Ill turkey... help, please!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Forestlass, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Forestlass

    Forestlass Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    Hi, everyone. I've got a turkey who has seemed under the weather for a few days (this is the third day). Normally, she's crazy for their feed (not to mention tomatoes, chard, and almost anything I throw out of the garden!), but has been disinterested in it. On the first day, she ate, but slower than the others. Yesterday, she just had a few little pellets, but every time she picked up a piece, she would shake her head like she didn't like it. What I mean about that last part is, I know there are certain things she loved to eat -- grasshoppers, for example, when she was just a baby -- but as she grew, she decided she didn't like them. Now she never eats them, and when I catch one for her and offer it, she shakes her head like there's a bad taste in her mouth, and walks away. The reaction with pellets is the same now. She ate some chard this AM, and I tried with a tomato, but she didn't want it.

    Her poo worries me a little -- it's a little runny, with yellowish/white mucuous and some dark chunks (excuse me for such a graphic description) -- and she's slower than normal. Usually, she loves to chase our dog (a pitbull. Can you imagine?) but she's less insistent about that, too. Since she isn't eating much, I'm thinking the yellow in her feces could be from that...?

    Is it possible that with the changing weather we've been experiencing, my turkey just doesn't feel well? Has anyone ever had problems with turkey colds? Or, she's about 5.5 months old. Could it be that she's getting ready to lay her first egg? Or could this be something more serious?

    I raised her and her would-be mate from day-old poults. He died back in July, though of what, I'm not sure. She's different than he was, but I don't want a repeat experience; I'm very attached...
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  2. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    It's more serious than laying her first egg. I really don't know enough about turkey illnesses, but I would think that checking her for the obvious poultry diseases are in order and giving her electrolytes couldn't hurt.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Forestlass

    Forestlass Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    I figured as much, but just wanted to ask. Thanks for the tip!
     
  4. Forestlass

    Forestlass Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    Anyone else? Please?
     
  5. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2011
    The yellow stools... Are the sulphur coloured?

    Have you ruled out blackhead? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackhead_disease

    Basically
    the main symptoms (what my birds displayed anyhow) were lethargy, ruffled feathers, paling of the skin/snood/neck nodules, reduction in appetite, increased thirs and sulfur coloured stools.

    Almost everything I read suggested that the desease, once contracted was 100% fatal but this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=134230 thread saved my turkeys. If you think it may be blackhead, don't delay as it can kill very quickly! Get treatment into her immediately. Cayenne pepper helped buy me time while I tracked down meds but it was the metronidazole that really kicked it's butt! The dosage should be 50mg per 1kg of body weight, twice a day for a week. I think I gave it for 8 days just to be sure. I have actually just (within the last 20 minutes) been reading about how Grapefruit Seed Extract is an effective antiprotozoan (it's a protozoal (tiny single celled organism) that causes blackhead), so could be worth a shot if you can't get hold of metronidazole, but I understand it's easier to come by in the states - Fish Zole? apparently you can buy that at pet/feed stores...

    Blackhead is pretty rare but it does sound like a possibility.
     
  6. adoptapitbull

    adoptapitbull Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2011
    Eastern WV
    Is this the same metronidazole that you use for dogs with GI issues?
     
  7. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Metronidazole is metronidazole. I actually lied to my GP to source it as it's not easy to come by in the UK. So I used human grade stuff [​IMG] Just got to be sure that the dosage is right [​IMG]
     
  8. Forestlass

    Forestlass Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    Thank you for your reply! I've thought of blackhead and so far this AM I've fed her eggs loaded with cayenne (she didn't really want them and fought pretty hard. But, she's normally a picky eater anyway and is hesitant to eat something she's never had before). Then, she ate three chard leaves and a small slice of bread on her own -- with almost as much interest as she usually does -- and drank quite a bit of water, also on her own, with a lot of cayenne pepper mixed in. I also fed her one of the super small but very hot hot peppers I grow.

    As for her poo, how about a photo rather than a description? It's green because of the few leaves of chard she's had.

    I can't seem to get the photo to upload to Backyard Chickens, so here's a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6206504891/in/photostream

    I
    apologize, but would really appreciate if y'all could take a look and weigh in.

    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  9. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure. With my birds it was impossible to confuse it as the stools were bright yellow - sulfur colour. Cocci has very similar simptoms to blackhead, bar the yellow stools - with cocci, the stools are usually still brown but often watery and soft. Cocci is far more common as I understand it. http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/84/coccidiosis-of-turkeys Check that out.

    I haven't found anything turkey related to explain sulfur coloured stools outside of blackhead though - you need to determine whether they are just a yellow-y brown, or bright yellow. With my birds, it was only a dollop of sulfur coloured stool - not the entire stool that was sulfur coloured if that makes sense.
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ND
    Anything affecting the liver can cause yellow stools, I think just not eating could probably cause it.

    I have no idea of what can be affecting your girl, I am really sorry. It doesn't quite sound like Blackhead to me. Just a thought, have you checked for mouth or throat obstructions? Does her crop feel empty? I have heard of a couple of cases where a bird swallowed a feed bag string and got it wrapped around their tongue. The gizzard starts pulling the string down and the tongue gets pulled back into the throat.

    I have never heard of a turkey that is a picky eater, I thought they all ate everything.
     

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