My tom died, what happened?


10 Years
Mar 4, 2009
South Eastern NH
I thought my tom was having issues with his legs because he fell over and wasn't really keeping up with my hen. But then I noticed that he could stand ok but he seemed uncoordinated, like I was holding water in front of him and he kept missing the dish.

He was a white meat turkey (I now know that I should have gotten a heritage breed in my first turkey foray).

Part of their cage was getting really muddy so I added on and put an 8X4 section where there was a plywood floor and added shavings, so he could get out of the mud. I would put him there and come back out and find him standing in the mud. He spent a lot of time sleeping. Yesterday I came home to find him down in the mud. I thought he was dead until I saw him breathe. I put him in the garage with a heat lamp and he remained down and sleeping and passed during the night.

What was wrong with him? Why did he keep going back to the darn mud? Is my hen going to have this happen to her? Is my chicken going to get it too? Was it his organs from being a meat bird?

I'm pretty upset as I really liked him a lot. I thoroughly enjoy being a turkey owner.


10 Years
Apr 4, 2009
Eastern North Carolina
Turkeys are creatures of habit, that's why he kept going back to the same place over and over again.

There is no way to tell what was wrong with him, it's could have been anything, if he was wet and muddy and got chilled to couldn't get to the water.

Steve in NC


Mosquito Beach Poultry
11 Years
May 24, 2008
Southeast Arkansas
i had one who couldn't get on even a low roost so I put a 4x4 on the ground for him, but he would sleep out in the middle of the pen on the ground. It got really cold one night, and as a meat bird didn't have a lot of breast feathers, actually got frost bite on his chest and developed pneumonia. We put him in a crate and gave him antibiotics. unfortunately he died from a hatchet wound about 4 weeks after we took him off antibiotics.

the Old Rebel

Rest in Peace -2011
12 Years
May 12, 2007
Hendersonville NC
I have no idea what happened, but I am soooooooo sorry for your loss. Turkeys are MARVELOUS creatures. It is VERY HARD to lose one. I just lost my Rosie (a bourbon red hen) a couple of weeks ago, so I sorta know how you feel.

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