Common Turkey Diseases & Problems You Should Know

Turkeys are great bird for raising in your farm. They are also good as pets. But there are some diseases and problems in turkeys. They are like other poultry birds such as chickens and susceptible to diseases and other problems.

Whether you raise turkeys as pets, for meat or as a breeding flock, you should be aware of turkey diseases and problems for avoiding losses and heartbreak of losing your flock.

Turkey Diseases and Problems

Here we are describing about some turkey diseases and problems. Proper care and preventive methods will be helpful for preventing such turkey diseases and other health problems.


Airsacculitis is a respiratory disease and it affects the air sacs of turkeys. Actually you can’t treat airsacculitis, but only prevent this disease.

The main prevention for this disease is to ensuring purchase of poults from disease free hatchery that tests for the disease in their breeding hens and toms.

The poults can get the disease before they are even born. Because the disease is transmitted in the eggs.


Blackhead is a common disease to chickens. It can also affect turkey birds even it causes no symptoms in chickens. So you should not raise turkey poults and baby chicks together.

And if you keep both chickens and turkeys, then ensure separate house for each birds. Never raise turkeys and chickens or any other poultry birds in the same house. And while selecting turkey house it will be better if you place it in such a location where chickens have not been before.

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If you can’t keep your turkeys separate from chickens, then you can purchase some drugs and feed your turkeys for preventing blackhead.


Cannibalism is actually not a disease. It is a problem in the turkey flock and common in most other poultry birds. You can stop cannibalism by giving your birds enough living and range space.

Usually 75 by 75 feet space will be sufficient enough for every 20 turkeys on range. Also ensure proper ventilation system inside their house. Because overheating can also cause cannibalism.


Coccidiosis is a common disease in turkeys that can cause diarrhea and lack of “thrift” or good growth in poults. You can use medicated feed containing drugs for preventing this disease. Always try to keep the litter dry and it is very important.

Because coccidiosis spreads and grows in dirty and wet litter. Letting your poults outside onto pasture by their eight weeks of age and moving roosts to fresh ground inside the house frequently will help to prevent this disease.

You can also vaccinate your chicks against coccidiosis. In case of applying vaccination, you should not feed your birds with medicated feeds. Because feeding medicated feeds after applying vaccines will inactive the vaccine’s activity.


There are some animals and birds around which can harm your turkeys. For keeping your birds happy and safe, you must prevent predators. Always try to provide roosts for your birds.

This will not only keep them happy, but also keep them safe from predators who will have to climb to reach your birds (in the wild, turkeys roost very safely very high in trees).

The higher you can make the roosts, the safer your turkeys will feel. Make fence around your turkey pen, and this will prevent some deter predators. It will be better if you can cover the top of the fence with netting.

Preventing Turkey Diseases

Allowing your birds with fresh air and range, large pen with roosts, moving your bird’s roosts (if possible the house also) frequently to fresh ground etc. are some best ways for preventing turkey diseases.

Moving the roosts frequently to fresh ground will ensure the manure doesn’t pile up in one location. Provide your birds with nutritious foods, fresh and clean water and always take good care of them.

6 thoughts on “Common Turkey Diseases & Problems You Should Know”

  1. I am so glad to here Turkey farming , i was just starting abut two Turkey male an a female last year now the female is having 11 young birds of chicken , am so interested now to start bussness of

    them i dont know the breeds of them but am so interested , and can do as iI read in gooogle. Can you assist me about the type of breed and where can I get it I am in Eastern Cape at Umthatha.

    1. Great and interesting adventure, with your mother turkey; you have some work to do because they are not really good mother like local fowls.
      Just last week, my mother turkey get about 12 chicks killed within a week. i have to withdrawn the chicks and nurture them myself.
      if you are raising other fowls too, don’t combined them in same house with turkey to avoid infection.

  2. Am a fresher in Turkey raising. I have both local & foreign Turkeys but the foreign are not doing well & am only having only one left what can I do,to not loose them especially the remaining foreign

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