sick turkey and chickensgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have two separate problems in my flock right now. First, a young tom turkey is showing neurological symptoms, holding his head at a weird angle and having trouble walking and balancing. He is upright, but is keeping his head cocked strangely. Also noticed discoloration of his wattle, but no real trauma or bruising like you'd see if he had gotten beaten up. Could this be the dreaded "blackhead"? This bird is a pet we raised from a tiny chick. The second problem has been going on for some time now, on & off. My hens (and lately a couple of turkeys, too) will develop swollen eyes, and they will have rattly, sneezy breathing. The hens are usually dead within a couple days of showing symptoms, but the two turkeys who got sick recently lasted for DAYS with these horribly swollen eyes (sinuses, I guess) that looked like they could explode. They moved around and ate and drank like they felt fine, but finally I just couldn't look at them like that anymore and so I had them put to sleep. This was after trying injectable tetracycline on them, with no result. In fact, nothing I have tried over the years has helped with this problem. I heard once that there is a disease carried by sparrows that might be the problem here. Anybody know what I'm dealing with? Thanks.
-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (email@example.com), August 07, 2000
I check all of my references. The only symptoms of blackhead I can find are a general droopiness and orange or yellow colored droppings. It is caused by a worm picked up normally from chicken droppings. Since it is a worm, your vet may prescribe a treatment upon confirmation (which I assume would involve a stool sample.)
On the chicken eye problem the only thing I can find is something called eye worms (oxyxpirura mansoni) which become lodged under the nictating membrane of the eye, thus causing irritation and inflammation so the bird winks consinuously and scratches its eye or rubs it against the body. The cockroach serves as the intermediate host. Have you seen any around your henhouse? Confirmation is by using a local anesthetic in the eye and then putting a solution directly on the worms. This must not be a common problem because I could find eye worms in only one reference.
A call to the vet on both seems in order.
-- Ken S. (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 07, 2000.
It may be infectious synovitis. Go to the feed store and ask them for medication for it. It is supposed to be mixed in with the drinking water. I think the name is Duramycin, but would not swear to it. Also, there is a disease that somewhat resembles blackhead that is really caused by the botulism organism and is contracted from eating maggots from rotting flesh. This is unlikely, but possible. If the turkey is free range, it might have found some small wild animal that is decaying somewhere unnoticed. Also, there is a group that is dedicated to raising turkeys, called the Rare Heritage Turkey Onelist. Go to www.dogpile.com and do a search for Rare Heritage Turkeys. That should give you the link. You will have to register to post. When you register, DO NOT sign up to be on the email listing so that you get all postings. This group easily generates 100+ postings/day. There are people there who know a lot about turkeys and have raised many, many of them. Good luck.
-- Green (email@example.com), August 07, 2000.