Raising Turkeys

Raising Turkeys - Is Keeping Turkeys With Chickens a Good Idea?


You might have started raising turkeys and you are thinking of keeping turkeys with chickens, would that be a good move?

Most professional turkey growers are not open to that idea. Turkeys are highly susceptible to the Blackhead organisms. 100% mortality results if they contract the disease and they have not been protected with proper medication. A lot of chicken carry Blackhead organisms but these organisms have no apparent effect on them. One of the cardinal rules of turkey growers is avoid the practice of keeping turkeys with chickens.

What is Blackhead disease? And why is keeping turkeys with chickens not the best move a turkey grower could ever do?

Histomonas melagridis is a type of protozoan parasite present in turkeys, and are sometimes found in chickens and game birds, that act together with facultative bacteria thereby producing the condition called Blackhead. With an incubation period of 15-20 days, the parasite is ingested in the Heterakis worms' ova or as larva in earthworms or feces. Turkey transmission is deemed rapid despite the fact that it is not easy to infect birds orally. Recent studies show that infection may readily occur via cloaca or posterior opening when birds are on contaminated litter.

Symptoms of the disease in turkeys are depression, loss of appetite, poor growth, sulfur yellow feces and cyanosis of head. Nitro-imidazoles and nitro furans have been used as treatment to Blackhead disease. There are some herbal products based on essential oils, like Herban, have been successfully used. There are several drugs available and are used by professional growers, though these drugs are not sold in small quantities or in some locations that are easily accessible to small growers.

The best way to prevent Blackhead disease is to avoid keeping turkeys with chickens or other fowl animals. You have to maintain good sanitation in your turkey housings. If possible, use concrete floors. You have to make sure to do regular worming to better control intermediate hosts.

Care, sanitation, and isolation are keys to a successful disease control program in turkeys. Some professional growers say that if turkeys are not care for properly, they will look for ways to die!



Other Articles:

Farming Turkeys For Beginners - What Farming Practice Should You Engage In?

Feeding Turkey - Steps and Techniques in Feeding Turkey to Make Them Plump for Thanksgiving Dinner

Easy Guide to Rearing Turkeys - Tips Turkey Owners Should Know Before Buying More

How to Raise Baby Turkeys - Considerations Before Even Beginning to Operate Any Livestock at Home

Beginner's Guide to Turkey Rearing

How To Raise Turkeys – Common Mistakes and Problems to Avoid When Raising Turkeys

Keeping Turkeys - A Beginner's Guide to Keeping Turkeys As Pets at Home


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