why do my turkeys keep dying!!!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cgjsmith, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    I bought 8 BBR and 8 Slate poults this year. They guy i got them from is great. Right off the bat 2 of the slates started acting sluggish and died so I though Coccidia. So I started sulmate every other day. then I moved them to a pen with outside run (they were lots olderlike 6 weeks) and they started dying in droves. so I moved them back into a inside pen and still two more have died. I don't know what else to do. My adult RPs are dong great but I can't raise apoult to save my life. Crystal
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    I don't know what is happening with your poults, but from everyone I've heard that young turkey poults have a high mortality rate. After 8 weeks they're virtually indestructible. That's been my experience.

    Going outside may have exposed them to something that made them sick. Were there chickens in the run previously? Also, someone else on here recently reported that they don't put their poults on dirt because they've had much better luck keeping them in a brooder floor. I put mine on grass mostly, but I've noticed that some I raised on a dirt floor are not growing as fast as the others.

    Also, they must have grit at a young age and high protein. One of my 3 week olds recently had runny poo and I got worried, but decided not to treat for coccidia (because I want to sell them as organic and never having had medication) and it cleared up within a day or two. I keep that one inside a brooder at night and every day put it outside in a grass pen.

    You should write the details of how you're caring for them so that someone on BYC can give you more feedback. It likely has nothing to do with the person you bought them from.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  3. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Lakeland, Ga
    Search blackhead disease, It resembles cocci and turkeys are a magnet to it..
    crb1487 likes this.
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Blackhead has clear symptoms (including a blackened head when they die) so you should be able to tell if that's what it was.
  5. Pine Grove

    Pine Grove Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Lakeland, Ga
    Actually the blackend head is the lesser of the symptoms, And thats mostly seen in older birds....
    crb1487 likes this.
  6. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Poults don't like a change in anything. At all. Moving them probably stressed them out. Plus poults will die if you blink at them.

    I've had to slowly get used to raising turkeys. The first time I bought poults I easily lost $100 trying to get things right. The second time around was a lot better. Still, I baby them more than anything else in the yard (except for my goslings since I'm a big worrier with them). When it rains I make sure they aren't anywhere wet, when everyone is eating I sneak them food in a different spot so I know they won't be bullied. I'm sure if I didn't do that then I'd have lost more than I did.

    Right now I have another batch of 30 poults I'm fussing with. I've already three to random weird things. I'm tempted to put a broody hen in with them. She won't be able to officially take care of them all but she can at least teach them things and be a warm body for weak ones to snuggle up to.

    Good luck with yours [​IMG]
  7. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We raise 100's of poults every year and it's very very rare we loose any, they are a little tricky at first but it's not that hard at all.

    First of all the parent stock has ALOT to do with the overall health of your poults. We cull our flock hard and only keep the best of the best, that makes for strong healthy poults. Also the age of the parent stock, a yearling hen will have better fertility, hatchability than and older hen.

    When they hatch you want to add a little bit of vitamins to the water and make sure they are all eating and drinking. Don't over crowd them or they will pile and smother the ones on the bottom. We start them off with a 250watt heat lamp in colder weather but let the poults tell us what temp they want. If they are huddled under the lamp it's to cold and in the corners to hot. They should be milling around eating and drinking. Alot of people say not to raise turks and chickens together but we have done it for years with no issues. A couple chicks in the brooder with poults will help them to eat and drink.

    Another thing is don't move them outside to quickly. We brood ours in the backroom for about 4 weeks and the move them to the barn for another 4 to 6 depending on the weather. It's much wamer here now so we can push them along faster. In early spring it takes much longer.

    We use medicated 28% game bird starter for the 1st 4 weeks and then switch to a medicated 20% start n grow until they are about 16 weeks. After that they can join the rest of the flocks.

    Hope that helps some?
    crb1487 likes this.
  8. warcard

    warcard Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    SE Indiana
    We used to live in your area until last fall, and we also had almost no luck raising poults. What finally helped us was 'Eprinex' a topical Ivermectin.

    See this website on how to use it:

    The dose is very small for the little guys (about 0.05cc), but we had a much better success rate after using it. It is marketed as a cattle wormer so comes in a fairly large bottle, but I don't think it goes bad. It kills all kinds of worms and alot of mites.

    As soon as the turkeys hit dirt use this. Keep the sulfate on hand just in case.

    Former Manchester, TN resident
    crb1487 likes this.
  9. jennifermurdock

    jennifermurdock Hatching

    Aug 23, 2016
    I kept my turkey poults from dying by giving them neem leaf powder in their water every day.

    I had a similar situation just this year. We had got some turkey poults mail order. In July (of all times!), the night temperature had dropped to the 50's and I think that helped chill them.

    They were all living when we opened the box, but once they got in the brooder, the next day they started dropping dead! Every day at least one would die, and then it got to be where I was losing 2 or 3 a day. They would just sort of look all sad looking and wouldn't eat, but they would drink.

    I was down to almost HALF of the turkeys and the ones still alive were looking not happy. I had just received some neem leaf powder in the mail as the turkeys were dying off. I took some of the powder and mixed it into their water (luckily most were at least still drinking). Guess what? IT SAVED THEM!! And, it's absolutely natural too!! I know it was the neem leaf powder because as they were recovering, a few days after that I stopped adding it to the water and they started to look sick again after one day. One wouldn't eat so I took some of the powder, mixed it in with a tiny bit of the mash I was giving them (I wetted it so it would be a tiny 'pill' with the mash and the powder) and got it down the poults throat. I also resumed putting the powder into their water. They pretty much perked right up and I did not lose another bird!

    I then slowly (very slowly) withdrew the neem leaf powder. They're over a month old now and still kicking. We had a chick waterer (about a pint or so) and I only filled up the lower part of the waterer. I added about a teaspoon to start in about 3 ounces of water and I slowly cut back once they seemed to recover.
    crb1487 and hyelaw like this.
  10. rita10

    rita10 Hatching

    Apr 2, 2015
    Hi I have some Turkey pelts and had the same happen what I have found that some of them can be slow to eat and drink so what I do is 7 days after I set the eggs I put a few hen eggs in with them so they hatch the same time and they show them how to eat and drink I find that they can be very lazy then they are pushed to the back and starve and or dehydrate. When I have chick's I dip the beaks in water so I know they have had water I think doing this it is worth it.
    I also put extra drinker's and feeders in just for a few days.
    I look in the pen and see what birds are by the walls they can be the ones that are being pushed out.
    A little time spent save a lot of birds.
    crb1487 likes this.

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