Turkey Leg proplem

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by MorganC, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Idaho
    Hey all,
    Just saw this thread on leg problems in turkeys, I have been having a similar problem with a BBB hen of mine. She is nearly 3 months old, not ready for slaughter yet (that is why I have them) and developed about a week ago a strange leg/hip/bone issue. I have come to the conclusion that this is irreversible so we are going to butcher her, but wanted to get your thoughts on what it could be for the next round of turkeys. One day she just started walking around with her tail down, not like the rest of the turkeys, so knew something was up. She was like that for three days, gave her ACV to try and kick whatever she was fighting and it didn't help. Then on day three it seemed like she was having trouble walking, like an old dog with arthritis in its hips; she would sit down abruptly and would kinda fumble to get up and would walk like she was in pain in her hips. This continued into day four, then day five she just went down and stopped getting up. Currently, she is down and can no longer bend her legs (due to the loss of tender flexibility).
    I consulted a long time commercial BBW turkey breeder and he said it was a genetic bone issue that shows up at 2 weeks and if it doesn't kill them then, it will show up between 12-14 weeks and then cause this issue. So he thinks it's a genetic bone issue. We've had it pop up every now and then with past batches of turkeys but not like this.

    THOUGHTS?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I would trust what the breeder told you. I have seen some leg problems in turkeys. Some are from imbalances and deficiencies in the diet. I personally think they sometimes grow too fast due to too rich of a diet. I try not to use too high of protein in their feed and step it down after 4 weeks. Though you are trying to grow your turkeys quickly and BB are bred to grow rapidly.
     
  3. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Idaho
    Well, we started on a 22% meat bird feed (ironically designed to take meat birds from start to finish) and about 4 weeks ago we switched them to a all purpose feed that is 17% protein.
    We are going to take them to slaughter in August or September, depending on weights as they are all 10-13 pounds right now and we don't want them over 25 pounds dressed.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like you know what you are doing. I'm sorry I'm no help. I would assume it's normal to have leg troubles occasionally.
     
  5. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Idaho
    So, update on the lame turkey...
    We processed the turkey after it had been immobile for 8 days.
    Still have enough strength to last another 2-3 days while butchering.
    Very healthy looking liver and no fatty heart. Huge gizzard but not diseased.
    When cutting off bones, the wing tips and the feet/legs up to the hocks looked fine, no swelling or discolorations on the bones or joints.
    Flesh looks fine, will know more after we take the meat off the rest of the carcass.
     

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