NEWLY hatched Turkey spasm!! Please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barnwife, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    I hatched out a few bourbon red turkey poults yesterday. They were doing very very well! Very active, they ate with help at first, and water, too...I had to show them, and I saw them picking at their dishes throughout the afternoon.


    Around evening, they were all staring up a lot. I thought they were looking at the brightly colored ceiling fan or me, or dust int the air, etc.

    Throughoutthe night, this has worsened into their necks doubled over onto their backs and their legs spasming hard enough to flip on their backs, they are almost unable to sit/stand since their necks are bent backwards and their legs kick (spasm hard enough to flip them...the poor darlings seem to be too tired to flip themselves back anymore!

    I am feeding them by hand, turkey crumble mixed with water to make a mash, and have made a "nest" of towels around each one so they cannot knock themselves flat on their backs any more.

    Their crops are pitifully empty, despite hand-feeding all night and their pecking yesterday. I am feeing them every hour, and it is a very watery mix, the poo watery each time I feed them, but they are just getting so very weak! They seem better after the feeding/watering, though, for a few minutes or so.

    Their brooder is at 97 degrees, and if they could move they have room to move away or towards, the hot spot is 100 degrees, the coolest spot is 93, where they are laying is 97.

    Please help! I don't want them to die!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have electrolytes in the water or are you doing the molasses and vinegar? You might try them on some finely chopped boiled egg or some oatmeal. Mine love oatmeal and always get the remainder of my bowl in the morning. Unflavored yogurt is a good idea too. The flipping over on their backs isn't that big of a deal I guess. My little Rosie (also a Bourbon) was doing that for a whole week when we first got her. I would just turn the little turtle/turkey hybrid over and remind her of where the water and food were and we'd be good until I walked in to find her on her back yet again. She's fine now and never falls over-now she's a weeble.
     
  3. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    I have only the poult mash in the water... I will add molasses and vinegar.

    I will go take a couple of pics, the worst chick is gasping terribly and spits out half the water and food with the gasps.

    The other I think are just "little flippers" like you say...about a week until they stop flipping...I can handle a week. As long as they eat on their own. I do need sleep eventually!

    Someday, when they are all healthy and happy and not making me crazy with worry!
     
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    Feb 10, 2008
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    What is poult mash? Turkey poults should be eating a high protein game bird starter. Steve and I have been discussing this back and forth and think you might need to add some electrolytes to the water.
    Also how old are they now? 2 days old? Also what percentage of protein are you feeding them? What does the bag say?
    Anything you can tell us about them and hopefully we can come with something.
    Sharon and
    Steve too
     
  5. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    I bought 5 lbs of turkey starter/grower from the feed store...says its 28% protein.

    I made a mash out of it with water...most of the little guys are fine...but one still needs special feeding. He is not walking, not eating on his own or drinking...

    I have added molasses and vinegar to the water, don't have any electrolytes on hand right now. I added to a quart waterer 1 tablespoon of each. The others all perked up...but this little one is just not perking up.

    I think he/she might just be my delicate "pocket baby"...

    he is still doing little gasps...but is accepting food and water from a spoon...but no eating on his own yet, and walking is NOT happening. Yet. He is sitting upright without flipping over...so there is some improvement...I might get some sleep tonight.

    This afternoon makes him 24 hours old.

    Thank-you for your help! These are some tough cookies for all the crap my bator and I put them through.

    thakn-you for yor help!
     
  6. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    Thank-you for your help...but my babies died last night. The ones that were seemingly doing well were all flat this morning, despite them being fine when I checked on them at 2 am.

    The little "pocket baby" died also, but he died around midnight.


    Any advice for next time? These babies were so beautiful. I suspect that maybe the incubator spikes might have messed up their internal orkings? or is this user error?

    I do not want to give up on hatching turkeys...I just would like to know what to change "other than the incubator" for the next batch so I can improve.

    Again, thank-you for your help.
     
  7. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    I'm so sorry about your turkey babies! [​IMG] I don't think all that spasming was normal.....I've never had turkeys, just chickens, but none of my baby chicks ever did anything like that, except one.....and it was the one I lost with this current batch. [​IMG] My guess is a neurological problem of some sort.....but I am no expert. Again, I am sorry about your babies! It is so frustrating to go through all the effort of hatching them out, only to lose them. [​IMG] I would suggest that you thoroughly sanitize your incubator before starting your next batch of eggs, just in case there was a bacteria problem of some sort. (But don't use bleach...the fumes permeate the plastic or styrofoam and will kill any babies that start developing)
     
  8. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    I didn't know that about the bleach. do ammonia-based cleaners have the same effect?

    Would using dilute (1 TBSP to 1 gal water) bleach be ok with a good long airing out afterwards and running the bator for a few days before placing eggs in?

    Or do I need to stop being cheap and get one of the poultry-specific ones?
     

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