My turkey can't swallow

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Twerpsmom, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Twerpsmom

    Twerpsmom Hatching

    Jul 10, 2016
    Sitting outside my chicken/turkey coup and watching my birds do their thing is one of my favorite things to do.

    A few days ago I noticed one of my five, two month old, turkeys seemed to be eating all the time. So for the past two days I have paid special attention and I noticed her/his crop wasn't filling and I didn't see the "swallowing" that is clear in the other four. I am still feeding the Purina Start and Grow and I noticed s/he was taking mouth fulls of feed but it seemed to be falling back out the sides of the mouth rather than getting swallowed. I tried moistening it, but the bird immediately refused to eat the food. I then tried feeding the Purina Layena I feed the chickens (since it is a pellet rather than the crumble, but s/he flatly refused that as well. Tonight I pulled him/her to the side and fed from a bowl raised above chest level, high enough that s/he had to stand fully upright to eat, and s/he was able to fill her/his crop for the first time in three days. I looked for an obstruction and tried to identify whether there might be a deformity (though I can't imagine s/he would have made it two months and be the biggest of the five, if there were a deformity) but saw nothing.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?
    Does anyone have suggestions other than what I did this evening (which would require me to hand feed this bird for the next four months)?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    If it's only recently occurred it could be something it ate that caused an irritation, or even something like eating a wasp or bee. Hopefully it passes in a few days. I feed my turkeys a pellet as they often had troubles swallowing crumbles after a certain age. It can take some time mixing the two together and slowly increasing the pellet. Sometimes it's the texture and sometimes it's the taste.

    There are some diseases like botulism which can cause them to have troubles swallowing, but there is usually other symptoms. The best you can do is watch and wait and see how it goes. If it continues to have troubles it's best to cull or butcher.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by