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Poults dying off one by one

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by journey11, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought 6 Bourbon Red poults from an individual a little over two weeks ago. They were 5 days old at the time. About a week ago the first one died, then two more, a couple days between each one. Prior to kicking the bucket, the only thing I noted was that they were very sleepy looking just the day before they died, although they'd perk up if I picked them up and I observed no mess around their vents or any discharge near the nostrils or eyes. In order to get a 24% protein feed, I wasn't able to get it as medicated, but they are on clean, dry straw bedding. The breeder said he doesn't use medicated feed either and had no trouble with his. This is my first time raising turkeys and I was surprised how quiet and shy they are compared to chicks. Is that normal? I have yet to observe them eating or drinking as all they do is hunker down when they see me coming. They don't seem to eat much, compared to chicks either, although the food and water levels have gone down somewhat each time I check on them. Their poo is normal looking not runny or too dry. The ones that have died so far did not have any food in their crops when I looked them over. As best I can tell, maybe they are just dehydrated? I water all of my livestock with water from my cistern. I've been putting poultry vitamins in the water as you usually do with chicks. Should I switch them to city water instead or will the sudden change to chlorine in their water possibly kill them too? I have also started putting PoultryDrench in the water. Any advice will be much appreciated. Bought these as a gift to my husband. It will really bum me out if they all die.
     
  2. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also sterilized all of my chick equipment before use and they are separated away from all of my chickens and other animals.
     
  3. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Are you still brooding them? What are you temperatures? If they have not completely feathered out yet they may still need heat. We had a few colder nights last week down to 62, that was on the gulf coast. If coccidiosis is a concern you can also use corrid in their water. I hope the others make it.
     
  4. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, they are still in the brooder in my garage. Daytime temps have been in the 80's and 90's here lately, so I have the red heat lamp hung about 2' high off to one side of the brooder. They seem comfortable and spread out. They have some feathers now at 3 weeks old.

    The more I'm reading, I am thinking that they are possibly not eating or drinking enough. I would think dehydration would have killed them much sooner, but maybe they are not liking the taste of the cistern water and not drinking enough. I gave them distilled water for now, until I can be sure it is ok to switch to city water. I think I'll also put some hardboiled egg and yogurt in their feeder and see if they'll eat it. I tried to catch them and give them a drop of NutriDrench each, but it was really upsetting them to try to catch them and I worried that might be a bad idea. The one I did catch regurgitated slimy water which I've seen shipping stressed chicks do before. I don't know enough about turkeys to rule out some disease though.
     
  5. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I hope they remain healthy. It looks like you are doing every thing you can for them. Good luck.
     
  6. hyelaw

    hyelaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I heard straw is bad because it could lead to mold. I only used paper towels and a card board box. I also put apple cider vinegar and part of a raw crushed garlic clove in their water. I did put a little sugar in it in the beginning too, to make sure they would like it. And I made sure it was warm, at least room temperature if not warmer.

    The ACV and garlic are supposed to help prevent coccidiosis. I did not use medicated feed either. You could try giving them water with a spoon. I did that to make sure they were drinking. Same with the food. I sprinkled it on the paper towels near them to make sure they were eating.

    I used a chick starter then amended it to raise the protein level, I also put a little cayenne pepper in it because I heard it's supposed to prevent blackhead. I aimed for 28%. I added split peas, lentils, brewer's yeast, and fish meal to do this. I also gave them dried meal worms and the hard boiled eggs as treats. But out of all of this, I think the meal worms helped the most.

    Even though the directions say otherwise, you could try to put the Nutri-Drench in their water?

    Good luck with the rest, hope this helps.
     
  7. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lost another one tonight. Now I'm down to 2. :( They are eating and drinking. I just can't figure this out. Only thing I've done differently was the straw, but it is clean and dry. They aren't spilling any of their water. Each one looks tired like it's sleepy the day before it dies. I can always tell which one is going to die next. I don't understand why they're dying off so randomly. You'd think whatever it was would just kill them all in quick succession. It was 5 days between this one and the last one. :/ I am so frustrated.
     
  8. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oh, that's horrible. Do you think that they could be getting too hot. I have been giving all my birds the rooster boost with electrolytes, vitamins and probiotics in the water. It has been really hot and humid here so I have been turning on fans at about noon. I feed my poults the dumor game bird starter. Then when they go into the coop I give them 1 5lb bag of medicated feed. Then back to the starter when that is gone until they are 11 weeks. I would give them a drop of straight nutri drench and some scrambled eggs. I had mine on large pine shavings while in the brooder. They have hay in the coop and leaves in the run. This is tragic and I am sorry that you are going through this. I hope you can get to the bottom of it soon.
     
  9. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all of your help, @chicapee ! It has been in the 90's and humid here during the days too, nights in the 60's. I am suspecting they may be too hot, although they seem to enjoy it. Some of the reading I've done online suggested that they may get too comfy and not need to get up and eat as much since their metabolism is not looking to keep them warm. I have backed the heat lamp off by about a foot and a half. It's hard to regulate temps with the day. I should probably move them to my basement instead.

    I caught them and dipped their beaks in the waterer twice more today. I'm also reading that it takes more effort to teach them to eat and drink. I wish I had a chick to put in with them! I read on here that that can help. I also had an idea to take a small LED flashlight and put it shining down on top of the mason jar waterer. I have glass pebbles in there too, so it made it glow and sparkle. I turned of the heat lamp for a few hours since it was hot and stuffy anyway and they were hanging close to their waterer lamp instead. I will leave it on and hope the extra sparkle provokes them to drink more. That is my best guess, that they are not drinking as much as they should, although they are drinking some. Here's hoping these two hang in there. [​IMG] They were supposed to be Easter dinner this spring, but I think I will end up getting too attached to them after rooting for them so anxiously!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  10. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Hoping for the best, keep us posted on how they do.
     

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