is my understanding blackhead was brought over by a Golden Pheasant around the turn of the century (~1900 or shortly thereafter). My turkeys free range with chickens, Guineas, geese. I keep a close watch on the turkeys (and can't help if they eat worms). I also worm my flock and keep medication for blackhead on hand.

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