Turkeys...starving? Dying, skin and bones

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by onafixedincome, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. onafixedincome

    onafixedincome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, you hear that turkeys, especially young ones, are dumb. Are they dumb enough to not recognize food as food? Seriously. We started with two bourbon red chicks, then combined with another bourbon red (same source for all) and a slate. They did really well up to the last ten days, then seemed thin (they don't live at my house--well, they didn't--they do now, in my living room while we try to get them to recover. All two left.)....and this morning, one died. By the time I got over there to pick them up, another had died and the last two, one bourbon, one slate, are horrendously thin, literally skin and bones. When I saw them last (about 3 or 4 days ago) they were in fairly good shape, just thin-ish, maybe 3-4 lbs each. Current weight is more like 2 lbs. If they're lucky.

    Agewise, they're fully feathered, but not adult. More teenagers.

    BUT...poop is pretty normal in consistency, no diarrhea at all, although there is some bright yellow bile-appearing liquid in there. Skin fold check in several areas over the body say dehydration is an issue; their crops palpated empty or darn close to completely empty.

    So. From an outside temperature of 90+ F (it's been as high as 106 for the last week), they came into my house (quarantine from the chickens) and are at 75-77 degrees with a light at one end of the x-pen they're in. They have both, with some convincing, eaten mealworms and game bird chow, and drank repeatedly but not like they were terribly thirsty (or hungry)...they mostly seem tired (no surprise there). Over the last six hours, they have eaten, drunk, pooped, and rested, with an apparent increase in willingness to eat and drink. They insist on walking through the rather large water bowl, but I can live with lots of water changes.

    Anyone have any ideas for me to try? I plan to worm them tomorrow, if they are still alive. A light dose, see what we get, if some worms, then I'll hit them again.

    I offered:
    Large mealworms. Small mealworms. (The bourbon was familiar with them, the slate not so much, but it's now going after smaller ones with apparent vigor.)
    A mix of various grains (it's an enhanced scratch including corn, peas, wheat, etc.) that seems to interest them.
    Water. Lots and lots of clean water--but they drank better after it was cloudy--maybe trouble seeing the water level when it's clean?
    Canned dog food dollops...they had no interest in that at all, although my chickens go nuts for it.

    Any suggestions more than welcome--thanks!
     
  2. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    You may be giving them too much protein and causing kidney failure. I have read that feeding too many meal worms can cause it. You didn't say how old they are but a sudden drop in temperatures can cause stress, so can being moved to a new location. Depending on their age they should be on a game bird starter or a chick starter with access to some grass. Turkeys will walk through their water if put in the wrong spot. They also may not be able to digest all the grains you are feeding without grit.
     
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  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Please show the source for this false information. Mealworms are approximately 20% protein.

    http://www.grubco.com/nutritional_information.cfm

    Too much salt and too much Calcium can cause kidney problems in poults. For protein to cause kidney problems it has to be around 40% protein.

    http://www.ccbirdclub.com/assets/kidney-disease.pdf

    A good guide for raising poults.

    http://69.195.124.84/~islandx3/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/baby-turkey-care.pdf
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    It was in an article in one of my Backyard Poultry magazines, whether it was accurate or not I don't know, but it does make sense that too much protein can be a bad thing especially in an omnivore like a turkey and especially in young birds. Too much protein can cause loose stools which could cause imbalances.
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Please post the source of this information. It is my belief that you just make up most of your information about high protein and poults.

    I have raised poults for over thirty years feeding them the recommended high protein diet and have never seen any of the problems that you have claimed. The poults in particular need the recommended high protein diet for proper development of their internal organs, bone and musculature structure and feathers.

    As far as poultry and other magazines printing information that is not true, it happens all too often because the writers do not do proper research.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Thanks, but I don't make things up, I try to continually educate myself and learn new things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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  10. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:
    These sources are about chickens and do not apply to the needs of turkeys.

    http://www.ccbirdclub.com/assets/kidney-disease.pdf

    "Another misconception is that the protein level of breeder diets and handfeeding formulas is
    harmful to kidneys. In research studies in poultry, turkeys had to be fed diets with 40% protein to
    produce gout (one clinical sign of kidney disease) and they gradually recovered when put back
    on a diet with 20% protein (the amount of protein usually seen in breeder diets and handfeeding
    formulas). Chickens had to be fed diets with 70% protein to produce gout."
     

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