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Sick Turkey Hen!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by quirky turkey, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. quirky turkey

    quirky turkey Hatching

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    Dec 11, 2013
    North Carolina
    My hen is a bourbon red, not yet a year old(I got her this past spring), and she is half the size of my 3 toms(2 bourbons, 1 chocolate).

    About a week and a half ago my hen started to get sick. I had recently moved her from our chicken lot to the turkey lot with the toms, and we had some bad weather. It rained about 3 inches or so, we had some strong winds, and low temps. Instead of standing under shelter they walked around in the rain and stood in the mud and then they roosted all night with the wind blowing on them. A day or two later when it was time to refill the feed, my hen was acting strange, she was uninterested. She just stood huddled up, shivering. When I offered her some feed from my hand she picked up a few bits and then let them fall out of her mouth. I separated her from the others and put her in a cage in a building, off of the cold ground and blowing wind. The next day when I went to check on her she was very lethargic and I added a heat lamp to warm her up. She still had not been eating from the looks of it the next day or so, but was drinking alot of water and sleeping alot. The other day I opened the cage to see if she would come out and walk around, and when I returned she was walking around slow like she was lost, and was very unbalanced like she had vertigo. I offered her some scrambled eggs yesterday and she refused to eat anything again. When she goes to drink water its like she can't see and will miss the bowl, so I have to hold it up in front of her face and move it so her beak will find it. She seems very dizzy when awake, and sleeps unless I am physically interacting with her. When I hold her she will go to sleep and I have to give her a small shake just to get her to wake up. I gave her some electrolytes in her water and today I used an eye dropper to get some raw egg and crushed cat food into her for protein because I can't get her to eat anything else(using the dropper I only got her to take a few drops). Her waste looks like watered down scrambled uncooked egg(even before I tried to feed her some), and she doesn't go very much at all.

    I have researched blackhead and it's symptoms but I don't know if that's it considering the timing(right after a rainstorm and night in the cold), and the fact all my turkeys were raised with the chickens. Plus the other turkeys are fine. I just don't understand. Besides I thought tukeys infected with blackhead usually die within a few days of showing symptoms, and my hen has been sick well over a week now.

    Does anyone have any advice on how I should treat her, or any ideas on what could be wrong?
     

  2. Stewarts

    Stewarts Songster

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    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    Buy some SuperBoost today and put it in her water, I used a little more that the instructions say. I've been feeding my young turkey hen medicated turkey grower crumbles, its a complete turkey food and far better than cat food. I find it really helps, the SuperBoost has vitamins and an antibiotic. I'd get that into her ASAP if I were you.
    Cat food is not the best for birds because its commercial and has plenty of additives. I would have her in a small, protected enclosure with a heat lamp for warmth. She might have eaten something that was bad and has a slight case of poisoning. Check the area you have your turkeys in for anything that she could have eaten that made her sick.
    I had my turkeys out in their run but brought them into an insulated coup with my fully grown and healthy chickens and a completely tarp, enclosed hutch for protection against the weather when it turned bad.
    Let me know what happens.

    Stephanie
     
  3. Stewarts

    Stewarts Songster

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    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    To get her to eat and to aid her health try mixing her turkey crumbles and yogurt together into a mash. When she's feeling better, dip her beak into it and try to put a little into her mouth. Yogurt will give her healthy bacteria to help her digestion and overall health.

    Hope this helps her.
     
  4. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    How is she doing now and how much has she been eating?
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
  6. quirky turkey

    quirky turkey Hatching

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    Dec 11, 2013
    North Carolina
    Thank you guys for replying!

    I didn't see anything out of the ordinary on the ground or around the lot they are in, but you never know she may have been poisoned by something(I hadn't thought of that).

    She's about the same. Yesterday she laid down next to the waterer and spent some time drinking it up. She tried flapping her wings out, stretching them, but she lost her balance. Today she kept her head turned sideways. I think I'm going to have to try some kind of feeding method like that, anything to get some food in her. I had looked some methods on parrots up on youtube the other day and they're not for the faint of heart, thats for sure.

    If the weather is nice tomorrow I might see if she will walk around some in the yard, or at least let her get some fresh air after being cooped up. I'll try some yogurt and things too with a new feeding method(we'll see how that turns out). I'll let yall know if anything changes.
     
  7. quirky turkey

    quirky turkey Hatching

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    Dec 11, 2013
    North Carolina
    Where could I find some superboost?
     

  8. Stewarts

    Stewarts Songster

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    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    Local Feed store carries it, that's where I got mine. Once you open the package, put it in a sealable plastic bag to keep it from drying out. The instructions are for a full flock but I use a 1/4 tsp in 1.5 L of water and it seems to do the trick. You have to add more SuperBoost to the water every 24 hours to keep the potency up. Before you force feed, make a mash of her turkey feed and yogurt, enough to make it a moist, crumbly consistency then encourage her by dipping her beak into it. Remember she's sick, when you are sick you don't want to eat - she's feeling the same way. She's drinking water so start there, get the SuperBoost into the water and add 1/4 tsp Cayenne Powder in case she has Blackhead. That's what I did with my young turkey hen when she started showing these same symptoms three days ago, now she's almost fully recovered. Also, she might not be in any condition to walk round on her own. My hen couldn't keep her balance so she just sat down, I left her.

    Keep us up-to-date on whats happening so we can offer help.
     
  9. quirky turkey

    quirky turkey Hatching

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    Dec 11, 2013
    North Carolina
    So, I got a catheter and syringe today and attempted crop feeding, but I was worried I was putting it in wrong(which I now know I had it correct) so I aborted that mission, but I'm going to try again tomorrow with confidence. I couldn't find the superboost anywhere, but I got some packs of the probiotics that mixs with water and added a pack with the electrolyte/vitamin mix and put that out for her. I mixed some liquidy yogurt with some ground up turkey feed and that's what I was going to put in her using the tube feeding. I ended up just holding the end of the tube in her mouth and then squeezing some mixture in, which she would swallow most of on her own(with her squirming her little neck around she managed to sling some out). I couldn't get her to eat much because the opening of the syringe started to clog up some, and of course she was fussy, but I feel good that at least she got some food in her. I'm going to keep working at it!

    On another note, I'm not sure if she maybe hit her neck on something since she starting hanging her head upside down or what, but her wattle(whatever you would like to call it) is swollen, like it's filled with fluid and its cool to the touch. Hopefully it's unrelated to her sickness and will heal up soon, but I will be keeping an eye on it.
     
  10. quirky turkey

    quirky turkey Hatching

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    Dec 11, 2013
    North Carolina
    Oh, just so you know, I took the advice and I did try to see if she would eat it on her own first, but she didn't want anything to do with it, so thats why I went ahead and moved to trying the crop feeding.
     

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