Need Some Advice, Hen Not Acting Right

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by wolfie115, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. wolfie115

    wolfie115 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    So our BB/Narrie cross has been acting odd lately. First we noticed she was getting clumsy and not roosting with the rest of the crew. We kept finding her in the coop with our BBW's which was unusual for her. Since then she hasn't been eating too well and has gotten VERY clumsy. Like, she starts turning in one direction and gets stuck doing that for a while. One day she had even fallen over and was like kicking around and flapping her wings violently, she did that a few times that day but I haven't seen her do it since and we've been keeping a close eye on her.

    We did notice a wound on her shoulder a few days ago though, looked pretty bad then she made it worse thrashing around that one day. We've got it cleaned up and it's looking better now, just trying to find an explanation for her behavior. Right now she's in a dog crate with food and water because she kept getting wet and its cold up here in MI so she's in a building with some of our rabbits staying dry. The crate is big enough for her to stand and turn around in but small enough that she won't hurt herself if she thrashes again.

    They way she's acting is very strange, like she's having a real problem with balance. Right now she's to the point where she can stand up, but she doesn't really want to walk around. She's been drinking pretty good and eating enough, seems pretty alert too. She talks whenever I go by her cage.

    Any ideas what happening to her? I've never seen this behavior in our turkeys before. She was hatched late spring so she's not very old either. Our others are acting just fine.
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    There are a lot of reasons turkeys develop ataxia (loss of coordination). What sort of wound and how infected? Do you think she was attacked? If something caused her to panic and strike her head that is a possible reason (very sensitive inner ears).

    Is she trembling/shivering? When resting (prone) does her head seem to turn to one side or the other or her neck `twist up' without intention? Any exposure to wet feed or moldy grain?

    Keep wound clean (and dressed - if possible - sometimes hard to do) and check thoroughly for any other wounds. If it appears infected antibiotics might be in order (injectable Penicillin is usually available in feedstores).
    Try some poultry vitamins in her water (usually sold in packets) and augment diet with scrambled eggs/meal worms.
     
  3. wolfie115

    wolfie115 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    The wound is on her shoulder just above the pit of her wing. Her striking her head is what we're thinking may have happened just not sure how or what caused the wound. We've been cleaning it out and giving her penicillin to fight any infection she might have. She's doing better since we've found it. We didn't notice it at first because her feathers covered it, I just happened to be feeling her and noticed it.

    She does kinda like stretch her head out and that's when she starts turning. Like, it looks like she's about to reach back and groom herself but gets stuck in the motion and turns. Really odd to watch. I will see about getting some vitamins in her water. Would electrolytes help you think? I know we have some laying around.
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    You could add electrolytes for a few days (if eating well I'd not worry so much). Torticollis (wry neck) is common in some diseases/nutritional deficiencies, but the worst I've seen was due to injury (fox attacked neighbor's tom - thought he was a goner as neck was twisted so that crown of head was dragging on ground and beak was pointed toward the front - somehow he recovered). Turks necks have a lot of individual muscles that can get `pulled' causing all sorts of oddball movements/postures. If wound starts to go bad flush with a 1:10 betadine solution. Turks can recover from some pretty horrific soft tissue injuries (deep lacerations from dog bites) so, if there is no puncture of chest/abdominal cavity she'll probably get better.

    Good luck!
     

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