Our Thanksgiving turkey has a cold.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by fledgling, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. fledgling

    fledgling Songster

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    Apr 8, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    We were supposed to do her in next week so we wouldn't have to freeze and then thaw, however, she was sneezing yesterday and her eyes were swollen (upper respiratory something or other, obviously). She has a nice big run and very clean bedding, feed and water. No molds or outside birds. No other animals are ill. This morning she is better and she is still eating. We don't want to treat her with any medicines if we are going to eat her. Do you think if she doesn't worsen and is still eating and drinking tomorrow that we could slaughter her on Saturday? Is it safe to eat a sneezy turkey? We have 6 chickens in with her to slaughter as well (I know they are supposed to be separate but these were very clean birds we raised ourselves). No symptoms from any of them.

    If we can go ahead with the slaughter, should we treat the remaining three turkeys? With what? I have Tylan 50 that I use for the cows.
     
  2. Fenika

    Fenika Songster

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    Sep 25, 2010
    It is impossible to guide you exactly as I can neither see the bird, nor is there a formula for safe food.

    I can give you some basic info and guidelines, and you will have to make a choice to the best of your knowledge, but you will likely need to do more research or get someone who has seen a lot of turkey carcasses to know what is healthy:

    If the problem is only respiratory and it's not in the blood or producing toxins, there should be little to no problem with the carcass. Signs of a very sick bird are obvious, though sometimes they hide them.

    Things you look for after slaughter are clear membranes around the air sacs and a healthy color to the meat. If there are unclear/pus-containing membranes by the keel bone, then this airsac extends into the wings and creates a problem in trimming the unhealthy tissue.


    If it were me, and the bird was doing well, I *might* take a chance on letting it clear and slaughtering next week. The symptoms could extend for over a week however, so I *might* slaughter right now before the infection could spread.

    Sadly, animals that are moved are stressed and exposed to new things. This could be a minor case of the sniffles. There might be no illness aside from the sinuses and trachea. Hard to tell, since you can't see inside the bird until you slaughter.

    Others who have more experience with Turkeys specifically might be able to advise you better. I wouldn't panic, but it could go either way.
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I might let it go for a day and see how she does, but I would rather medicate and buy my Thanksgiving dinner than to lose the bird or have to throw the carcass away because she was ill.

    Turkey dinner for Christmas works for me.
     
  4. fledgling

    fledgling Songster

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    Apr 8, 2009
    Keystone Heights, FL
    She was better on Friday. Saturday morning, she hardly had any facial swelling. We dressed her out and found no abnormalities. Looking forward to T-Day!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

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