Poisoned turkeys???


8 Years
Oct 24, 2011
I have four approx. 20 week old turkeys, I love them to bits! They are kept in a coop, not allowed to free range with the chickens as I have been worried about them not coming back... They were kept inside until they were 10 weeks old, a good healthy size and able to stand the weather. It was summer when I put them out into their coop so they have had plenty of time to adapt. They have been fine up till now...

This is the second time I have tried raising turkeys, and I am really afraid the same thing is happening to these birds as happened to the last lot.

As soon as I had turned them out into their coop, one of our boarders decided she would feed them... (I only feed organic grains and they get grass in their run)

She works for a bagel company so threw in about five bags of bagels. When I went to check on them, (not knowing she had fed them) the floor of their run was literally bird ankle deep in bagels of all kinds and they were stuffing themselves!
I took the out and told her never to feed them again, (these ones were only about 12 weeks old and had never had anything like that before) and a week later they were all dead.

I started again, with the four I have now. The boarder has been asked/told not to feed the turkeys, I am trying to raise them organic. Yet three days ago, I found bagels in their run agin. Not as many this time, and I was able to pull them all out. But some showed def signs of being eaten... Not impressed.

Today one of my turkeys was just lying there in his run, barely moving. When I came over I stood him up and he just looked at me. I cleaned their coop, moved them to fresh ground, and topped up their grain. They were all pretty eager to eat so I am hoping that is a good sign... I also put a good dose of cayenne pepper in their water, just in case it's blackhead. I also generally dose their water (and that of the chickens) with apple cider vinegar, honey and garlic. (Poultry Tonic) I just find it weird that both times the turkeys have been fed bagels against my wishes and both times they have gotten sick...

There are no bad droppings, everything seems normal so far, it is just one bird that is showing symptoms.

Does anyone have any idea why this keeps happening and anything else I can do to treat them??? I am at my wits end with this person and the animals.... Don't want to lose these birds!!!

Sorry you are having these problems. Would you be so kind as to list the `grains' (what makes up ration other than grass?) comprising feed. Do they have access to small gravel? (grit) I'd suggest adding meal worms/crickets/crushed hard boiled eggs/a bit of fish meal to boost protein level.
Hi and thanks for the reply. At the moment my turkeys are being fed an organic turkey grower pellet which they seem to love. They also get fresh grass, (not too long) and I mix in oyster shell grit with their feed, a medium grind. I keep their water fresh, it gets cleaned each morning then refilled so it's always clean. I have been dousing their water once a week with a poultry tonic made from garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey and so on. All the birds get that. (Except the young chicks)

A friend of mine who is a nurse has suggested the problem may well lie in the fact that my 'lovely' boarder delivers bagels, and has the old expired ones in her truck. It is these she insists on feeding all my birds, and a lot of the time they are mouldy. She said there are some pretty nasty moulds out there, and that this is what she believes will be causing the problem. Mould induced bacteria.

We strongly suspect our boarder has a form of autisim, she is def showing signs of being on the autisim spectrum, and she just does not seem to understand cause and effect. For her, it is "I see cute animals = They are cheeping/neighing at me = They must be hungry = I feed them" with no thought to any possible consequences.

Right now, I have the chickens locked in their coop, (they are not happy) as they have been eating the same bagels. All the birds with the exception of the two hens with chicks are having their water doused with Cayenne pepper to kill any bacteria in their gullets, and it does seem to be working.

I have had to move the mini mare and I have to watch like a hawk when our boarder comes home as she has been giving the horse bags of bagels too. I have one very overweight pony on my hands now.

I will def do what you suggested as a protein boost! It can't hurt. Is there anything else anyone here can think of/suggest that I can do/try to boost the immunity and general health of my flock? I really appreciate all the help and advice!!!!
Interesting. We feed our bird (mostly the chickens) old food all the time. It never seems to bother them. We don't give the turkeys these "treats" very often...mostly because they are afraid of new food
. I would be surprised if moldy bread was lethal to turkeys. Their guts are a little tougher than ours.
Sorry if I missed it, do they have access to any other grit than oyster shells? Oyster shells are soluble, so they might not get the job done.

There clearly is some problem and it would be best to be able to rule out bad bagels. Is there anybody that could get through to her (ie. family)?
Reason I mentioned grit was that if they were eating primarily grains and, if intermittently glomming down bagels, etc. they would probably do well to have access to rock, e.g., granite/limestone. There are sizes, by age, of grit in this link:


Could be tolerating mold, up to a point (just how much of a `fresh' bagel do individual turkeys eat? - easy enough to test, yourself).

Check droppings regularly for anything out of the ordinary.

Have the `delivery' person take offerings to animal shelter. Put up `No Trespassing' signs. I'd put up cameras as well,
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom