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hurt baby turkey leg- advice please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mamalaoshi, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    I have a baby turkey with an injured leg and I have no idea what to do.

    Here's what happened... About a month ago one of my wild breed type turkeys (no idea what kind they are, look like eastern wild and narragansett) started flying out of their fenced area to lay eggs in the woods. I couldn't find her nest and about a month ago she stopped coming back at night though she'd show up in the afternoon to eat and then disappear again. Today I found her crouched outside the fence with six little babies that look a couple days old. Usually she will follow me to the gate and walk right in. (She likes flying out but she won't fly back in. What's up with that?) She got nervous when I walked up to her and stepped on one of her babies. The baby laid on the ground for a few seconds and then started flopping around. I ended up taking it inside and putting it in my incubator to keep it warm. I was hoping it just needed a little time.

    It's now six hours later. It's hopping around in the incubator but won't put down it's leg. It doesn't look broken but it is sticking out at an angle like it's dislocated possible, the foot is curled up and limp. I have a mama hen in a igloo-type doghouse with a dozen baby chickens that just hatched a few days ago. I thought about putting the baby turkey in with them, where it would have company but not have far to go with its hurt leg. There is no way it can keep up with the turkeys in their yard. I could keep it inside, but turkeys are so social and it keeps crying a lost cry. I don't know if I should splint it or wrap it up somehow. I could cull it but it seems very healthy besides its leg and I've lost so many baby turkeys this year (spring and summer hatches).

    Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you start it on poultry vitamins, try splinting the leg or not, and then confine it to a cage with food and water close, that is with the other babies for company? Leg bone deformities are very common in turkeys and other poultry. But it may just be an injury that will heal, hopefully.
     
  3. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    Update: 24 hours later, my turkey chick is starting to hop around really well on one leg and tentatively uses the tips of his toes on the hurt leg to balance. Today I can see that his knee is black and bruised so that is what was injured when his mom stepped on him. He's using his hip joint just fine, raising the hurt leg up while he hops around.

    My biggest problem now is that he's only a couple days old and was hatched by a broody turkey hen who hadn't taught him to eat yet. She brought her babies to the turkey pen to eat and that is where she stepped on him. I've tried spoon feeding it and tapping the dish with my fingers but it's not working. So tonight I'm planning on slipping him under my broody silkie with her 12 babies chicks. They are in a very small enclosed space where he should be safe and able to finish healing.

    Any opinions about my plan?
     
  4. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    Oh and I'm not sure if I should splint it at all since it's the knee joint that was injured.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Just try to be there at daylight to watch how the broody treats the poult. If you have to try to raise the poult on your own, sprinkle feed all around it's feet on a paper towel and dip it's beak in water a few times. The paper towels get messy, but he will get the hang of eating. Good luck, and let us know how the poult is doing.
     
  6. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    So I went out there first thing this morning and mamma hen wan not fooled. She was pecking it as it was trying to hide in a crack. As soon as I picked it up, it started making purring peeps and only wants to sleep when I'm holding it. I feel like I need to make a baby carrier for this bird.
    I still haven't been successful in getting it to eat- it pecks at my hand until I put food on my hands. I dipped its beak in water and got it to swallow a few mouthfuls but it hasn't taken any drinks on its own. I'm thinking of stealing a baby chicken or two to stick in there to show it the ropes.[​IMG]
     
  7. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    [​IMG]
    Here's a picture of the baby and how its standing on its uninjured leg and how its holding the injured one. You can see the bruising around the knee if you look close. I couldn't get a clear close up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It would be good if it can have some companionship. I really hope that you can get this baby to eat. Try some bits of chopped scrambled egg or raw egg, and try a small amount of feed with water added to it. Is it curling it's toes under on the injured foot? I would start some pultry vitamins just in case the leg issue could be a vitamin deficiency, but I do see the bruising on the knee. It's upsetting that the broody won't accept her.
     
  9. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    Good idea about the egg. I put a poultry vitamin in the water too.. And I just stole two baby chickens from their mom to be companions for the turkey. The chicks aren't too happy now but the turkey is.
    Watching them I think I see part of the baby turkey's problem- it can hop around fine but it wobbles when standing still. I don't think it balances well enough to peck the ground. It's watching the chickens peck the ground
     
  10. mamalaoshi

    mamalaoshi Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Roy, WA
    Oh good, it finally started pecking at the ground. I am so happy I don't have to try and hand feed it!
     

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