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sick turkey liver? please help

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by davearcade, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. davearcade

    davearcade Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2014
    Yesterday morning one of our 8 5month old bourbon red turks was nearly dead and another tom was pecking its head and feathers badly. I culled it but had to bag it and put in fridge til today when I did autopsy. Its head was really dark and I feared blackhead, but the liver had no spots or anything unusual except it was nearly black!


    The rest of inards looked normal and the other turks seem ok..but I'm worried.

    This our first batch of turks. Any ideas are appreciated
     
  2. davearcade

    davearcade Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2014
    I had orinally thought it was disease but just had another thought. Will a turkey kill another? We got our flock as hatchery poults and ended up with 7 toms and 1 hen
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    The males can spar to the point of death (particularly if crowded - no place for loser to escape to). More often, they'll focus on an already compromised (weakened by injury/disease) turk.

    Did you happen to take any shots of the liver? Any clear pics would be most helpful.

    Clean out run and keep a close eye on any changes (food intake/changes in droppings/activity level) of the other turks.
    Toms do best when they have considerable "leg room" and are kept out-of-sight of the hens. I'd be concerned with the jennie's well being and would get her out of the mix before breeding season sets in.
     
  4. davearcade

    davearcade Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks ivan. I do have a pic but the site isnt leting me upload it. I'll try tonight from a different cpu.

    Would seperating hens when clearly identified be a good idea for the future?
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    I'm not certain about this BYC platform as to whether new members (less than 20 posts) can upload photos to album, but not place in post (or not upload at all). Can link from another photo hosting site, however.

    Yes, more than one tom? Separate out the tom you want to do the breeding with the already separated hen. A length of that cheap, black, 48" "garden fabric, zip tied to the fence separating breeding pair from other toms (at eye level) will keep the tension level down (out-of-sight is out-of-mind).

    Most common breeding injury: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/919407/female-injured that becomes more likely when more than one tom is trying to knock another "off the perch".
     
  6. davearcade

    davearcade Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    This was about 24 hours after cull to fridge. Clotted blood maybe?

    The rest are acting normal now.
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Thanks for posting the shot. Was the coloration diffuse (throughout organ or just the surface of the organ) and did the liver "feel" like a normal turkey liver (firm to touch, or otherwise?). I'd guess melanin or oxidized blood but without any other abnormalities observed it is hard to know what the cause was. I'd suggest posting a new thread in the Emergencies/Diseases sub forum (with any additional information that you can think of) with the photo (if you still have the liver section it and post shot of interior, as well). The regulars there might have seen such in another species of poultry/game bird). Just keep a very close eye on the rest. If nothing untoward appears (feed intake/behavior/droppings) for a couple of months then I'd guess toxin/some genetic anomaly.
     
  8. davearcade

    davearcade Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes it was the same throughout the liver. It felt like a normal live but slightly more jello like. Thanks for your help.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Interesting, may I send those pictures to an avian pathologist at UC Davis?

    -Kathy
     
  10. davearcade

    davearcade Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2014
    Hi Kathy,

    Yes you can…thanks for asking.

    Thankfully the rest of the turkeys are back to normal. We move our turkeys around in electric fencing, and when the bird died it was in an area with a large mulch pile. We've been thinking there may have been something in there that was toxic. My wife works at an animal hospital and the doctors there though it may have eaten a piece of metal and been poisoned.

    Thank you for helping with the mystery.
    Dave
     

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