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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32857
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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i have turkeys for xmas and they are losing the strenth in

Customer Question

i have turkeys for xmas and they are losing the strenth in ther legs
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you. We don't have many avian vets on the UK site at this time.

Nutritional imbalances should be incriminated when more than one bird is symptomatic as you describe. An imbalance of calcium and phosphorus, and a lack of vitamin D3 and B complex vitamins are most common. Nutritional imbalances will result in perosis which describes a number of abnormalities including softening of the leg bones, enlarged and misshapen hocks, slipped tendons, twisted shanks, bowed legs, spraddle leg and lameness.

You're likely to be feeding a commerically available turkey feed that should be properly balanced in calcium and phosphorus but may be past its expiration date as is common when feed is stored in large containers and not turned over quickly. Vitamin potency, then, may be diminished so I recommend that you begin adding a water soluble vitamin supplement to your birds' water. Offer fresh greens which are rich in calcium such as romaine lettuce and make sure that your birds are exposed to natural sunlight which is necessary for proper vitamin D3 metabolism.

Some birds have a genetic predisposition to perosis and so if supplementation isn't helpful, culling should be considered as well as a new source for your turkeys. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.