Turkey Drowning & CPR

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kuntrygirl, May 17, 2010.

  1. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I had a turkey drowning on yesterday. I had let my 12 baby turkeys out to roam around with their mothers like I do daily. They are about 6 weeks old and have feathered out beautiful. The mothers are so aggressive; I am not worried about my chickens or ducks attacking the babies. The mothers will fight my roosters if they get within 3 feet of the babies. Well on yesterday the baby turkeys were out all day. I went out about 6pm to make sure that they had gone back into their roosting area like they normally do. Well as I am opened the gate and walked into the chicken yard, I noticed 2 of the baby turkeys had fallen into the deep waterer. One was trying to get out of the waterer and the other baby was lifelessly floating at the top. I immediately pulled both of them out and placed the one that was trying to get out into its stall. The other baby was limp with no life. I immediately began by turning it on its stomach and started pumping its chest and stomach with my thumb. It’s still small at 6 weeks and I didn’t want to apply too much pressure. I pumped its chest and stomach over and over and over. I did this for what seemed to be about 30 minutes but I’m sure it was only 5 minutes. Well, water and feed started coming out its mouth. This was a good sign so, I continued. After about 5 minutes I ran inside and put both of them under the heat lamp. The other turkey was in shock. It was shaking badly. The baby whose stomach I was pumping was still unconscious. I laid it down on a towel under the heat lamp but it didn’t move. I picked it up and started rubbing its back and stomach and chest and talking to it. I kept telling it to breath and that he would be ok. I was talking to it the entire time. A little more water was still coming out as I pumped its chest and stomach with my thumb. At this time, I thought that I needed this baby to breath, so my CPR skills kicked in. I sat on the bathroom toilet, and began Infant CPR. I opened up its mouth, covered its mouth with my hand (modified to make sure that air went into its lungs) and blew very lightly into its mouth as I gave chest compressions with 1 finger. I did this for about 2 minutes. I placed it back under the heat lamp and I saw a little movement and say it breathing again. I was so relived. I sat with it a while to make sure that the heat lamp temperature was just right and prayed. I ran back outside to count all of the turkeys to make sure no other turkeys were missing and had drowned in another area of the yard. Luckily, everyone was accounted for. I locked all of the animals in and ran back inside. I check on my baby and it was breathing very faintly. I decided to let it rest and wait to see what would happen. I took a shower and paced around the house for about 30 minutes. I decided to go back into bedroom to check on it. The other turkey was doing better. Its feathers were drying and it was standing. I looked at my other baby and lo and behold IT WAS STANDING!!! I exhaled and thanked God for answering my prayers. I could not believe that she was alive and standing. Although she was still a little wobbly as she stood, she was alive. She was trembling as she stood under the heat lamp for warmth. I was so happy. All I could do was pick her up and kiss her. I watched both of them for a few minutes and then I let them warm up more. After another hour, they seemed to be warm. They were just standing up and I could tell that both of them were exhausted. I think the light from the read heat lamp was keeping them up. So, I removed them from the heat lamp and moved them into the bathroom and turned off the light, so that they could get some sleep. I checked on them 30 minutes after that and they were sound asleep. I looked in on them this morning as soon as I got up and both of them are doing wonderful. They were walking running and making the noise that baby turkeys make. I am so grateful that my babies lived through this ordeal. As I think about it, I think I know how this accident happened. One of the mama turkeys had a special place that she would roost. It was on a landing board in the open shed were the nesting boxes are. I think the mother decided to go back to her old roosting area to roost and 2 of the babies followed her. I think they tried to fly up on the roosting board and missed it and fell in the waterer (a 55 gallon drum cut down the middle and used to hold water for the sheep) and wasn’t able to get out.

    So, now I have to turkey proof the barnyard and keep a closer eye on them until they are big enough to where I don’t have to worry about them.

    I know that a person who doesn’t have animals would probably ridicule me for doing CPR on a baby turkey and working on it to get the water out of it’s body but I love my animals and I would do anything and everything that I could to help them. After all, I take full responsibility for them almost drowning.
  2. lizareny

    lizareny In the Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    Nah, no ridiculing here....Good job, I'm glad it worked out for you. A CPR success story is always a good story [​IMG]
  3. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    All I have to say is WOW! That is incredible. I unfortuately had a chick that just drowned in a chick waterer with momma hen right there. I had checked on all the chicks at 6:30am and all was fine. By 9am this little one was gone. I did try to revive it, but did not try a full CPR. I felt guilty then and now I wonder if I could have helped it more. What you did was awesome.
  4. OmaBird

    OmaBird Songster

    May 10, 2010
    CA High Desert
    Great Job. I am pretty good with CPR too. Its a good skill to know. I have done it on birds, baby goats and I once saved my daughter 1 1/2 pound Chihuahua that heart and breathing stoped after falling off the bed and hitting his head. My vet was so suprised.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  5. longranger

    longranger Songster

    Apr 23, 2009
    laguna hills CA
    Amazing story. I am surprised the poult that needed CPR made it. Problem is that CPR in a small bird is more likely to cause lethal aspiration or damage the lungs than help. You must have done it just right so no monday morning quarterbacking here. Great save.
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Wow, that is amazing! Good for you! And the chicks. Yay!
    I lost 2 babies in a deep waterer that I thought they were too tiny to reach. Then I lost one in 2 inches of water when it was quite small. I finally learned. Now, if I have chicks around, I put no more than 1/2 inch in the watering pan, or I only put out the chick-type waterer where they can only reach in with their beaks at the edge. Haven't lost a chick since then (for the past 2 years).
    but your revival story makes me feel better that you were able to save the little guy!
  7. nuts4chickens

    nuts4chickens Songster

    Sep 19, 2009
    Kingston, GA
    That is a WONDERFUL and heartwarming story. I had 3 chicks drown about 6 weeks ago and it was heartwrenching! So glad they are doing well and you knew just what to do! Congrats to you and your babies!
  8. chickenlover222

    chickenlover222 In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2009
    Brown Summit
    That's great [​IMG] i've tried to do CPR(not the kissing part) but trying to pump the water out but i was to late
    or just didn't know how to do it. But if it happens again ill try the other thing. But like i said that is a wonderful story and im happy your turkey lived.[​IMG]
  9. wisbird

    wisbird Hatching

    Jun 10, 2016
    Sheboygan wi
    I would like to thank you for the article, Last night I had a turkey fall into a garbage can that had a foot or so of water. I found the turkey still alive but shaking and spazzing out. I quickly pulled it out, I dried it off at that point I Googled what to do, found your article and put it under a heat lamp about a hour later it was calling for its friends! Thank you for your help.

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