Half-Naked Bird is Sunburning. What can I do to help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Revan, May 27, 2018.

  1. Revan

    Revan Songster

    Jul 3, 2017
    Modoc County, California
    So, today we (my mother and I) picked up a free turkey hen. She was being given away because apparently the owner's Muscovy Duck male was attacking her relentlessly and caused quite a bit of damage. My primary concern at the moment is the large amount of feather loss she has sustained, and parts of her exposed skin is turning rather red due to sunburn. I am hoping that her feathers grow back in. In the meantime, is there anything I can apply to her skin to help protect it from further sunburn?

    Here's a picture of her. Her wings are covering much of her back, but under them is all bare skin.

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Live in The Cuckoo's Nest

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Poultry skin turns red when exposed but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a sun burn. I have seen a lot of red skin on chickens, and turkeys over the years but never have I seen what is the equivalent to human sunburn on them. Provide her with shade, she will be fine and by fall she will molt and get back her beautiful feathers.
  3. Trux

    Trux Songster

    Mar 26, 2018
    maybe a saddle if they make them turkey sized
    drumstick diva likes this.
  4. Revan

    Revan Songster

    Jul 3, 2017
    Modoc County, California
    She has shade in her new enclosure. We were just concerned with the patches of her exposed skin that were a bright red and flaky compared to parts of her other exposed skin and she wasn't happy when we touched it. Perhaps though you are correct and it's not sunburn. It may just be remnant irritation from the duck plucking her.
  5. moniquem

    moniquem Songster

    Feb 3, 2013
    Poor thing....
    drumstick diva and Revan like this.
  6. Revan

    Revan Songster

    Jul 3, 2017
    Modoc County, California
    We thought the same thing when we saw her. She has multiple external injuries besides the feather loss, but otherwise seems to be okay health-wise, as she laid an egg soon after we brought her home. And she seems to enjoy being petted. Makes this coo-ing sound I wasn't aware that turkeys could make.
    Brahma Chicken5000 and moniquem like this.
  7. Revan

    Revan Songster

    Jul 3, 2017
    Modoc County, California
    Also, what is the proper/best way to pick up and carry a full grown turkey hen? The person we got her from picked her up in such a way that greatly alarmed us, but we were told that that was the 'only' way to pick up the turkey. :|
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  8. PouleChick

    PouleChick Crowing

    Apr 6, 2016
    SW France
    Oh the poor thing - sounds like a good thing she is now living with you!
    drumstick diva and Revan like this.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I'm sorry I have never seen anyone pick up a turkey. But I have heard they can be as friendly as dogs. I wonder if Blu-Kote would help her. It coats the skin with blue color, to keep other birds from pecking (red attracts plucking chickens, etc).

    You can also post on the "Turkey forum," and get advice from folks that breed them.
    Revan and oldhenlikesdogs like this.
  10. Albanydog

    Albanydog Songster

    Nov 22, 2009
    Central Oregon Coast
    We used to have turkeys, they were terribly friendly and followed us everywhere. We rescued them and later found them new homes. When we walked up to them they just sat down so we just picked them up like we would any other bird, sort of tuck them under our arm, holding their wings down and their legs under them. I imagine others might tell you to grab them by their legs and hang them upside-down but we only do that with the rare rooster that won't cooperate. We don't eat any of our animals so we treat them like pets, and name most of them! I know, we are silly!

    When we first got our birds in 2009 we had a few chicken hens that got their backs torn up a bit from rough roosters and we would put pine tar on their backs. Not sure if it would work for sunburns, but it sure irritated the roosters when they tried to climb back on! I imagine she will hold her wings over the bare spots for shade or find a shady spot to hang out to keep from getting sun burnt.
    Revan and Brahma Chicken5000 like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: