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My first incident of cannibalism... guidance?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DawnSuiter, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Well... I am brooding 2 poults in my 3rd bedroom... I forgot to properly secure the cage door and apparently in my absense one of the turkeys toddled out of the cage and fell DOWN into a hole between the layer of too many clothes & many bins & storage tubs & boxes.. after frantically searching through the "rubble" I found the poult, apparently uninjured but with cold feet and returned him unharmed to the cage. Couldn't have been more than 2 hours.. that's how often I check on them. They are a few days old only.

    SO.. I went back after an HOUR after that because I was alarmed by the enormously LOUD chirping both were making.. I went in.. chit chatted for a minute, noticed someone pooped in the water so took it to clean and while there I noticed some blood smears on the bottle. Not a lot but some.. enough it must've been serious so I start thinking.. What did I miss? Did the poult get hurt & I didn't notice?

    I go back to the cage to pick him/her up and check them out to find BOTH WINGS BLEEDING and MANY FEATHERS MISSING. I was HORRIFIED obviously that I had missed this injury, so blatent... and then my husband notices the OTHER turkey.. with the bloody face.

    We figured out now that the turkey who remained in the cage, who is also our "runt" has apparently plucked the returning poult of his wing feathers and now there is blood everywhere all over that chicks face/beak. Looks so disturbing.

    I seperated them in a larger tub but putting a storage basket (plastic with vents) over the top of the "mean" poult, which allows them to see eachother & cuddle still but prevents the mean poult from getting the recovering turkey.

    I dropped the temp a few degrees.. mid 80s now... and thats' about it. This was last night... the hurt turkey though wants to cuddle desperatly with the vulture turkey and they are both very unhappy with this situation.

    How long do I keep them seperate? Is it possible our runt is mental or something? 47 chicks so far through this house and NO incidents... 2 turkey poults and 1 week and there is already bloodshed!

    Is there anything I need to worry about.. I suppose this poult will not get his/her feathers back until after their first moult.. is that right? These were major feathers.. how will that affect their life for the next few months...
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Make sure they are warm enough. 80 might not be enough for them and it may have stressed the runt, and the runt may have saw the bully being weak so picked on him in attempts to change the pecking order. Try coating the injuries in bluekote or antipick so the pecking one doesn't like the taste. Good luck. Hope the turkeys forget in a few days about the pecking. Perhaps a feather duster each can cuddle with would work?
  3. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Are you using red lamps?
  4. THanks silkie... the temp WAS low 90's which is why I dropped it... I've read conflicting opinions that turkeys do and don't like it cooler than chicks... so now it's 88 or so in the center of their area

    do I NEED that blue kote/anti pick already? Is it impossible for them to work it out without further injury in a few days.

    They still have visual and physical contact through the basket... and are still cuddling when they sleep... I was hoping that would help

    interesting idea about the runt wanting at the top of the pecking order... I can see that as possible

    YES.. always use red lamps... when I change down the bulb I do so to a red floodlight.. and when I change down again.. it's a 40 watt red light bulb... I always use the red
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2008

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