1. SowingTruths

    SowingTruths New Egg

    Mar 23, 2017
    Hello, Happy Turkey People,
    I've been searching the internet for hours trying to figure out what could be wrong with our broad breasted bronze tom turkey. Although I've learned a lot that I wished I already knew I still don't really know what is wrong with him.

    I've had him since he was 2 days old, and he will be 1 year old on May 1st. He ALWAYS happily says hello before I even open the barn door, and then puffs himself up and does a little stomping dance while I get his food ready.

    3 days ago he was still very vocal he wasn't puffed up and dancing. He did get up to eat but seemed sorta tired. Although I notice it I didn't really think much more about it then he must be tired.

    The next day when I was walking out to the barn I didn't hear him. I was scared what I would find when I opened the door. Thankfully he was still alive and although very slow still got up for his food. I was worried but didn't really know what could be wrong so I left him be and did some research.

    The next day (today) I found him laying in the corner half sleeping and uninterested that I was bringing him food. I sat down beside him to pet him and look him over and realized he was very lethargic. I got him to stand up and walk toward the food but he was very unstable on his feet so he decided to lay back down. I brought his food and water to him and he didn't want any.

    So I made a make shift turkey pen in our bathroom to warm him up and give him a better look over. The first thing I noticed was he has lice, and his underside is missing a lot of feathers. He still didn't want any food or water but did appear to perk up some from what I think was the warmth of the bathroom.

    It was a lot of lice, so we opted to dust with sevin because that's what my mother in law suggested, and it made us feel better to do something immediately. After reading mixed reviews of it I kinda wish I had used woodash or some other natural treatment.

    He will not eat but did start drinking water on his own if we out bowl close enough for him to reach without having to stand up.

    His poop is like white with the consistency of watery paint.

    I'm not sure if he seems pale exactly but I don't think his face colors are as vivid as he usually is.

    He does not have a running nose or any respiratory issues that are noticeable to my untrained senses.

    I'm not sure what else to include. What little I've been able to find online about turkey health has only left me with more questions.

    We have never had lice before. We started our micro farm in California and recently moved everyone (horse, goats, rabbit, tom turkey and chickens) to Michigan. Turkey harmoniously lives with chickens now.

    Can lice cause all of his problems?

    What else should I look for to figure this out?

    How can I get him to eat?

    We don't really know what we are doing. Haven't had any scary issues in out young farm life yet, thank God. Any other advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated by us all.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Sorry about your turkey. To get more advice from turkey owners you can also post here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/20/turkeys
    I would offer him some feed in a bowl with a lot of water in it to make it soupy. A little plain yogurt and chopped egg are usually accepted well. Electrolytes and vitamins can be added to his water. How does his crop feel? His poops sound like he is dehydrated or having some kidney problems. Lice are more of a bother--they are irritating, but don't feed on blood the way mites do. Check him for lice again 7-10 days after you dusted him, and re-treat him. Permethrin 10% spray is very good to use just on the areas where you see lice. Their eggs hatch every 10 days, so re-treatment and treating the coop are important. Do you have any antibiotics? Most are not available any more without a vet's prescription, but some people keep some around. Sulmet or sulfadimethoxine are both good for certain intestinal infections like cocci and enteritis. If you have a local vet who could examine his droppings for cocci and worms that could help. Blackhead disease is common in turkeys kept near chickens, but it usually causes bright yellow diarrhea. I hope that you can get him to start drinking some electrolyte water. Let us know how he gets along.Here are a couple of links to read about common turkey diseases:

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