Hope This Saves A Turkey From Blackhead

melanie

Songster
10 Years
Feb 16, 2009
131
8
128
Texas
That's great you found this article. I had not seen it and wasn't sure of the dosage. Tomorrow, I'm going to pepper my girls again. Our vet told me Emtryl is banned, no one can even get it. I was trying to get Emtryl for a sick bull, but it's a very powerful, dangerous drug and that's why it was banned.
 

al6517

Real Men can Cook
11 Years
May 13, 2008
10,684
149
321
Since chickens can carry blackhead commonly and display no ill effects, and it is lethal to Turkeys. My question is are you still putting your Turkeys at risk and in danger running them with your chickens??.

AL
 

melanie

Songster
10 Years
Feb 16, 2009
131
8
128
Texas
Well, like I mentioned above, what choice do you have when the nest was destroyed by equipment and the only thing I had to hatch the egg was a chicken? She's pen-raised. What would you recommend doing? There are two hens with her in a large run and I just started free ranging. I'd love to know a better idea what to do. The turkey was sick for one day, better than being dead.
 
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chickensioux

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
4,229
54
241
Western North Carolina
Melanie, this is awesome news to me. Yes, I think there are risks but I too, keep my tom with my girls and I think as long as you are top of the situation (like you were) it's fine to keep a turkey with chickies. Cayenne is on my grocery list as of today. Thanks!!!
 

PatS

Songster
10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
654
8
141
Northern Califonia
My county extension office has no idea if Blackhead is a problem in my area.

After hearing from several people who free range chickens and turkeys together in this little valley I went ahead and ordered some poults, and they are being brooded inside right now. (Two months, right, until their little immune systems are strong enough to go outside and spend time on grass?)

I did eventually meet a turkey farmer for the next valley over who said Blackhead IS a problem where he is. He said that even if you have no chickens the protozoans can blow in in dust carried by the wind from infected areas. HE uses grapefruit seed extract in his plastic waterers as a prophylactic. Gradefruit seed extract is available from the health food store. Folks use it for different things, our chiropractor recommended we add it to drinking water when traveling in Mexico. I don't know how much to add to water. Has anyone used this in their turkeys' drinking water?
 
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down2roots

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 5, 2011
11
4
24
Melanie, THANK YOU so much for sharing your experience with cayenne and Blackhead! It DID, indeed, save my lovely hen from death, I believe.

My Turkey Girl started acting differently a few days before I moved her back to my place after wintering at a friend's farm. I had no idea what the problem was, she just seemed drugged and droopy-eyed, with no real energy to eat or forage or anything. I didn't know how serious it was or could be, so I was slow to respond (and I feel terrible it took me so long). It was about 5+ days in when I was able to sit down and do some research. I found this post and a few others, and immediately realized she must have Blackhead (she had been kept with lots of chickens at the winter spot). I instantly went out and put cayenne in their water, and also began force-feeding her. I can't remember which post recommended this, but I read to cook up some eggs and force-feed them to the affected bird. I dumped a good bit of cayenne in the egg as it cooked, and began a routine of force-feeding her cayenne egg twice a day. I also mixed in some spinach with the egg so she was getting fresh greens, and I mixed up small cups of electrolytes (Emergen-C) and force-fed her a few tablespoons of that about once a day. By now her little system was SO depleted and she was practically down to feather and bone.
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I also found information on the drug Metronidazole. It's an anti-protozoal that's often found in the fish section of pet stores. I live in a smallish town, though, and NO one had any on their shelves. I was afraid that if I ordered any online, she'd be dead by the time it arrived. By this time she'd been suffering the full symptoms of Blackhead for over a week (tough little girl, thank god!) I scoured the area, as far as an hour away, but still No one had any Metronidazole or Fish Zole (as it's often labeled). I wasn't seeing any improvement in her condition with just the cayenne, so I ordered some Zole just to be safe ($10 on eBay for 100 pills), and continued the feeding and cayenne routine. I continued to put lots of cayenne in the water, too, so that her mate would be getting a good dose. He never ended up showing any symptoms, thankfully!

By the time the Metronidazole arrived in the mail, she had been in the thick of the Blackhead for 10+ days, but was still hanging on. The force-feeding and cayenne are surely what kept her alive that long. And the love...She got plenty of that! She's always enjoyed being petted and will doze off on your lap if petted rhythmically and gently. I then began the Zole regimen - (1) 250mg pill at night, and a half pill in the morn, because by now she only weighed a few pounds and I was afraid the full pill twice a day would be too much. The common dosage for the Zole (I believe) is 50mg per kg of bird, twice a day for 5-7 days. I did this for 6 days. It took awhile before I started seeing any improvement in her condition, but now she appears to be feeling almost normal again (3 weeks after I initially noticed her symptoms). She still won't eat any grain-feed, all I've seen her eat are bugs from the yard (they have a 1/4 acre to themselves now), which may explain why she became ill and her Boy did not - She ONLY eats bugs/worms, and he ONLY eats grain-feed from their feeder, as far as I can tell. This habit must've developed over the winter, where she was living with chickens and was probably eating worms containing the protozoa eggs.

Anyway, I wanted to say that, Yes! This thread/post DID save a turkey from Blackhead! Thank you SO much! Now my beautiful, sweet, smart little Turkey Girl is still with us.
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Frosty

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 30, 2008
2,923
142
301
ND
I grow hot peppers, usually Thai Dragons. I dry the peppers and keep them whole. Sometimes after a while they turn brown, so I grind them up and usually have a few quarts around. Anytime I see wierd poops, I mix some of it in with the feed and it clears it right up. From what I understand, wild turkeys in Mexico have been seen eating hot peppers from the plant. I think if you just toss some hot peppers out the birds will probably eat them whole just because they are attracted to the color. Just make sure if you are mixing hot peppers with food or water, DO NOT inhale the dust! Trust me, it's painful!
 

TimTurkey

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 29, 2011
21
1
22
Ashland, OR
I have been giving my flock cayenne pepper for 3 days, now. A bit heavier than the rounded tbsp/20L of feed (more like 1/4 cup/15lb of feed); the feed looks like Australian soil. Today, there is NO MORE blackhead diarrhea!! Way cool..
 
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