Sick bird?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Skyehawk, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Skyehawk

    Skyehawk Out Of The Brooder

    30
    2
    24
    Sep 29, 2014
    I have two black turkeys, one male & one female and two solid whites, also one male & one female. They are about 7 months old but have not started laying yet. For the past week or so, the black female has been acting funny. She started squatting down a lot and acts like she is too heave to get up. She waddles when she does get up. I thought she might be getting ready to lay but she just keeps setting down more while the others run around and into her when I feed them. Been feeding them 18% all flock pellets with some cracked corn or hen scratch.

    Any one have an idea why she may be having a problem standing? I'm guessing she is around 20 pounds in weight. She is about the same weight as the white hen but both Toms are probably 5 to 8 pounds heavier. ??
     
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

    8,372
    64
    326
    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Turkeys can sometimes be soo heavy That they have tendon issues. Sounds like the diet is fine and I'm assuming as a poult there were no problems like "rickets" in appearance which would need a vitamin to assist. If it is a tendon problem it is often called myopathy. Basically the tendon might have ruptured because of heavy weight. "Old farmers" will say they went "down in their hocks". Female birds are more prone to this than males and my guess is because the calcium is beginning to be used for eggs .

    More info needed on her please! have you checked her for signs of lice and mites. Check the bottom of her feet please for possible bumble feet/hurt/infection which might make her sit more. What time did your other birds begin to lay eggs? And please check her to be sure that she is NOT egg bound. Turkeys can get egg bound as well as other poultry. ALSO make sure your food has sufficient selenium. Parts of the US are very selenium deficient and this can also cause a down in the hocks problem that selenium supplements can correct. Is she still eating and drinking as usual?
    Hope some of this helps you. and maybe you will just find an egg? Also please consider that she "might be a broody"..... It's a little off cycle to happen in the winter but it could potentially happy:)
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Skyehawk

    Skyehawk Out Of The Brooder

    30
    2
    24
    Sep 29, 2014
    Thanks. Today she came out of the pen to forage on grass while the others were eating their regular feed. Overweight sure seems a likely cause. I feed them about a 16 oz cup of food per day with some cracked corn and they eat until their throat fills up to their mouth if I feed them in a trough. Lately, I've been just spreading their feed out over the ground by just throwing it over the fence. Takes them longer to eat it all up and haven't noticed them chocking by filling up their throat too fast. Have not checked her feet. She does drupe her wings and tail as if to be covering up little ones but she nor the other white one has laid yet. We're having some warmer weather, 70 degrees Friday but still having cold snaps, freezing rain Sunday. I've only seen the other black tom strutting around her once. Haven't seen him try to mount her but I kinda suspect that he has.

    Think I feeding them too much? Will they act broody before they lay eggs? How could I tell if she is breached with eggs?

    Any further info would be appreciated.
     
  4. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

    8,372
    64
    326
    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Typically turkeys don't go broody before laying first egg from our years in the past in raising them but the animal world varies so I won't say it never happens. It doesn't seem that you are feeding too much based on my memory. You might want to feed "regular" food first and then go back with the corn to make sure that they are getting all the protein they need. Turkeys can get really confused though by swings in warm, cold and the longer sunlight hours or even artificial lights can bring on laying. Is there any discoloration on her legs at all, any scaliness on them, Can you post a few pics of her, and face etc, her legs and her "wing droops". Since you are dropping feed on the ground, which is fine if it is all eaten up, do check around and remove any mouldy feed as it can cause aspergillus and other problems in poultry. Any changes in her head at all, any darkening of colors, swelling in the face? Sometimes if poultry acts a little droopy, they are feeling poorly as well. Is there a shelter where she can get away from cold winds, etc.?

    PS. A good resource on egg bound is here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/07/chicken-egg-binding-causes-symptoms.html but please remember to send pics of her and look for the simple things first like mites, lice, etc. I'm following this thread and hope to see pics. Take care and have a blessed day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  5. Skyehawk

    Skyehawk Out Of The Brooder

    30
    2
    24
    Sep 29, 2014
    From your info and what I've read in other post, I think she has just gained too much weight. I opened their gate yesterday and she came out to forage on grass while the other 3 were gulping down their feed. She came out about 20 ft, ate some green grass and went back in to their pen. She wattles like a duck but otherwise can get around ok. I don't notice anything changes in her head coloration. I think I'll let them out to eat grass more and perhaps cut back a little on the feed pellets. Thanks for the info. Will let you know I I see any drastic changes.[​IMG]
     
  6. Skyehawk

    Skyehawk Out Of The Brooder

    30
    2
    24
    Sep 29, 2014
    Eggs! I think my "Sick bird" is just heavy with eggs! Day before yesterday, one of the coldest day of the year (23 F.) I found two eggs in their pen. One was cracked, I think it may have been the first one and it froze. Got another egg yesterday. Actually got two eggs yesterday, one about 1/4th the size of the Turkey egg. One of my Bantam hens also decided to lay her first egg on a freezing day! Oops, didn't get one of either size today but didn't get to check for them late in the afternoon. I have fifteen hens and should start getting a dozen ages a day. . . soon I hope.

    On the turkeys, I have a pair of solid white ones and read somewhere that they may not be able to reproduce. Does that mean the hen won't lay or just won't be fertile? Is it just for certain white breeds? I have no idea their breed. They were just labeled "straight run" at Atwoods Farm supply store where we got them. Any info appreciated.
     
  7. megalomaniac

    megalomaniac Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    16
    111
    May 16, 2010
    Mississippi
    Just read this thread, and from years of observing wild turkeys, I was going to say your bird was being submissive wanting to be mounted/ bred. When they want to be bred, they can really squawk if alone until they find a gobbler. Once around the gobbler, they'll usually sit for them. During that time, they may also display some dominance toward other hens, or even toward gobblers they don't approve of by semi-strutting. I don't expect she was squatting because she was heavy with eggs, but just advertising she wanted to be bred, and wanted to keep other competition down from the other ladies. My pet eastern wilds are now 9 months, yet no eggs for me... expecting some any day, though.
     
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,896
    2,379
    321
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    The broad breasted turkeys (white or bronze) can have trouble breeding because of their size, weight and conformation. They can still lay eggs but without artificial insemination the eggs are unlikely to be fertile. There is more likelihood of fertile eggs if using a heritage tom over a broad breasted hen. A broad breasted tom mating with any type of hen is unlikely to produce fertile eggs.

    It is most likely that you have broad breasted whites since the most common turkeys sold at farm supply stores are the broad breasted varieties. You can get heritage turkeys from those stores but you normally have to special order them ahead of time.

    There are heritage breeds of white turkeys that can reproduce naturally.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Skyehawk

    Skyehawk Out Of The Brooder

    30
    2
    24
    Sep 29, 2014
    Thanks. My white hen is starting to act like the black one did before she started laying. My other white one, they are probably the broad breasted--getting very heavy, I thought was a tom because of a black beard and larger size. However, it's head is the same as the hen. The black tom (bronze?) is clearly a male, strutting and gobbling and displaying his big wattles and snood. The white , bearded, is the same age but does not have a snood or big wattles. Are these characteristics less prominent in white breeds?
     
  10. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,896
    2,379
    321
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    The white turkeys have the same traits as far as the snood, caruncles and head color changes as do any other turkeys. Hens normally have a "mohawk" with small feathers running up the back of their necks onto the top of the head. Toms have bare heads except for some sparse hairs.

    It is possible for a hen to have a beard. My oldest hen has a beard. Not all toms mature at the same rate so it is possible that your bearded white turkey is either a hen or a late developing tom.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by