OK, another DUMB question, sorry -- can a turkey have hay fever?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Denninmi, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2009
    OK, I know this sounds stupid, but ever since I moved my 6 turkeys out of the brooder, where I used pine bedding, and into their permanent enclosure and switched them to straw bedding, every time I spread fresh, clean straw, ONE of the 6 gets a runny nose and sneezes a lot for about 24 hours, sometimes even spraying mucus when it sneezes.

    The first time it happened, it freaked me out, and I gave them all tetracycline in the water. Since it seemed to clear up in a day, I ignored it. The next time it happened, I said, "well, just wait and see what happens" and it was OK the next day.

    It happens every time I spread the fresh bale of straw in their house, and I honestly think this one turkey has an allergy. It happens very quickly, both the turkey and I were sneezing yesterday by the time I got the bale of straw all spread and fluffed out.

    I'm planning on switching from straw to oak leaves in about 4-5 weeks when available, and those have much less dust, so maybe that will take care of it. I find oak leaves to be a far superior bedding for my birds, especially my ducks, as I think the tannins in the leaves reduce the growth of bacteria and fungi that cause odor, and the birds love to root through them for acorns. Best of all, totally free and available in massive amounts in my neighborhood, where most of the lots have many large trees and oaks are on of the dominant species.
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    it's the dust, ours do it with fresh wheat straw. How do you do the leaves? I have tired it before and they get damp and mat down. We have alot of pine trees around here so sometimes I use pine straw but it mats to if it rains alot. I'm all for free bedding. [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2009
    Well, I just gather the oak leaves in the fall at the curbside. Last year, I gathered over 500 bags for my gardens, and stockpiled another roughly 75 bags in greenhouse to use over the winter for my ducks and chickens. I'll need to have a lot more this year, because I went from 4 chickens and 4 ducks to 9 chickens, 9 ducks, 6 turkeys, and 40 quail, and built two new enclosures for the new birds and expanded the old duck enclosure. I have greenhouse type "shelters" in each run, with a "house" inside of that for the birds to sleep in if they choose, although to date neither the ducks nor the turkeys have used their houses.

    We have mainly red and black oaks here, with large, leathery leaves. They get quite dry even in the paper bags after a few weeks in the greenhouse in the autumn sun. Because they are large leaves, they don't pack very quickly, and seem to more absorbent than either straw or pine chips before they get soggy. I dump a deep layer, about 6 inches, and topdress every 4-5 days as needed, and about every month rake them all out and put them on the garden and replace with fresh. I do skip the raking in the dead of winter and just keep topdressing in January through mid-March, because its just too hard, and they are often frozen in place on the bottom where moist.

    I have picked up a few bags of clean pine needles and used those as well. Other than that, no other kind of leaf works -- ash, maple, etc. all DO mat down quickly AND get very wet fast. I think because the oak leaves are very leathery and high in acids and tannins they are a lot more durable than other leaves.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    I think I'll try it again this year, some of the leaves are starting to fall.

    Steve
     

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