1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Scraggly looking turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bock, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Our lone standard bronze tom just turned one year old. Last November, he was well-feathered and really pretty. He looked like a good example of what a turkey should look like. However, 4 months later, he looks absolutely terrible. He has almost no feathers on his chest, his wing feathers are broken and thin, and he has a lot of spaces in his tail. When it rains, he looks absolutely soaked within a few minutes. Oh, and his "beard" is only about an inch long and has flaky dry skin around the base.We try to keep him out of the rain in winter, and I often sneak him some Taste of the Wild dog food for protein. Other than that, he eats layena, veggie table scraps, and all the forage he can find on 4 acres. Oh, and he also helps himself to all of the duck eggs before I can collect them. The chickens and ducks all look beautiful right now, but he is just struggling. He doesn't act sickly or anything and is always eager for food. Is there something else I can do to help this poor guy out? I feel terrible, and don't understand why he looks so bad. I thought he would feather out in spring, but so far nothing. He is my little sister's pet, and we just want him to get better. Thanks for any advice!

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    You might just have to grab hold of him and really check him for parasites. There are feather mites that actually eat feathers......and of course lice.......

    If all your other birds are fine, it is probably not that....I'm not sure when or how often turkeys molt. I've only owned turkeys for once season, so I'm not a turkey expert.

    Hopefully, someone else will have some more advice for you, but I would start with looking him over for tiny critters......

    Good luck with him!
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    Are your other birds picking on him?
  4. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I don't think he is being picked on. He usually is free-ranging while the chickens are in the hoop coop and the ducks at the pond. I will look more closely though and see if any one might be picking on him.

    Also, I will be sure to look him over for lice too. It just seems odd that he is the only one affected.

    Thanks for the suggestions. :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by