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Animal Husbandry > Turkey

Disease management

Turkeys are relatively more resistant to some of the diseases as compared to chicken. Infection from Marek's disease and Infectious Bronchitis are extremely rare. Ranikhet disease and Coccidiosis occur only in mild form. The most common diseases are Fowl pox, Fowl cholera, Fowl typhoid, Mycoplasmosis, Blue comb and round worm infections. Although effective drugs are available for prevention and treatment of most of these diseases, greater emphasis should be placed on prevention.

  • Although turkeys are resistant to various diseases but the veterinary care is required at initial stages and for vaccinations etc.
  • The turkeys are completely resistant to Marek's and Infectious Bronchitis, Ranikhet, Fowl pox and Coccidiosis occur in mild form. Some of the commonly encountered diseases in turkeys are Fowl Cholera, Erysipelas, Haemorrhagic enteritis and Avian Influenza. The turkeys are protected from fowl cholera and Erysipelas by vaccination.

Some disease that can be seen in turkey is given below.

Common disease of Turkey Cause Symptoms Prevention
Arizonosis Salmonella arizona

Poults unthrifty and may develop eye opacity and blindness.

Susceptible age 3-4 weeks

Elimination of infected breeder flock and hatchery fumigation and sanitation
Blue comb disease Corona virus Depression, loss of weight, frothy or watery droppings, darkening of head and skin Depopulation and decontamination of farm. Give rest period.
Chronic respiratory disease Mycoplasma gallisepticum Coughing, gurgling, sneezing, nasal exudates Secure Mycoplasma free stock
Erysipelas Erysipelothrix rhusiopathidae Sudden losses, swollen snood, discoloration of parts of face, droppy Vaccination
Fowl cholera Pasturella multocida Purplish head, greenish yellow droppings, sudden death Sanitation and disposal of dead birds
Fowl pox Pox virus Small yellow blisters on comb and wattles and scab formation Vaccination
Haemorrhagic enteritis Virus One or more dead birds Vaccination
Infectious synovitis Mycoplasma gallisepticum Enlarged hocks, foot pads, lameness, breast blisters Purchase clean stock
Infectious sinusitis Bacteria Nasal discharge, swollen sinuses and coughing Secure poults from disease free breeders
Mycotoxicosis Fungal origin Haemorrhages, pale fatty liver and kidneys Avoid feed spoilage
New castle disease Paramyxo virus Gasping, wheezing, twisting of neck, paralysis, soft shelled eggs Vaccination
Paratyphoid Salmonella pullorum Diarrhea in poults Prevention and flock sanitation
Turkey coryza Bordetella avium Snicking, rales and discharge of excessive nasal mucus Vaccination
Coccidiosis Coccidia spp Bloody diarrhea and loss of weight Proper sanitation and management of litter
Turkey venereal disease Mycoplasma meleagris Lowered fertility and hatchability Strict sanitation

Vaccination Schedule

Day old
ND-B1 strain
4th and 5th week
Fowl pox
6th week ND- (R2B)
8-10 weeks Cholera vaccine
(Source: Central Poultry Development Organisation, Hessarghatta)

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