HELP!!!! tom turkey cant stand, weak joints???

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Sore Thumb Suburbanite, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently changed my feed for my turkeys which are about 4 months old as best as I can determine and I do ff. I think the protein levels are a little lower but I dig up a ton of grubs every other day to help... this morning I found my big tom turkey hobbling backward, his tail feathers are all screwed up from this backwards hobbling. What is happening? is this protein deficiency or something else? can I fix this or will I be processing him to put him out of his misery? what does this mean for meat, bone quality?


    HELP!!!! I'm new to turkeys
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    I'm going to assume these are Broad Breasted turkeys. How many do you have? Only the tom is experiencing the balance problems?
     
  3. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah, well, I think they are bbBronze. we got them, 2 turkeys, from someone who was shipped turkey hatching eggs by mistake. they are definately bronze though. they are both male but one is much bigger than the other. the big tom is having the balance and leg issues. he still can't stand up.
    I fed him about 3 oz of raw chicken meat last night. I will continue to feed him some high protein if this will help. will increasing protein help at all?
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    If he doesn't improve in the next week, I'd probably process. BB's are prone to such difficulties. Could have been minor injury amplified by the genetically modified `overgrowth' : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2127973

    This is just a guess, though if it was more `lame' than `drunken' in its movements and there are no other signs/symptoms of disease (and the other turk is fine at this time) then it might well be result of breeding for max size over minimal time.
     
  5. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, this may be a dumb question, but would this problem affect the quality of the processed turkey? I mean, I try to do totally organic and I fed my birds the top of the line foods and I want to use the bones to make broth and be happy with my end product, but these issues with the health of the bird, would it be advisable to eat it or make broth from screwed up bones? and what do you mean they're genetically modified? I know what gmos in plants are, but are these engineered birds or just cross bred? ugh, I didn't realize what breed I had until recently and I have no idea about turkeys, just ducks, and chickens.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Genetic modification through breeding for specific traits. BB's, like Cornish Cross chooks are `designed' to hit the table in as brief a time following hatch as possible. There are unintended consequences of this breeding strategy, one of which is growth of muscle mass outrunning bone/cartilage/ligament development: lame turkeys/cardiac infarcted turkeys/etc.

    So, just check over carcass for anything unusual. If it is merely `structural' fault, all of the bird is consumable.

    Heritage varieties (Slates/Bourbons) will produce a large bird for the table, but this requires more time, and heritage are more active, overall.
     
  7. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, so i am raising regular breed chickens vs the cx for this reason specifically. ugh, i didnt choose these turkeys, I just gave them a home. its terribly sad, it cant even stand up now. i am giving it a few days, but i think I'll process him if he isnt able to stand again.

    so bourbons are the way to go? I definately want to raise turkeys again, will bourbons be friendly and about the same size as these? how long do they take to reach 30lbs?
     
  8. junkprospector

    junkprospector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i *think* a bourbon will take up to 18 months to get to 30 lbs. Heritage take considerably longer for sure.
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Here is a good reference covering most everything (advanced search on BYC is also very good - just remember to click the search button at the bottom of the screen after you've prepared the query): http://www.albc-usa.org/downloads.html We started with BBB's. All developed Spraddle Leg, one survived, was way too friendly, lost ability to stand and had to be put down (not even big enough to bother butchering). One of the effects of `domestication' is a decrease in brain volume (seen across species) and commercial turks sometimes evince a 30% smaller brain volume, compared to Heritage varieties, that probably accounts for the relative passivity (our heritage are imprinted on us and pretty tame - but often go off on one turkey `riff' or another...) [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013

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