Mcmurray Turkeys


5 Years
Mar 10, 2014
I received my Mcmurray Red Bourbon turkeys yesterday. I lost one within a hour after I got them in the brooder. Then tonight I lost another one while I was standing there giving them fresh water. Is this normal? They don't seem to be able to eat the medicated chick feed that I got for them. They pick at it but don't seem to be able to eat it. It says it is for turkeys as well as chickens and other game birds. Is there a way to get them to be able to eat the food? Seems the crumbles are too big. Thanks for the help in advance!
No, one poult lost, maybe. Two makes me wonder. How are the rest doing, today? Some suggestions: Make sure water is not cold, this can shock them. Depending on how many days old they were when they arrived you could see more playing around in food, than eating - can take up to three days following hatch to run out of yolk and start glomming down the feed. So long as they are drinking (big hurdle for poults - marbles in water - anything shiny that can't be swallowed will attract attention) you probably have a bit of time. Finely crushed hard boiled eggs, small moths that have wings torn off (when they get a bit bigger at 1.5 wks. just remove one wing and toss several in brooder at once (poults won't trample one another trying to get just one) and live meal worms on top of crumbles, will help.

Also, here is a thread that might be useful (scroll through post):

Good luck and welcome to BYC
Last edited:
My first concern would be hydration.Use enough waterers to prevent crowding; never let waterers run out. I try to keep wateres near the heat source to keep water warm. I add 1T vinegar

THen the warmth. I have had poults get wet then move to the end away from the heat source and get chilled. One died the other made it. If they are chilled they can't get back to the heat source = they need help getting there. Use waterers that prevent poults from falling in.

Food-- I place food in several places on the floor of brooder, on a napkin or paper towel. I do this for about a week until I see each one at the main feeder; then remove one at a time. I use a crumble or finer. Not pellets at this age.

I have lost poults that I have hatched due to these issues, too, and shipped poults.

Good luck.
Thanks for the help! I woke up this morning and had another poult laying on its side dead. Saturday when i got home from EMT training i went inside. Came back out 5 minuites later and one had fallen over. Stood it up and it fell back down. I was able to hold it and mess with it and got it to come back around. Sice then all through sunday i had no problems. Then this morning i found another one. So far i lost one thursday when i recieved them. He was already not able to walk when i opened the box. Then i lost one friday night, almost lost one saturday night and then one last night. They are eating fine. I have 2 diffrent places with food and they are drinking water so dehydration isnt the problem. The only thing i have found is something people call fall over syndrome. Im not sure what to do at this point considering i cant keep an eye on them while at work.
YOu are doing the best that you can.

I don't know why these poults are having problems-- have you called the place where you bought them and asked if anyone else is reporting problems??

Can you feel the crop for how full it is?

Is the waterer going down? Add sugar to the water.

check the temperature of the brooder is it 95-100 in one part and cooler in another part ( should have both)

feeding gamebird starter?

Has feed been put out on a paper towel in severla places?

I'm sorry I don't know what else to look for-- I"ve not had this happen. My thought is starvation or dehydration.

When you stood up the lethargic poult did you force feed it water and food??
The temperature is the thing that came to my mind right away. Do you know how long they were on the road?

If the temperature is right, the birds should be loosely scattered around the brooder. They should be able to get close to the heat if they are cold, but be able to move away from it if they are too warm. When the temperature is right, some will be near the light while others are far away. If they are huddled under the light it is too cold. If they are against the walls it is too hot.

Also echo Arielle on the gamebird starter, not chick starter. That's not why they are dying, but they will grow better.
Last year I could only find a meat bird feed, and had to put it in the blender to get the crumbles small enough. I also lost 3 before I found out they can't drink water from a water softener. This year I have game bird starter, put sugar in the water for 3-4 days, and no losses.
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom