Giving up on the Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kangababy, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Well I think we have decided giving up on the turkeys!
    We started out with 60 BB white and 60+ Blue slate this year after I hatched some of the blue slates and we ordered (40 blue slates and the BBW). We are now down to maybe 15 slates and 20 BBW. They ahve been dropping like flies so this weekend they are going to become dinner Its sad for the BBW but at the rate we are losing them they will all be dead by Christmas!

    Are turkeys this hard to raise?
    This is our second year having them and all we had last year live were 6 Bourbon reds and about 10 blue slates out of 20/20 and then 5 BBW out of 40+. They have fresh clean water, heat and medicated food with high protien.

    I do have severl Blue Slate Toms that I would like to trade for some hens if anyone has any.. We are going to keep the Blue slate hen and 3 or 4 toms but I know I don't have enough hens.
  2. 49erjohns

    49erjohns Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2010
    Do you have chickens with your turkeys? Are you housing turkeys where chickens have been housed?
    One great trick in raising turkeys I found was to start them from day one on hardware cloth. They do not know the differance between droppings and their food. Once they get a taste for droppings you cannot turn them around. They pick up all kinds of problems when they eat droppings. Check out one of your dead ones liver. If it is spotted, you have blackhead in your flock. Good Luck JOHN
  3. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2007
    St.Charles, QC
    Check out one of your dead ones liver. If it is spotted, you have blackhead in your flock. Good Luck JOHN

    Good info! [​IMG]
  4. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    we raised turkey when I was a kid so I asked my dad for advice when I wanted to do it.
    Here is what he said
    Turkeys are stupid , don't move them around . Don't move their food or water around. They won't be able to find it and will starve to death. Even from one end of the cage to the other.
    Don't startle them! They will just up and die.
    Always keep them up off the ground they will eat their own droppings.
    Don't expect 1/3 of them to survive till thanksgiving cause they just won't.
    Keep them draft free completely until they are completely feathered out.

    Maybe some breeds are smarter , certainly the wild ones are ,but don't expect a lot out of the white ones!
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    A lot of what folks say about the white birds (or turkeys in general) is simply old wives tales. I move the feeder around all of the time, they find it. I have free ranged them, they go pretty far and always come home. I have never started them on wire, didn't have the 'net to tell me that when I started. Right now I have 12 out of 16, the losses were from shipping and a bit worse this year from normal. I also am one of the ones that uses non-medicated feed. I have always treated them the same as chicken chicks and they did fine. That many losses is not normal. Were there any symptoms before they died? You say they have heat, can they get away from the heat? Did they have enough space? Something is going on, and the more information you can provide the better the chances of finding answers.
  6. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    I have found that turkeys are just as easy as chickens to raise. I have several of the heritage breeds. They have a barn to roost in at night and free range during the day. I feed them a mixture of chicken feed, cracked corn and dog food. I rarely lose one to illness.
    First thing to do when you get a sick bird is to isolate it to stop the spread of disease. Maybe it is a disease in your soil or from other wild birds or chickens. Sorry you are having so much problems.
    Maybe try again next year but raise them in a new area, not where these are housed.
  7. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Thanks Everyone!
    We have no idea what is happening to them and I have even gone as far as cutting the dead ones open and nothing!
    It is really strange because normally you loose them within the first few days and all of these waited until they were like 2 months old.

    The heat in the pen is where they can get away from it easily and is just there in case they get cold. They all seem to like it warmer. The two pens that they are in 1 used to be a dog kennel but nothing had been in it for years until last year when we got turkeys and the other en we just built for quail last year but we had a slight problem with the quail (the store that ordered them from us got them in an put them on cedar shavings which is toxic to quail) and this pen quickly turned into the turkey pen...

    Now that our waterfowl avairy is done and I am thinking our old waterfowl pen is going to become the new turkey pen once we fill in the water hole in it and try some blue slates next year again... we are strictly raising them for us to eat and were hoping to have 20 hens and about 5 toms when it was all said and done. but that doesn;t look like it is going to happen.
  8. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
  9. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Quote:I dont think that it is the food because then I would have lost chickens, quail, waterfowl and pheasants.
    I know that we changed their food form teh high protein to quick but once we found that out we got them right back on it. So maybe it is a deficeny in the protien. But they are perfectly healthy one day and then dead the next. Most of the white ones we have had on antibotics because they heads are all puffy and from what I found that is a virus they just get and you can't get rid of it.. it is all a learning process we are just tired of death for now...

    I have blue slates but are any of the other breeds hardier? They seem to do okay but most everything I have hatched ended up being toms and well they do pick on each other but I have the aggressive ones seperated and they seem to be doing fine now.

    We just have never had this problem with waterfowl.
  10. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
    I am not saying it is food but the labs might tell you something. In my case I have a mixed flock too and the food did not effect them. I did not loose any young turkeys because the medication is not toxic to young turkeys. It only effected my breeders. Every bird was one year old or older.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by