Turkey passed away...Ground hog? Heart Attack? They are really fat and heavy!!!

Tree Goat

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2020
33
74
46
Waldorf, MD
Do ground hogs prey on turkeys and chickens? I saw a ground hog (GH) today snooping around the fenced run I built. My turkeys and chickens can poke their heads through the fence. I wonder if the GH bit the turkey? Also, the broad breasted turkeys I have are so fat they have a hard time walking. Maybe the dead turkey had a heart attack? I wonder if I should harvest the broad breasted birds? I Any comments much appreciated. Thank you. See pics please.
 

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R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium Feather Member
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Do ground hogs prey on turkeys and chickens? I saw a ground hog (GH) today snooping around the fenced run I built. My turkeys and chickens can poke their heads through the fence. I wonder if the GH bit the turkey? Also, the broad breasted turkeys I have are so fat they have a hard time walking. Maybe the dead turkey had a heart attack? I wonder if I should harvest the broad breasted birds? I Any comments much appreciated. Thank you. See pics please.
It is unlikely that a groundhog killed your turkey. You can inspect the body for wounds. From the condition your turkeys appear to be in, I recommend harvesting them sooner rather than later.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
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I have had groundhogs before. They are herbivores and the only think they destroy is your foundation on your garage and house. It would be a good idea to capture the groundhog.
I would also harvest the turkeys soon.
 

Tree Goat

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2020
33
74
46
Waldorf, MD
It is unlikely that a groundhog killed your turkey. You can inspect the body for wounds. From the condition your turkeys appear to be in, I recommend harvesting them sooner rather than later.
Thank you Bob. The turkey had so many flies and rigamortis had set in so I thought best to bury. I wasn't planning on harvesting any of them (four broad breasted (BB) and ten Black Heritage (BH) turkeys) and I have six chicken hens and one rooster as I invested as pets. I was not aware of the heart attacks the BB birds were prone to. I want to treat them humanely. Do you think the three remaining BB birds will live or are they genetically designed to harvest instead of keeping as pets? The BH birds have a skeletal structure much more like wild turkeys, and they are more lean and do not waddle when the walk. They're not as fat as the BB birds.
Wyoming is a very cool state! Loved driving through and enjoying the scenery.
 

Tree Goat

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2020
33
74
46
Waldorf, MD
I have had groundhogs before. They are herbivores and the only think they destroy is your foundation on your garage and house. It would be a good idea to capture the groundhog.
I would also harvest the turkeys soon.
Thank you CluckerFamily. Please check the response to Bob R2Elk and respond if you want to. Thank you.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium Feather Member
Feb 24, 2013
28,734
129,521
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Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
Thank you Bob. The turkey had so many flies and rigamortis had set in so I thought best to bury. I wasn't planning on harvesting any of them (four broad breasted (BB) and ten Black Heritage (BH) turkeys) and I have six chicken hens and one rooster as I invested as pets. I was not aware of the heart attacks the BB birds were prone to. I want to treat them humanely. Do you think the three remaining BB birds will live or are they genetically designed to harvest instead of keeping as pets? The BH birds have a skeletal structure much more like wild turkeys, and they are more lean and do not waddle when the walk. They're not as fat as the BB birds.
Wyoming is a very cool state! Loved driving through and enjoying the scenery.
BBs are designed to be harvested before they are 6 months old. There are rare cases where people have managed to keep them alive for longer periods of time. I just came across a post about a member's 6 year old BBW. I have kept BBW hens until they were 3. Most people end up having to put them down before they are two years old because of leg or heart issues.

Eat your BB turkeys and enjoy your heritage turkeys.
 

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