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Need HELP with a Turkey Health issue!!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Monkeypie81, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Monkeypie81

    Monkeypie81 New Egg

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    This is my first time posting on this thread, and I joined it pretty much because this is the only place I've found so far that deals with Turkeys as pets instead of how to cook one. I have 3 turkeys, 2 toms and a hen. Two of my turkeys are doing just fine ( one of the toms and the hen ) but a third turkey has decided to just stop walking. He can't stand up, and would rather sit, and for a while his legs and feet were swollen. They're no longer swollen but he still won't stand up. I don't know what to do! We tried putting some antibiotics in the water, but he doesn't seem interested. He will eat if we feed him, but he will tuck his beak under his wing if we try to give him water. We've also tried giving him water via a syringe but he does the same thing. He's alert, and not sickly looking, just won't stand up and not sure if he can use his legs or not. They WERE sticking out from under him, but lately he has been able to tuck them in. Occasionally he'll flap around wildly, ( he broke the heat lamp that way ) but then eventually he just stops. What's going on?? Anybody know? It's a bronze breasted domestic turkey by the way. Any theories or ideas on how to help him would be greatly appreciated. I have no where else to turn cus the vets here won't deal with him. [​IMG] HELP?
     
  2. Narragansett

    Narragansett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If by bronze breasted you mean broad breasted bronze, then your turkey is doing exactly what it was bred to do. It has grown larger than what it's legs were designed to support. Broad Breasted turkeys are not designed to live much longer than the time it takes to get to market weight. They are what is considered a terminal cross, intended to live only until they are of slaughter weight, not much longer. If you must keep turkeys as "pets", do yourself and your birds a favor, and get standard Bronze, which will not outgrow their legs' ability to support them.
     
  3. Monkeypie81

    Monkeypie81 New Egg

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    Oh man, don't tell me that. My other two are walking around just fine though?

    And also, why do I get a sense of hostility from your reply? I do appreciate a reply none the less, but I really love my birds and this is my first time ever having them so I'm sure mistakes are allowed to be made.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  4. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broad breasted white hen who's doing fine for now, might stay light and lean enough to become a breeder for next year... she's with a flock of lighter weight birds and they free range for most of their food, so it's possible. however, I keep a close watch on her and if she starts to park more than walk, we'll call it good and have dinner.
     
  5. Narragansett

    Narragansett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The question about why YOU choose to sense hostility from my reply can only be answered by you. None was meant on this end. I just tried to educate you a bit, with some facts about what these birds are, and what they are not, in response to your question.
    When obtaining any animal, it's always best to research it before you get it, to be sure that you understand and are prepared to meet it's needs, rather than to have to find out through trial and error, which might negatively affect the quality of life of the poor animal. It might save you some unnecessary heartache too. Broad breasted turkeys are just not meant to live out their natural lives. It's a fact that unfortunately some people learn the hard way.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Monkeypie81 wrote: They WERE sticking out from under him, but lately he has been able to tuck them in. Occasionally he'll flap around wildly, ( he broke the heat lamp that way ) but then eventually he just stops.

    Sorry to hear that. How old are the toms/wt.? Do they spar? Access to free range areas with dense undebrush/vines? Have seen asymmetric `creeping' (putting wt. on tibiotarsal joint of one leg/ with the other leg extended straight ahead from femoral `head' (so, one foot slightly extended beyond breast/the other two-three inches farther than that - foot and some of leg exposed). Both times (Black Spanish/Bourbon) the loss of ROM was owing to injury (sparring/legs trapped in brush while trying to avoid fox). BS regained use of legs/Bourbon was so off-balance, even while prone, that attempts to move resulted in his using wings that resulted in spinning in circles/busted, bleeding primaries and eventual coming to rest on side or back (put the poor guy down for neighbor).
    BB's are also prone to metabolic/genetic/growth `conditions' that can lead to lameness/arthritis/etc....
    You could try plain baby aspirin crushed into powder and daubed up on grapes (we used this on our roo to good effect - we pretty much doubled dose to 10mg. per pound (8lb. one 81mg cardiac Aspirin) BID (would get up and `gimp' around with girls at that dosage). Start at 5mg. per lb. and see if that doesn't help a bit. You could also try Polyvisol Enfamil (no iron) infant vitamins (3-4 drops a day x 1wk, than taper off). Also, I'd probably separate from others and make sure he's got plenty of clean bedding. See if you can't get him to stand by lifting him into position (they `guard' like humans and, so, one injury develops into another `insult').

    If he's not so big you can't pick him up, do so (wrap arms around turk from behind - wings pinned - and lift up so bird's back is against your chest. This way another person can observe ROM of legs - should be `bicycling' legs freely. Hopeful that this `proneiness' is just result of muscle injury.

