Turkey's with possible Blackhead disease, are they safe to eat?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by KidsKOG, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. KidsKOG

    KidsKOG New Egg

    Sep 25, 2011
    I have two female turkey's that are 21 weeks old and about 10 days ago they started to show symptoms of Blackhead disease (just figured this out today), there is also a Tom that is showing possible symptoms. They are scheduled to be butchered in 10 days and they are all eating and drinking a little though one has not walked for over a week (but can stand on own).
    My question is whether I should be culling these three and discarding their carcass' or should I butcher them with the rest and eat as normal? My other concern is should I try and get them butchered earlier so the other 7 don't get sick? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I personally would not eat any bird that is sick. I would burn the carcass.
  3. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    <Bump> I'm wondering the answer to this question, too.
  4. Jocasta

    Jocasta Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2011
    Aside from any possible contamination, on a purely practical level, blackhead would cause significant muscle loss so I doubt there'd be much meat on the carcass anyway.

    That said, can you not treat them? 10 days isn't long to get them healthy and I certainly wouldn't want to be using strong meds that close to slaughter, but high doses of garlic, grapefruit seed extract and cayenne pepper all at once in all feed may be enough to kick it in the bud.

    If these birds are mixing with other birds already, chances are your whole flock will have already been exposed to the protozoan that causes blackhead (if indeed, this is what they have). In which case, the above therapeutic strategies would be sensible as a preventative measure for all your birds.

    And as for the original question, no, I wouldn't eat a bird with untreated blackhead disease - or any other illness for that matter.
  5. Evelle

    Evelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    North Idaho
    Quote:i agree gave mine organic apple cider vinager, garlic and pumpkin for 6 days and they came out of what i thought was blackhead (now not to sure)
    but they are back to normal happy pecking everyone and getting into the barn stealing food from me [​IMG]

    1 person likes this.
  6. blakhawq

    blakhawq New Egg

    Jul 11, 2013
    I know this is an older post, but I thought I'd reply for anyone else wondering...
    Blackhead disease is an internal parasite, the meat is ok, just do not eat the liver. It is up to you if you want to eat the bird depending on the birds condition. Many of them get very unthrifty and stunted/thin, therefore the meat quality/quantity is affected. Health/safety wise, a turkey affected by this is fine to eat, just personal preference on if you chose to or not.
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Secondary systemic infections often go hand-in-hand with blachead (histomoniais), so if you feel safe eating a a bird that might have septicemia due to a raging e. Coli infection, go ahead, lol, but I sure wouldn't! FWIW, two of my birds that died from blackhead also had systemic bacterial and fungal infections.

    1 person likes this.

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