I have a mixed flock of about 200 chickens and turkeys. When I got new turkey poults from a hatchery, many of them died,

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Customer: I have a mixed flock of about 200 chickens and turkeys. When I got new turkey poults from a hatchery, many of them died, along with some of the older birds in the brooder next to them. I sent them for necropsy and the cause of death was bacterial ulcerative enteritis. My adult flock is healthy. The surviving poults are ready to be moved outside, but I don't want to infect my flock. What can I treat the surviving poults with?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Have you spoken to a vet about the infection yet? How long has this been going on with the turkey?
Customer: I only have the necropsy results. None of them acted sick, just died suddenly. Out of the 28 I received from the hatchery, only 12 have survived. Most died in the first 48 hours, a few after a couple weeks. They are about 4 weeks old now.
JA: What's the turkey's name?
Customer: There are 12 of them
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: All of my birds were healthy before I got the new poults. Since I brought them home, I have had several die. I just need to know what to treat them with.
Answered by Jeanne Smith in 4 days 1 year ago
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Jeanne Smith
Pet Specialist
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11,760 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Bird Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Avian Medicine, Poultry Veterinary Medicine

Welcome to JA. I'm Dr. Jeanne Smith. I just came on line and saw your request. I'm sorry no one else was able to respond to you sooner. I'll do my best to help you with home support care and advice for the best course of action. Unfortunately, medication that works against the Clostridia that causes ulcerative enteritis is not allowed to be used in food animals in the US. You can try using penicillin which may have some effect, that's still allowed for use in the US if you're in a state that allows you to purchase it. I'll be right back with more info.

Ulcerative enteritis is predominantly a disease in poorly managed, stressed birds. If you are providing good management and good sanitation you shouldn't see any more of this disease in your birds. It's especially seen in overcrowded situations. Clostridia in low numbers are normal, when the numbers become very large with stress or other challenges to the GI tract it causes ulcerative enteritis.

Customer
I'm relieved that it shouldn't affect my adult flock. I'm still at a loss for how these poults ended up with it. All of my birds were fine, healthy. I have 40 adult birds and added 200 chicks and poults (separated into multiple brooders) and didn't have a single loss. When my youngest poults were 4 weeks old, I got a new shipment of 20 poults. Within 48 hours 8 of those poults, along with 13 of my 4 week olds died. When I notified the hatchery, they sent me 8 more poults, but 5 of those died. Since then I have lost a dozen chicks also. It is devastating to loose so many When everyone was healthy before those poults arrived.
I'm sure it was. The lab didn't find anything else? Coccidiaand GI viruses can can complicate the closridia, or the clostridium can come in on top of another GI disease, causing high mortality. If the lab didn't find anything else, I think you should do okay now with your older survivors.
Customer
Great thank you. All the other cultures and tests were normal, that was all they found. I was terrified I was going to have to cull my entire flock. This is a huge relief!
You're welcome.
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