    Some ref.:

    http://birdflubook.com/resources/0Julian350.pdf (Production and growth related disorders and other metabolic diseases of poultry – A review)
    www.thepoultrysite.com/.../predisposing-factors-that-affect-walking-...
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/1671/current-skeletal-issues-in-turkeys

    Good luck!​
     
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your turkey has gotten too heavy and can't walk, I really don't think there is anything that you can do for him. I am really sorry! For the other two, if they can free range for part of their feed that will really help them. Don't let them eat too much, encourage exercise, and don't give them corn for treats. If you can keep the weight down (without starving them), they will live a lot longer and still be able to get around. I have a Broad Breasted White that is going to be 2 years old in the spring and she gets around fine. I believe the oldest BB (Broad Breasted) turkey that I have heard of lived to be 9 years old. They CAN live a good life, we just have to really watch their diets.

    For the one having problems, I would say see if he can lose weight but I would really worry that the extra weight may have done some permanent damage and he could be suffering. That being said, if you wanted to try you can give him some aspirin (I can't remember the dosage and am too tired to look it up right now). Maybe stick it in a grape or something?

    Best of luck whatever you decide for him!

    Edited to say that ivan3 gave you more in depth advise than I had while I was trying to stay awake to write... thank you ivan3!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  8. Monkeypie81

    Monkeypie81 New Egg

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    Thanks a lot you guys. I really love my turkeys. I know it's weird to say but I do. I've had them since they were days old, and we hand picked them due to how much chirping they did in the store. (it was very cute how they responded to us! ) I went in to check on him today, and got a nice surprise. First of all, my hen was purring at me, and yet another egg was waiting for me, and then I noticed he had moved but with not a lot of bedding misplaced. ( we change the bedding for him regularly. So I hand fed him more feed, and then gave him some water, which he took happily. ( Usually he wasn't wanting water but today he did! [​IMG] ) So after all of that, he flapped his one wing once, and then sorta creeped about 3 inches and stopped. But HE DID USE HIS FEET! I was cheering him on of course. I just go in every day, check on him feed him water him..etc. He's becoming quite spoiled. To be fair though, he was sorta the black sheep of the three we got anyway because in the beginning, he was pecked horribly to the point I had to separate him. ( they pecked his butt! ) and he healed, but then he never learned to roost, despite many attempts of me placing him as a baby up and waiting for him to fly down. ( he never did, just laid down and waiting for me to move him ) A few days before he went "lame" ( I guess that's the term?) he attempted to mate with my female, so I don't know. He was also pretty aggressive towards her like a few days before he tried to mate. ( not sure if that's normal?) My turkeys ARE free range. They have about 1 1/2 acres to do with what they please. we feed them a mix of turkey feed ( I can't remember which kind but it's very specific for THEM) and grit and hardly any corn. Also, my dogs run them around the yard quite regularly which is pretty funny considering when the turkeys have enough, they let the dogs know, but it's always hilarious to watch them run. They've also become quite vocal and always alert us anytime there's strangers. Anyway, that's my turkey update. Sorry for long windedness, I just really enjoy having them, and am happy to Hercules's progress ( for now, knock on wood) Oh the other two are Tyson and Dora. (family named lol ) Thanks guys, I will try the asprin and let yall know how it turns out.

    Oh I forgot to say, my turkeys are 7 months old.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  9. Bensing53

    Bensing53 New Egg

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    Yes..bought 2 bronze turkeys last year and thought I was getting a male and female..but ended up with two girls..one of which has stopped walking and I have her separated, in a box because she couldn't balance any more.. Have the other female in with my chickens but think I should cut her loose to free range with my peacocks. Have always fed my chickens and all layer pellets and bread sometimes so I think the fault is mine..The girls are soooo big.. Had no idea that there was a difference in turkeys..My last two lived for 9 years and were better watch dogs than my german shepherd. I don't know if put on a diet my female will recover...any response would be appreciated..
     
  10. Bensing53

    Bensing53 New Egg

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    I have the same problem with one of my hens that I bought last spring to raise..Thought I was getting a male and female, but ended up with 2 girls.. The sign said "heritage bronze"..never any indication of Broad or otherwise...All I have been able to find out is that she has gotten too big to support herself..being of the breed used for food..I had no clue and am really t'd off that there was no indication of WHAT kind of bronze I was buying..I suppose education even though after the fact will guide my chooses in the future. I am going to try to help my hen recover but if not then she will go into our extended pet cemetery that has dogs, cats, a horse elsewhere and a chicken.
     

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