Many with Hip Problems, Normal?

Chickie Mama

8 Years
May 31, 2012
Washington County New York
We raise turkeys for Thanksgiving/Christmas and although, they will ultimately end up on somebodies table, it is important to us that our turkeys have happy healthy lives while with us. They have plenty of space to run and when they are old enough- they have a huge outside space to run eat and explore. Unfortunately, we seem to have so many that at various stages of development have developed bad hips and legs. One day they will seem fine... developing normally, then the next day they will be hopping on one leg or unable to get around all together.

Is it normal to have so many with bad hips and legs or is it the Hatchery? We had a late start this year and they haven’t put on much weight yet (they are still smaller than my chickens) so it can’t be that they have grown too heavy to support the weight. We have about 40 Turkeys left and 10-15 of them are in bad shape. That's not counting the ones that have died already. We order our Turkeys from Mt. Healthy Hatchery.

Where do you get your turkeys? We are thinking of switching and would love some suggestions?

These are a Broad Breasted variety? What kind/percentage protein feed are they getting? Were they exposed to unusually low temps between the 1st & 4th week of age? Description seems to suggest Spraddle Leg Here is a rather long thread with suggestions on treatments.

As far as the hatchery? There is some evidence that too high a temp. at some points during incubation can result in a higher incidence of leg and foot problems but, without ruling out all other possible sources of problem it is hard to pin down (particularly if Broad Breasted - this variety is very prone to `structural failure')..

You could try adding poultry vitamin supplement to their water, as well.
We ordered the Mamouth Bronze... so some "structural failure" does happen. We did have a cold snap early on that I never would have considered to be a factor... they have plenty of heat lamps but you never know. We had a new set up this year and it could have been too drafty for them. We were planning to make some adjustments anyway- I will make sure that we weather proof better as well.
I think their feed is fine. I'm the lucky wife of a farmer whose family runs a small feed business (they grow all their own grain). It's all natural, non-gmo... the good stuff. :)

I'll bet it's the weird weather we had early on that complicated their development.

I just "adopted" a male and female Narragansett pair (about 2 years old) from a friend who was going to bring them to auction. I'm thinking of hatching a few of them next year and seeing if they are more "structurally sound" chicks/birds. I'm told the heritage breeds are healthier birds, slower growing and the meat is different. More like a wild bird. I'm sure some of our customers would prefer that actually.

Thanks so much for your help!!!
Your Narri's will do fine, once they are habituated to the new place. We've always let our hens take care of hatching/brooding and they've done well. However, there is quite a bit of info on incubation, and members who use this exclusively so as to control all variables, here on BYC. You might take a gander at this thread:

And, good luck!
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom