This is our first time experiencing turkeys. We started out with just 3 little turkeys. A Royale Palm and two Narragansett. Now they need a name; I kept calling them different things here and there. Nothing seem to stick. Until I said to Jason, what about Jack and Diane from the song? You know Two American kids growing up in the heartland. Who sings that song? Mellencamp right? Yep! Now, what to name the third one? Jason’s says we can call it Little Ditty from the song too. I am like what, he starts to sing the beginning verse. Ahh, okay yeah that is super cute! So now they all have names. Little Ditty, Jack, and Diane.
Next hurdle, keeping them alive. Turkey poults have to be shown where their food and water reside. If you see yours not understanding food from pine shavings, you will need to replace the bedding with a towel. They will eat the pine shavings, and it will swell up and kill them. I had to do this for a few weeks. When I moved them to the garage, I placed their food on the towel and put pine shavings on the floor. At this point, they knew the difference. Also, putting them out in the grass too early can also cause problems. They have not developed a good immune system yet. With all this extra attention they will definitely imprint on you. This is where the turkey love comes in!
Sometimes too much love! They follow you around like little puppies. So far I have noticed they have learned some words and actually listen to me when I use them. Like “Come On Turkey Turkey” as I walk they follow. Starting to learn “No!” For some reason, Little Ditty can find everything that isn’t food and want to eat it. When I am sitting down, I can tap my leg and say “Come Here, ” and they jump right up on me for belly rubs. Turkey Love!
Turkey’s I love them, but it has been a rocky start!
I decided to document the problem my turkey poult was having with mites. I am not 100% sure where she picked them up at, but this is my suspicion. The poults were old enough to go outside and enjoy the sunny weather. We pulled an older cage we had sitting near the woods and brought it up to the house. It’s was made of wood that I got for free and I never painted it with anything. Note to self: Be Cautious of untreated wood. Typically I paint everything with a barn and fence paint. I use the oil base as it is a deterrent for any wood boring bugs. If you do have unpainted surfaces, you can clean them regularly with bleach water. I think I am going to burn that cage now and build any temporary cages out of something other than wood.
Let’s talk mites, eewww…
My first encounter with mites. I scoured the internet for days and all I could find were examples of bad cases. This lead me to believe it was not a mite issues, but I still treated for mites according to the internet. Diane the young turkey poult picked her foot until it had a gaping hole in it. I treated that with Vetericyn until I could go to Tractor Supply and get something different. Next, I bought Blu-Kote. This helped with the picking some, but not completely. A few days went by, and still, she was uncomfortable. I was at my wit’s end; I did everything. I kept her feet clean and oiled them also. It’s been a week now, I come home from work, and her face is all swollen and red. Now I am panicking, and I call the vet in our area that is a farm vet. I take her to him. He observes and tells me she has mites on her face and neck. Ugh, he also checks her for parasites and finds tapeworms too! Double Yuck!
He tells me to go pick up some Ivermectin for cattle and get some Valbazen for the tapeworms.
Ivermectin dosage for the poults is ½ ml and 1ml for adult once a week. He says it could take 2-3 doses before all the mites are dried up. I also made sure they could take a dust bath which will help also.
Here are the products I bought and used on my turkey poults.
Now back to her toe issue, I decided to bring her in the house and keep her in a covered crate until it’s all healed up. I clean her feet and spray Vetericyn on the wound. We are on week two the mites are clearing up and her toe is almost healed. YAY! I am so happy! I always keep Vetericyn on hand; it works great on wounds.
This experience was a big one. If I even think it could be a mite, I am not messing around with oils; I am going straight to Ivermectin.