Second Turkey Poult Dead

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ninjapoodles, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I know it's common, but it's still killing me. Our Narragansett turkey poults are about 3 weeks old now, and we lost one last was a "runt," significantly smaller than the rest, and kept looking like a baby chicken, all round and squatty when the others got tall and necky like baby turkeys. So I wasn't terribly shocked when that one was dead in the brooder.

    But just today, we lost another one. The brooder is clean, the feeders are clean, the water has Quic-Chick in there something I'm missing? I read all the warnings about how turkeys "sit around thinking up ways to die," but I don't want to lose them all!
  2. Psittizen Shikkin

    Psittizen Shikkin Songster

    Jun 14, 2008
    Oroville, California
    so sorry. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you. I thought maybe by responding to this some more experienced turkey keepers might see it and be able to help. Good luck.
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    I was told to just "expect" a 40-60% turkey poult death when I got my first 10 day-old Red Bourbon turkeys, so.... you're still ahead of the game. I had 6 survive out of the 10 I got from a hatchery. (3 died within a few weeks and 1 died at 3 months). The rest are indestructible and doing great and its been a year. Not sure what advice to give you.
  4. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    it's hard to say. I have none that have just died for no apparent reason. Two died when a gate my son and I were installing on a new pen section fell on them and we lost a couple when I moved them to an outside cage and they piled at the end away from the heat lamp when the temps dropped one night.

    make sure you are feeding a high protein feed of at least 27% and make sure they have enough heat to stay warm. If you are doing all that then it would have me very puzzled.

    last year I was given a young poult that was hatched by a chicken. The guy even let me borrow the hen that had hatched him. That little turkey was eating, drinking and acting normal but my son found him dead one morning after about 2 weeks. He looked like he had died in his sleep underneath his mommy.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  5. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:The brooder is huge, oval-shaped, with about 6 inches of pine shavings for bedding. There is a roosting bar that they use, and the heat-lamp is over one end of the brooder. They have *never*, not even from day one, huddled around the heat source like the chicks did (and this is not the same brooder the chicks used). They're always scattered evenly around the brooder and active and alert. The first one who died was tiny, and a little mopey, so I wasn't surprised to lose that one.

    The poults were vaccinated, and the only unmedicated gamebird feed I could find was a 26% gamebird grower, that we've been grinding up to make it smaller. Is there something I could be adding? I have chick grit, so I could start giving them that plus some greens and things.

    Honestly, they look perfectly healthy...right up until one drops dead. Here are a couple of them right before the most recent death:

  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Baby turkeys should have grit - so, yes, I would add that right away.
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Game bird Grower normally does not have grit in it. Starter Game bird or starter/grower game bird usually does. Since Turkeys are much closer to there wild cousin they must have grit to grind up the feed at a very early age. If not you must feed them mash which is just adding water to there feed so it's like a paste.

    You can use course sand as grit when they are small or get granite chips from most feed stores. As they get older they need larger size grit we get a type of sand that called concrete sand it has sand and some larger sized gravel in it. We sift this to make out own grit. As the turkeys get older they will ignore the small sized grit and pick out the size they want.

    Turkeys can be trouble some when it comes to feed, they need the correct mix of vitamins and minerals for the bodies to correctly process there feed. With out this correct mix what appears to be strange malidities and health problems can occur with no apparent reason.

    Also there immune system does not develop as quickly as a chicken chicks does. It can take up to 7 weeks for the turkeys chicks to develop. So they can die much younger and for what appears to be unknown reasons. So if you introduce any grasses before the 7th week you could have introduced a dieses and not know it.

    Although most people want natural Meat it is legal to use medicated feed for chicks and still label the meat as natural meat according to the USDA. Usually after the 7th week
    the use of medicated is stopped and they are butchered at 20 weeks or so this is more then enough time for the medicated feed to not be any there system and passed to humans.

    The use of medicated feed helps get them a good start. One little connection between wild and home grown turkeys is that all turkey will eat poo. If an Adult Turkey is raising the chicks the antibodies from the adult will pass to the chick through the adults poo. They also get the needed minerals and vitamins they need as chicks they way to.

    So when no adult is around we need to add some needed antibodies, minerals, and vitamins to the feed to take the place of what they are missing.
  8. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We have never fed grit to any of our baby birds until they are old enough to go outside with the rest of the flock, about 3-4 months, nor do we feed them anything else other than.

    28% medicated game bird starter for the first 4 to 6 weeks
    20% medicated start n grow up to 12 to 16 weeks

    then out they go with the flock.

    The birds use grit to grind course (key word course) grains and greens etc. Starter feeds are by no means course and they soften in water. How do your birds feed? they go from feeder to water and wash it down.

    If you are being told to expect 40 to 60% losses of poults whoever told you that has no clue about raising turkeys! Right now we have over 200 poults from ones that just came out of the hatcher this morning up to 4 months old +.

    Of the birds that died, where they just skin and bones? look at the legs, were they shrunken? If so they are "starving out" . What size pine shavings are you using? We use the biggest we can find so they can't eat it. If it's to small they will eat it and fill the crop with pine shavings.

    Steve in NC

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