Turkeys dieing

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Debbie Robinson, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Debbie Robinson

    Debbie Robinson Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2012
    I bought 2 baby turkeys in April 2012, and last week right after I fed them, not 5mins later one just up and died. A week later the second one is acting strange, not gobbling, just standing in one spot with his snood held short. He keeps blinking his eys, laying around. I think this one is dying too. I feed them chicken grain, and cracked corn. They have free run of the yard, but there isn't a place where they can get into anything bad for them. One turkey, the one that is still living, has always had very swollen feet. HUGE! No sores, just big. The one that died last week weighed 39.8lbs. dressed out and with no wing tips. This turkey is even bigger. My husband thinks he had a stroke and his heart is giving out. Do turkeys get bad hearts for being so big?
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I haven't had turkeys for very long, but I have read that the bigger breeds, which yours sound like, can and often do have many health problems that are associated with rapid growth and obesity. My two big girls are about the same age as yours and starting to have problems getting around.
     
  3. Debbie Robinson

    Debbie Robinson Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Hi, Thanks for emailing me. I just talked to the farm store where I got them, and they just said that this breed of turkey, just grow very fast and their bodies can't handle it. They are bred to be slaughtered at a younger age than what they are now. That way they don't get so huge.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I also read that they can't mate naturally and have to be AI'd.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  5. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right on all counts. Feed stores sell the BB type Hybred turkeys that should be slaughtered by 6 months or so. You can keep them longer, but have to restrict their diet, so their bones and heart can keep up with their massive weight. Honestly, they should be raised only for fast meat producing and slaughtered young to fill your freezer. Heritage breeds, on the other hand will take at least 9 or 10 months to reach a nice eating size, for their bodies to enlarge and then fill out, but can reproduce naturally and provide plenty of turkey over many generations, only much slower ! Most feed stores do not sell this type. The BB costs less and is quicker and they sell more, because most will not even attempt AI.
     
  6. Debbie Robinson

    Debbie Robinson Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Yes, I know. I wasn't planing on breeding. Just wanted them for pets. Thanks
     
  7. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You want to get a heritage breed then. Read up on turkey breeds, first. As they range from very large, like STANDARD Bronze and Holland White to very tiny like Midget whites, that only get to be the size of a large chicken. Some are very colorful and some rather plain in comparison. Turkeys can be a lot of FUN, too. [​IMG]
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    All of my turkeys are pets that I rescued from the feed store. This year they lost at least 90% of the ones that they hatch for their "breeding program". In addition to hatching RP's, they bought some BBW's for resale... Not sure how many of those they lost.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I've only had turkeys for a year and if I could start over again, I would have nothing but turkeys and peafowl. I just love them!
     

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