Sick Chick?


9 Years
Feb 22, 2010
One of our eight week old chicks appears to be ill. We are new to turkey keeping and so are not sure what might be the problem.

This is, I think, the chick that has been less noisy than the others since being taken from its mother. Last evening I noticed that he had his beak open most of the time and he was pecking at hard surfaces as if to clear something from his throat. His wing feathers were down He was eating as well as the others. This morning he seems worse. He still has his mouth open and pecking. His wings are still down. He now stands low on his legs but is able to stand up and move like the others when he wants to. He is feeding very well. There is no sign of trouble between this chick and the others. I haven't noticed any cough.

Any suggestions as to what is going on an what to do would be welcome, please. In particular, I am anxious to know whether I need to isolate this chick from the others.
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My search earlier didn't come up with any post that described the same symptoms. In the meantime, my wife has found a solution. She took the chick back to where we bought it and swapped it for another from the same brood! I hope that the owners take the trouble to get some medication.

If anyone has has an idea what was wrong I would like to now for future reference, please.
Wish I could help you, I have never heard of anything like that. The pecking may have simply been a curiosity thing, turkeys are very curious and like to peck at things. Kind of like human babies and puppies have to put everything in their mouths. The the wings down and standing different could indicate something. Did you notice how the poop looked? What were the temperatures like? Is there a chance it was too warm and trying to cool off?
I didn't notice the poop. The temperature was high today but not overnight and the other chicks seemed OK this morning. This chick was the quiet one of the group from the start. It showed an odd combination of apparent weakness and a determination to eat and drink as much as possible. If the group reacted to my movement it went with them and looked just the same except for a remaining droop of the wings. I'm still a novice but would have expected a sick bird to be off its food.
I'm not sure, but could your poult's wings just have had some other poult pull on them. I remember last year one of my poults always seemed to have "funny" wings. It grew up fine. I don't even remember which one it was. I just remember how brutal they were with each other in their curiosity.
How did the wing feathers compare with the others? I think I have heard of instances where the feathers were growing in fast and were a bit heavy for the wings to support for a while, and that they did outgrow that problem. Did it eat and drink more than the others? Any other symptoms that it was sick?
That's a good point. The bird is back with the previous owners so I can't check but the wings may have been a bit larger than those of the others. It's difficult to be sure about it because of the way that they drooped and, for much of the time, the chick was down on its legs. It even fed from a squatting position once.

It ate and drank much more then the others.

There were no other unusual signs apart from the hard pecking on wood and the plastic food and water containers while it was feeding. It didn't chatter like the others.
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