Emergency - New baby turkeys look AWFUL - crouching and wont drink!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by aa3655, May 13, 2011.

  1. aa3655

    aa3655 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011

    They're lying all still and quiet and won't peep or drink!

    I tried to feed them sugar water with a medicine dropper but they won't get up!

    Please - advice from anybody!

    PS it's about 80 odd degrees in SC... they've not been in the sun or a hot car.
  2. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2011
    I take it you've got them in a brooder?

    I can't say I really had a problem with mine. Did you hatch them yourself or were they shipped? What I did: I put them in the brooder and dipped their beaks in water (not letting their nose get wet) until they opened their mouths and then I'd see them swallow. I placed food all over the floor of the brooder, with most of it being on a sheet of tin foil. I also hung a CD in there so that they'd have plenty to keep them entertained. Every hour or so, I'd take them individually back to the water and repeat dipping their beaks. I have found that my started has some bits that are too big for them so I ground those down a little. Some water splashed on some crumb and they absolutely loved the mush. Maybe that'd be an idea?

    First things first, make sure they're at the right temp - they should be at c. 100f - if you haven't got a thermometer, you can get room thermometers anywhere that sells baby stuff. I didn't actually bother as my birds were active enough to guide me - if they were huddled together, it was too cold. If they were panting and at the edges of the brooder, I moved the heat lamp higher. I put them in a larger box that the lamp was struggling to warm up so I wrapped a blanket around the box for insulation, put chicken wire over the top, heat lamp on that and towels over the chicken wire (although not covering the lamp - don't want to start a fire!) if the temp is right, keep showing them their water - they have terrible memories and can forget. Mine are all eating and drinking well (only hatched yesterday), but i'm still showing them their water every time the kids play with them.

    Remember that a cold poult = a dead poult.
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    How old are they?
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Did they just arrive today? When you unpack them, they can be a bit traumatized and it may take a few hours for them to realize they aren't in mortal danger. They would benefit from some electrolytes in their water.

    Also, you might try grinding up their feed into small bits in a blender or coffee grinder. I bought one just for feed. Spread it around on the ground, even where they are huddled. I start my poults on paper towels, then add substrate (shavings) later. That way the feed stands out, they get curious and start pecking. I even tap at the food in front of them. Doesn't take long from there.

    Best of luck.
  5. LizaBlue

    LizaBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2010
    Wee Acres
    I just got some poults for the first time last Sunday, and I can understand your concern. They do seem to shock easily and take a long time to recover - any change in their environment just blows their little pea brains. If the temp is okay in their brooder, look at their beaks and eyes. Are they runny or dirty? How is their poop - diarrhea or bloody? When you lift them and make them stand, are they able to or do they wobble and fall?

    My turkey problems included lethargy, trouble breathing, dirty beaks, clogged noses, and orangey brown diarrhea. I gave them water with Sulmet (from the Co-Op), Sav-a-Chick electrolyte mix, Poly-Vi-Sol baby vitamin drops from Walmart, mashed egg yolks and high quality canned beef cat food, and as a last resort dabbed menthol chest rub under their wings. It took nearly 3 days, and I lost one, but now they seem perfectly healthy and one of them keeps flying out of the tub.

    Do searches on here for every symptom and choose the solution that seems best. I'm a first timer with poultry, but with all the members on here, everything's happened to someone once and the answer's probably on here somewhere - good luck!
  6. aa3655

    aa3655 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Hey, thanks for all the good advice... in the end I tried to do everything at once!

    They've made it up to tonight, are even eating and drinking a little. I put mashed potato in their beaks and put in droppersful of sweetened water until they swallowed it. I tried the crumbles on a piece of aluminum foil and later on in the day it seemed to work, also I put hot water bottles in their cage (covered up with a towel of course) and kept changing them all day, I think that might have helped. (Note to self - buy brood lamp tomorrow morning!)

    Their poop is orangey brown, even red brown (thanks for mentioning it, Liza!), any idea what that means? Sorry but I am SO ignorant about turkeys! They just seem to be in pretty awful shape, although a hell of a lot better than yesterday!

    Mine are three days old... I got them from a local farmer, I phoned her up right away when we got home yesterday, but she checked and said the rest of the ones she has in the brooder are fine, running around and eating and drinking normally.
  7. jimmythechicken

    jimmythechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2010
    if they are only 3 days old they need a heat lamp if they get chilled they get sick very fast.even if you just have a lamp hang it over the brooder with a 100 watt bulb. good luck i hope they make it though the night
  8. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    If you can put a few chicks in with them they will encourage them to feed and drink.
  9. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    Make sure they have a heat lamp! No drafts and give them lukewarm (not cold ) water with electrolytes/vitamins in it.I just got my first poults this year as well.I ordered 18,got 19 and all are still doing well so far with these husbandry tactics. Good luck...hope they all make it [​IMG]
  10. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Poynette WI
    Also turkeys are not like chicks. They don't run like crazy everytime you peek at them. Although when I put them in their day brooder so they have more room they stretch their wings and legs quite well. Of course I have one that must be held. Queen Sophie must be up higher than the rest and loves to watch the little ones below. As a matter of fact they seem to crave attention. They are also a bit more difficult to raise than chicks. Follow everyones advice here and you should do fine. Sometimes you just loose one, so don't focus on that just take care of the others if it happens. I found one dead this morning for no apparent reason. Sad but it wasn't my little Queenie Sophie or one of my darling little strutting toms. We started with 25 and do expect to have a loss now and then. Mine are about a week and a half old.

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