Feathers? Illness or molt?

honeynajar

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May 19, 2011
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Hello all. I have 5 turkeys, 2 males (1 white and 1 black) and 3 females (2 white and 1 black). The white ones seem to have an issue with their feathers.

This is Lisa and Lily. Lisa has more than Lily, Lily has lost most of hers on her back as well. Lester the white male has his broken off it looks like on his back. It's just odd. The black turkey's don't seem to be affected. Am I doing something wrong? Or is this a molt. They live with chickens and guineas and a duck. TIA

 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Looks like a molt, kinda early for them to start but not unheard of. I do notice it appears to be a broad breasted and that their run is rocks, they are probably breaking their feathers off. The feet look swollen too, are they? They are prone to leg problems unfortunately.
 

honeynajar

Songster
May 19, 2011
157
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134
No their actual run is dirt and sand. They are free rangers and the rocky area is right outside the run. The two girls feet aren't bad at all compared to the white male. His feet are swollen. Is there anything I can do about that? I got the black turkeys to keep and the white ones to harvest when they were just babies. But have enjoyed having them as part of my crew, can't bear to part with them. I'm a whimp. :-(
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I believe that's normal for the broad breasted, but I've never owned one, I didn't like that they come with an early expiration date. I totally understand not want to butcher them. Most of my flock will never be eaten either.
 

LogCabinChicks

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5 Years
May 3, 2014
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Could be feather loss to to a feed that I'd not high enough in protein. They need a game bird feed or a feed specifically for turkeys. We use game bird. We also give them black oil sunflower seeds, I've raised BB turkeys, white and bronze and they never looked like this. I also have heritage and I found feeding them the right feed makes all the difference in feather appearance. I tried raising two white heritage with my chickens and my toms feathers were terrible. I then raised a feeder at the height of the turkey breast that the chickens couldn't reach, change to game bird and in two months he was growing back his feathers. Numerous posts point to using BOSS as a feather fixer which is why I gave it a shot!

(I edited this post!)
 
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R2elk

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Could be feather loss to to a feed that I'd not high enough in protein. They need a game bird feed or a feed specifically for turkeys. We use game bird. We also give them black oil sunflower seeds - very high in protein, I've raised BB turkeys, white and bronze and they never looked like this. I also have heritage and I found feeding them the right feed makes all the difference in feather appearance. I tried raising two white heritage with my chickens and my toms feathers were terrible. I then raised a feeder at the height of the turkey breast that the chickens couldn't reach, change to game bird and in two months he was growing back his feathers. Let me know what you're feeding them - oh also in the summer when it's hot, they will eat less, so adding those sunflower seeds will quickly raise the protein needed on a daily basis.
Your definition and my definition of high protein do not agree. Analysis shows that sunflower seeds are approximately 15% protein. Feeding sunflower seeds does not increase the protein they are getting but may well lower their over all protein intake. Because of their high fat content, sunflower seeds should be used as nothing more than a treat and should not amount to more than 10% of their diet.

http://www.thomasmoorefeed.com/our-products/birds/wild-bird/black-oil-sunflower-seed/
 

LogCabinChicks

Songster
5 Years
May 3, 2014
167
18
111
I guess this is the issue with forums like this, we read post after post about certain remedies... :) I will edit my post -- but I do know that they helped my Tom and that could be to the other nutritional qualities of BOSS... ??

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I agree it's probably lack of protein and it can lead to pecking problems. Try feeding Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS). Good source of protein.


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