Need some advice re: ill turkey

Henny Penny04

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 15, 2011
This is our first summer with turkeys. I have a sick bird, and would really appreciate some advice from folks who have more experience than I do. I have a four month old BB Bronze hen. One week ago we noticed she was missing her tail feathers and had a scab on her side. Within two days, she was no longer walking. She was getting picked on by the Toms, so we isolated her. A week later, she is still not walking. She eats and drinks well, and is in decent spirits. Just... can't walk. If she does stand up, she immediately looses her balance. She is using her wings to keep herself from falling over. The white part of her stools looked yellowish to me. I did give her tons of Cayene pepper (seemed goofy, but there seems to be anecdotal stories on BYC about it helping sick turkeys.) After a few days, her stools look normal again. No yellow. This is a meat bird, so anything I give her needs to be done with that in mind. Anybody have any thoughts or advice? I'm not sure what else to do, besides cull. I'd really like to see her get healthy again, though. A few things below in case you were to ask them:

1. Turkey hen is four months old.
2. Broad Breasted Bronze
3. She is kept with ten turkeys, mostly Toms it seems
4. This event was precipitated by significant feather loss and wounds(Toms?)
5. She is kept in an electronet pasture, moved to fresh grass weekly, and has good shelter.
6. Fed FlockRaiser
7. One other hen showed wounds on her side as well, but did not get sick.
8. Hen can not, or will not walk.
9. Eating and drinking normally.
10. This has been going on for one week.

Thank you
Probably. It's on her side, under the wing. I'm guessing a Tom did it. Another hen has a similar wound. I don't know if the scab and her inability to walk are related or not.
BB turkeys, especially toms are pretty heavy @ 4 months and can hurt a much lighter hen, while trying to mate. Males in squabbling over who is the alpha tom will sometimes push or pull each other off the hen that is trying to mate with her and injuries like this can happen. Also internal injuries happen if the tom is too heavy for the smaller hen. Leg trouble is also a factor with BB hybrids, because they gain more weight faster than their legs and heart can handle so they go lame or have a heart attack before you are ready to process. I can also be a combination of both. Having such a large # of males to so few females, most of the time will spell disaster. If you can separate the toms from the hens, so the toms can not even see them, will give the hens time to heal and might calm down the toms so you can bring most or all of them to processing weight. Most people process BB hybrids at 4 to 6 months, but if they do not develop leg problems or heart trouble because of their rapid weight gain, they can be kept for quite some time before they are processed. I had some around 3 years old and over 80 pounds before they started having any leg trouble.
check that wound for infection..although it may look scabbed over, it could have infection festering underneath and fluid build up that might be making her leg joints inflamed. Since this is a meat bird, I can only suggest that you clean the wound..rinse with a squirt bottled filled with warm water..try to wash the area with a mild liquid soap then rinse again. Then apply some peroxide...let it foam for a bit, then rinse the wound again. Cover with any first aid cream or other topical antibiotic and repeat this daily.

If you see puss or any sign of oozing infection from the will have to decide if giving the bird a shot or 3 of antibiotics is worth it to you. I am sure that unless you planned to process soon, within a few months the medication will be out of her system. We have used breast injected Tylan 50 with our chickens most successfully but the only issue we've had with the Turks was a cut on the bottom of one Tom's foot and we followed the regiment I mentioned above and he has fully recovered.

Hope some of this helps.

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