Worried About Mama Turkey

TaylorB1216

Chirping
Jun 5, 2016
38
11
59
Hi All
So we had an interesting situation early this fall.
One of our hens surprised us with a poult. We free range our birds during the day time, and allow them to either roost in the evenings, or pen them up for protection from predators.

One of our hens had gone missing sometime in early September. She regularly goes broody and we figured she had gone into hiding on a nest somewhere (the trouble is finding her when she does this ...she hides very well).

Usually, we're able to locate her, kick her off the nest and get her back with the flock, but this time around, she was able to hide from us for a good while. She'd come out during the day briefly and sneak back off to the her nest before we had time to locate her. Before we knew it, when we found her, she had a nest and a poult under her. We had no idea they were still breeding as she'd already raised babies late spring into summer, and we hadn't seen any turkey lovin for quite some time (in the spring time, it was constant, and then it really dwindled off and didn't appear to be happening anymore...surprise!).

Well needless to say, she had a poult and has been raising it diligently for over a month. We live in western PA so it's been pretty chilly and wet lately. My concern is as follows: In taking great care to raise her baby, she appears to be neglecting herself. Her feathers are thin and really crappy looking (like right before a full molt), and she also appears quite thin weight wise. We put down more than enough feed daily, including an extra supplement of cracked corn on top of her regular feed. I'm worried with the cold weather coming that it could take a toll on her. Any ideas on what we can do to fatten her up and keep her healthy? We've given her extra straw and pine branches above and around her nesting area to keep her off the ground and keep her nest area warm.

All of our other birds look wonderful, but she's looking rough for sure.
 

R2elk

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Hi All
So we had an interesting situation early this fall.
One of our hens surprised us with a poult. We free range our birds during the day time, and allow them to either roost in the evenings, or pen them up for protection from predators.

One of our hens had gone missing sometime in early September. She regularly goes broody and we figured she had gone into hiding on a nest somewhere (the trouble is finding her when she does this ...she hides very well).

Usually, we're able to locate her, kick her off the nest and get her back with the flock, but this time around, she was able to hide from us for a good while. She'd come out during the day briefly and sneak back off to the her nest before we had time to locate her. Before we knew it, when we found her, she had a nest and a poult under her. We had no idea they were still breeding as she'd already raised babies late spring into summer, and we hadn't seen any turkey lovin for quite some time (in the spring time, it was constant, and then it really dwindled off and didn't appear to be happening anymore...surprise!).

Well needless to say, she had a poult and has been raising it diligently for over a month. We live in western PA so it's been pretty chilly and wet lately. My concern is as follows: In taking great care to raise her baby, she appears to be neglecting herself. Her feathers are thin and really crappy looking (like right before a full molt), and she also appears quite thin weight wise. We put down more than enough feed daily, including an extra supplement of cracked corn on top of her regular feed. I'm worried with the cold weather coming that it could take a toll on her. Any ideas on what we can do to fatten her up and keep her healthy? We've given her extra straw and pine branches above and around her nesting area to keep her off the ground and keep her nest area warm.

All of our other birds look wonderful, but she's looking rough for sure.
She will recover a lot more quickly if you can get some turkey grower to feed her. She is not getting the proper nutrition from the corn so I would cut that out. If turkey grower is not available then get a good all flock feed or even a feather fixer feed. The extra protein in these feeds will help but it is the higher levels of lysine, methionine and niacin that will really help.

If possible, confine her and her poult in an area by herself so that she does not need to be so protective of the poult. Keep a constant source of quality feed and fresh water available.

Good luck.
 

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