New turkey owner. Freaking out about blackhead.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by beccaWA, May 31, 2016.

  1. beccaWA

    beccaWA Songster

    Feb 22, 2012
    Eastern WA
    Hi, there. I was gifted by the lady at the feed store (I spend a lot of time at the feed store...) two Bourbon Red turkey poults. I've been wanting to try turkeys. I already have chickens and ducks free ranging on my acre.

    However, this was unexpected and I'm not sure how to proceed when they get bigger. I don't have a chicken pen proper, but my fenced acre and a large coop which the chickens and ducks go into at night.

    I'm really afraid of exposing the turkeys to blackhead and my other fowl go all over the acre. So no really "safe" area to put them.

    What would you suggest? A new shed/run just for them? Preventative meds for blackhead? (I don't think there's a cure).

    I could probably rig something up housing/pen-wise. It wouldn't be pretty but it might work. But the ground they would be on, the other fowl would have been on, too.


    Thanks a bunch!

    Here they are. Quite tame as the lady worked with them extensively.

  2. beccaWA

    beccaWA Songster

    Feb 22, 2012
    Eastern WA
    Also, any ideas for a cheap shelter if I have to house them separately? I'm in a four season climate.
  3. copper2

    copper2 Songster

    May 5, 2015
    Eating a burger
    You can keep chickens and turkeys together
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    The first thing to do is to check with your local county agriculture extension office to find out whether or not Blackhead is a problem in your area. If it isn't a problem, you have nothing to worry about. If you live in a sandy area Blackhead does not seem to be a problem.

    If Blackhead is a problem in your area there are things that you can do to deal with it. There are already a number of threads dealing with Blackhead. Just use the advanced search function at the top of the page to be able to limit your search to the Turkeys forum.

    Good luck.
  5. beccaWA

    beccaWA Songster

    Feb 22, 2012
    Eastern WA
    Thanks for the info. I'll do some reading and I have a call in to the extension office.
  6. roddycn1216

    roddycn1216 In the Brooder

    May 29, 2016
    You can keep chickens and turkeys together but you need to deworm your turkeys 2-3 times a year for coccidia which can turn into liver flukes. Sageguard for goats will kill the coccidia and keep it from prgressing to the liver... same concept as heartworm medication for dogs.
  7. Finnie

    Finnie Crowing

    Oct 27, 2014

    Don't worry, there is no danger of the protozoan coccidia morphing into the Trematode liver fluke. However, if you were to have a serious bout of coccidia, then secondary infections could set in that could turn fatal.

    Coccidia is pretty much ever present and most birds develop an immunity to it. But in wet conditions or in times of lowered immunity, it can get a foothold. Keep an eye out for it with all your birds in general.

    Most of us use some kind of deworming schedule (for worms, not coccidia), depending on our individual situations and symptoms. I worm mine once or twice a year and try to vary what product I use.

    Have fun. Your poults are really cute!
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Coccidia protozoa can not 'turn' into anything. Safeguard is not a coccidia treatment. Liver flukes are a completely different parasite entirely. It's like saying a ringworm infection will turn into a flea infestation. One is a fungus, one is an insect. Not even remotely related.
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Enlightened

    Jun 24, 2012
    Also call one of the labs in your state and talk to an pathologist about blackhead because your extension office might not have a clue (mine doesn't, lol).

    Blackhead is treatable if caught soon enough. The treatment I use is:
    • Metronidazole @ 22.72 mg per pound once or twice a day for no less than five days
    • Safeguard liquid or paste @ 0.23 ml per pound orally, repeat in 10 days.
    • Baytril 100/mg/ml @ 0.045 per pound twice a day for five days.

    Baytril (enrofloxacin) and metronidazole are banned for use in food animals, so would be best to research that if these are not pets.

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  10. Ese_N_Gracie

    Ese_N_Gracie Songster

    Feb 22, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    I love how much this site has advanced! You guys have so much great information. Thank you

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