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Turkey and chicken health

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sylverfly, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northeastern Michigan
    So I've heard you shouldn't house turkey with chickens due to blackhead but who gives blackhead to who. I have a coop that chickens have been living in for three years and I'm moving them to a bigger coop and was considering getting some turkeys. Can I raise turkey in the coop or will they get blackhead, or is it the other way around and you can't put chickens in where turkey have been. Just thinking before I act, and are there any other diseases I need to know about. Thanks

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I know nothing about this disease but here's someone who can tell ya.

    Blackhead is a disease picked up by turkeys from chickens. Yes, it is fatal. This is one of the main reasons I do not mix my fowl breeds at all. Chickens only live with chickens. Turkeys with turkeys. Ducks with ducks. Etc.
    LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
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  3. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northeastern Michigan
    Ok, so putting turkey in where chickens have been is a no-no, thanks. Is there any kind of bird I can house in the coop after the chickens leave? Like quail, pheasants, guineas, or are they all in the same boat and in danger of catching something. Its sad to see such a nice little coop sitting empty.
  4. SpeedysBigRed

    SpeedysBigRed In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2009
    Blackhead disease (also known simply as blackhead) is a commercially important avian disease that affects chickens, turkeys and other poultry birds. The disease carries a high mortality rate and primarily affects the liver and cecum. It is a form of histomoniasis which is transmitted by the protozoan parasite Histomonas meleagridis. The protozoan is in turn transmitted by the nematode parasite Heterakis gallinarum.[1][2] H. meleagridis resides within the eggs of H. gallinarum so that birds ingest the parasites along contaminated soil or food.[3] Earthworms can act as a paratenic host [1]. Symptom of the infection is characterized by the development of cyanotic (bluish) discoloration on the head and hence the common name, but apparently a misnomer, of the disease, "blackhead".[4]

    Poultry (especially free-ranging) and wild birds, commonly harbor a number of parasitic worms with only mild health problems for them. Turkeys are much more susceptible to getting blackhead than are chicken. Thus chicken can be infected carriers for a long time because they aren't removed or medicated by their owner, and they don't die or stop eating/defecating. H. gallinarum eggs can remain infective in soil for four years [2] thus there is a high risk of transmitting blackhead to turkeys if they graze areas with chicken feces [3] in this time frame. Thermophilic composting is known to sanitize soil from ascarid (another nematode) eggs.

    The most common symptom of blackhead disease is yellow watery bird droppings. To reduce the spreading of Blackhead disease, the sick birds must be removed and their litter changed.

    This is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I am sorry I wish I knew but if you go to google search to the right above you can type in all your questions and find most answers..
  6. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

    Apr 7, 2010
    you should be able to find out if your area is high at risk from blackhead, ask around or ring local enviromental people they should be able to tell you.
    many people keep turkeys and chickens together without any problems (i have " ronquieres" in with my orpington flock)

    just remember if you buy the turkeys as chicks, keep them on wire (off the ground) for the beginning of their lives (i kept mine in raised houses + runs away from any dirt/ground/earth for 12 weeks)

    if you take a trip over to BYC's tµurkey section you should get all the info u need on the risks of blackhead and housing chickens+ turkeys together [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Lots of people keep chickens and turkeys together. If I were considering it, I'd check with the country extension agent about whether blackhead was a problem in my area. If I were going to reuse an old coop, and I would, I would disinfect it first, probably with a dilute bleach solution, then let it air dry well.

    Not that I know any magic answers, just what I would do.

  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:The turkey experts are in the Turkey section. Try going to the Turkey section and reading the threads. We have an active discussion going on at this time about blackhead. One of our BYC'ers has lost a few turkeys to blackhead as early as a few days ago.

    See thread below:

    Blackhead is our worst enemy and fear. See you in the turkey section.


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