Sick Tom Turkey

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by FarRider, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. FarRider

    FarRider New Egg

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Looking for answers. This is my first attempt at raising turkeys for food. As a recent cancer survivor, I have become very particular about each organically and as pure as possible. I purchased 12 white broadbreasted turkeys June 1. I demanded that they not be vaccinated as I plan on harvesting them for meat. I lost 5 for various reasons, 3 to illness and 2 to predators. The remaining 7 have been thriving until this week. One Tom is looking very sickly. He sits all the time even when turned out on pasture. He was looking a little shakey in the legs but he was/is still eating. Tonight I noticed that his head and neck are changing color from a healthy pink color to a blotchy red. My questions are: Is there anything I can do to bring him back to optimum health. Does anyone know what might be wrong with him? And if I must slaughter him early, is he safe to consume? They all get a diet of corn and oats (unfortunately I am not sure if it is non-gmo corn nor is it organic). They also get organic sunflower seeds and turned out on pasture for several hours per day. Would do more but the foxes and hawks always hang out here. Fresh water daily. I don't know what else to do.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Firstly, hello and [​IMG]

    About your tom... First guess is probably some kind of cardiovascular or respiratory problems.

    If you're serious about rearing healthy turkeys for your own health you are better off not getting commercial, intensive-husbandry-dependent meat breeds. They are rife with multi-generational health problems, and the diet they need (the pellets etc) only further the issues... For best health, better to breed your own, and of a more natural type that can live on the diet you're offering. You end up with a bit less meat but of a superior nutritional and flavor quality, to say nothing of the health qualities. But of course that's beyond some people's means, as ideal as it is.

    If he's unwell for a prolonged period of time, no, I wouldn't eat him personally, it has whole-organism fallout. The whole body is affected by something being wrong.

    If you don't know if the corn is GMO, chances are it is, generally. In some places up to 98% of all yellow and white corn is GMO.

    In order for us to be able to assist you, we need more information; the answers to the following questions should help a lot:

    What symptoms of illness did the last two you lost have?

    What color and consistency are his poops?

    Does he have sniffles, does he sneeze, does his sinus area between nostril and eye flare out on either side when he breathes?

    Is his crop emptying overnight?

    What diet are you feeding him besides the sunflower seeds, corn and pasture?

    Best wishes. Congrats on surviving the cancer.
     
  3. FarRider

    FarRider New Egg

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    Sep 30, 2014
    Thank you for the response and the general info on my next batch of Turkeys. The more I read, I was thinking along the same lines. I definitely want to hatch my own so I know they are not given any vaccines. As to your other questions:

    What symptoms of illness did the last two you lost have? Two died within a week of getting them home. They just went totally lethargic for a few hours and then died. They had runny yellow white-ish poops. The third I euthanized due to some kind of leg issue. a vet tech looked at him. We thought he had broken both legs. He was unable to stand but could sit up on his hocks and flop around. Once he got where he wanted to go, he would just sit up. We tried to splint his legs but I couldn't stand to see him suffer.

    What color and consistency are his poops? This tom has dark liquidy poops. He is also very dirty all over. The others are not clean birds but he is exceptionally dirty.

    Does he have sniffles, does he sneeze, does his sinus area between nostril and eye flare out on either side when he breathes? I have not noticed him sniffle or sneeze but I try to avoid a lot of contact with them so I don't get attached. He does seem to breathe a little loud

    Is his crop emptying overnight? I never see it full

    What diet are you feeding him besides the sunflower seeds, corn and pasture. Just some kitchen scraps of bread, veggies and fruits. I was feeding Layena Crumbles but stopped that last month after reading that turkeys can survive on pasture and kitchen scraps. The least amount of commercial stuff they get, the better for me. Next years crop will be fed organic non gmo corn that I plan on growing here.

    On a lighter note, he did seem better tonight. He was drinking a lot, he ate and he was standing for longer periods of time rather than just sitting. And his legs were not as shakey.

    I have read that some peoples turkeys drink a half gallon of water a day. I'm not sure all 7 of mine drink a half gallon of water combined. I clean both waterers every day too.

    Do you have any suggestions for a different breed. I was also thinking of quail. I have raised chickens for many years for eggs but have never had to deal with any of these issues.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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