Why do my turkeys die?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by CarolynEarley, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. CarolynEarley

    CarolynEarley In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2012
    We have managed to rear more turkeys this year than the last two and I thought we had got them past the dangerous time. They are about 4-5 months now. But in the last week we have had 3 die. My husband 'opened them up' to see if he could see why they died and noticed that their intestines were bloated (and smelt vile). Any idea what the cause of this might be?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    What are you feeding them? Are they ranging over a large area with natural forage or maintained in a yard area where only feed is taken in? What breed(s) were these? How many do you have left living and what is their current condition? Had you noticed any change in the intake of feed/water in the days leading up to the loss? What sort of droppings are you seeing in the area they are/were in?
  3. CarolynEarley

    CarolynEarley In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2012
    They are in an area of about 2000 sq.metres along with chickens, geese and ducks. We feed them a grain mix/layers mash in the mornings and corn in the afternoons, and throw in grass from the garden. There are orange trees and olive trees in the pen. This has not changed. The symptons are that they stop eating and become less active. Then they die a day or two later - it seems very quick from the first sign that they are unwell. I don't know the breed name - they are mostly black, with a few bits of white and we have two pure white ones. Their poo is loose, but not like water. I have penned them off and am feeding them 'baby food for poultry' - we are in Crete so I don't know the equivalent in England. It contains some medicines. I have also added Baycox to the water from yesterday and I think they poorly looking two have picked up a bit today. Some strive and others die.
    As I said when my husband looked into the insides of the ones that died their intestines seemed swollen and smelt bad.
    I am hoping that the Baycox is doing the trick, but I would like to know what the cause of the problem in the first place.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  4. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Songster

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I am no expert but I have had a similar experience. I believe they are dying from coccidiosis. I have chickens and I suspect the cocci load is high here. I give them an antibiotic that treats this (Corid) but I am not always successful in keeping them alive. My feeling is that those who overcome it are the strongest and have a good chance after they get through the first 3 - 6 months.
    Turkeys need a higher amount of protein than the chickens so you will need to get the highest protein feed you can. I get something that I can feed to everyone. When the next batch of chicks arrive, I will try to give them some medicated feed. It is hard since they all free range and I don't want the others to eat medicated feed.
    I'm told turkeys are very hard to raise. I find those that hatch when it is colder out do best. This supports my theory of coccidiosis since I believe the warmer weather fosters the organism. Good luck.

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