Looking for some advice on a sick Royal Palm Poult.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by mdeford09, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. mdeford09

    mdeford09 New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2015
    I'll make the story short but will start from the beginning....


    I currently own 17 adult turkeys. 3 Toms, 11 hens and 2 poults (1 of these poults are the sick one I am asking about). Multiple different heritage breeds.But, the one heritage breed I did not have and wanted were Royal Palms. I love their white feathers with black tips. Just beautiful.... I also own a bunch of chickens. Too many to really count. Mostly RR and a few golden sexlinks. (all hens)

    Any who, I went ahead and bought from my favorite hatchery, Cackle. I got 4 poults due it all they had hatch that day and I said it would be fine. After 4 days the first poult died. All were eating and drinking just fine and in very clean conditions. No signs of any actual health issues. 3 weeks later, the second poult died. Again, no signs of disease or illness leading up to death.


    All of my Turkeys are pets and treated as so until they are too big to stay inside in their 4x4 brooder. So, they get lots of interaction and are checked up on a lot. All 3 would follow myself and my son around like we were mom. Once outside they tend to group up with the other turkeys (at least after the pecking order is established).... They are all still pets though. I can pet everyone one of them and they all follow me around their run all day.



    That was about 2 months ago and the poults are now just over 3.5 months old and living outside with the rest of the turkeys. But, I am noticed an extreme growth difference between the two poults. One is over 3x the size of the other and smaller of the two hasn't gained any weight in 3 weeks. It also tends to walk around on the ground looking more like a buzzard (head pulled down and into its back/neck). It doesn't fly up to the roost at night (18 inches is the lowest 2" x 6" and they increase by 18 inches until the highest of the roosts is 72 inches.. All setup diagonally increasing in height) My first thought was "darn, he must have got blackhead from reaching through the fence on the side of the yard that the chickens roam free". I treated him with Rooster Booster first, getting rid of any possible cecal worms and then treated with Acidified Copper Sulfate for 5 days on, 2 days off, and 2 days on. No change. (was over 4 weeks ago now).

    I did notice a few small lesions showing up on its head but, it does not look like Fowl Pox (which have seen a hundred times in my 20+ years of owning poultry) and any chicken/turkey I have scene with fowl pox really only has a couple days of lethargic attitude and then they tend to perk up. It also just looks all around rougher than any other bird on the farm. More broken feathers and obviously less preening going on by him/her.


    About 6 weeks ago, I separated it into its own coop/run and have started it back on 28% protein feed to help try and put on weight (though it doesn't seem to be working). I also add electrolytes to its water every day (just to help)... He/she has a healthy appetite and eats daily and even takes treats of boiled egg whites/yolk. But, it is still sitting at just shy of 1.5lbs. (her sibling is currently sitting at 6lbs and is knocked down to 20% protein feed). Its droppings look 100% normal as well.


    Any ideas as to what this could be? Did I just get some poor health/quality Royal Palms from cackle?.. I have raised over 500 turkeys in my life and never seen one so stunted and sit so strange in its posture.
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    Unusual stance, poor feed conversion (or just decreased feed intake?), lesions? Photos of stance/lesions would be useful. Any unusual droppings?

    Most of the breeders of heritage varieties for Cackle, particularly the Royals - shoot for "show bird" Standard Of Perfection lines - this can sometimes result in genetic weaknesses (breeding "in-and-in"). Our Royals were all from Cackle. Our best tom had to have a hard bony tumor removed from lower beak/we bred out using neighbor's hen and one of the two toms resulting from this match also developed a chondrosarcoma (hard, bony tumor), but these tumors were removed with no recurrence. The original tom died at 8.5 yrs owing to wet form of Pox/the offspring is now going on 5 yrs.

    Keep runt separated out to make sure it has access to feed/water/lower stress level (turkeys are pretty unforgiving of puny members of flock).
     
  3. mdeford09

    mdeford09 New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2015
    Yeah that is my plan. (to keep him/her seperated with plenty of feed and water)....... Sadly, I won't be able to take any pics until tonight due to being at work.


    But..


    Upon further investigation, it does look like the sores are forming into scabs and look to be dry pox (nothing showing up in throat.. at least not yet). Probably not a good thing to be contracting at its age and current health.

    I also went ahead and did a physical eval and the stance is definitely being caused by some sort of issue with its neck. The last 1.5-2 inches of his neck are extremely bony and do not bend. Perhaps an injury took place and it has fused or perhaps it is some sort of bone condition like yours had.

    Also, he/she definitely has a poor feed conversion. No noticeable decrease in eating over any other poult I've ever raised.

    Also, his droppings look normal.



    At this point, I am going to side with this is probably just a genetic issue and others probably passed for the same reasons. Stinks about the Royals being so inbred from there though. Everything else I have ordered always lived and did great.

    I am going to give him a few more weeks and if he doesn't show any changes, I will probably just do the kinder thing and cull him. I don't want to but, it clearly has problems and is probably in pain and going to die a much slower worse death :'(
     
  4. mdeford09

    mdeford09 New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2015
    Just wanted to post an update. I had the vet come out and take a look a him and it turned out to be a form of bone cancer and ontop of that, even the Royal Palm poult that seemed healthy also had it.


    Perhaps it was something similar to what Ivan3's royal palms had but, the vet told me mine were definitely way better off being put down as the growths were not those that could be removed and growth would stop and they were both headed towards a very slow painful death.


    Very sad but, I will try again next spring.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss. Better luck in the Spring. With the exception of the Bourbons, heritage varieties were very limited in number by the `90's and, given the explosion of interest/demand only a few years later it's surprising even more faults didn't appear. Our first couple of Slate males exhibited inability to focus eyesight in center of visual field (place a peach in front of them and they'd "beak" the L/R side of fruit - females struck the center without fail. Had to keep fingers crossed when the male Slate poults would take to the wing, through the woods, behind the Slate females & RP's - as the poor guys would occasionally not see the trees directly to their front and would spiral to ground after striking one wing or the other on trunk of tree. All our "mutt" RP/Slate crosses have exhibited none of the problems of the "pure breds".

    Again, best of luck next year.
     

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