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Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Hammond, Louisiana. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Administering Fowl Pox Vaccine to Turkeys

  In years past, we have had problems with fowl pox and our turkeys. It's a nasty virus that is often spread by mosquitoes that results in uncomfortable sores on the head and neck of the birds. The sores can cover the eyes, nose, and sides of the mouth keeping the birds from eating and drinking. Last year despite our best efforts, we actually lost a couple of young birds to this disease.

This year since we are raising so many turkeys, we decided to vaccinate all the birds with the Fowl Pox Vaccine. Due to circumstances and schedules, we ended up vaccinating them later than is recommended, but I don't think it will be a problem.

  I was able to purchase the vaccine from my local feed store. It comes in two vials that have to be refrigerated. When you are ready to use the vaccines, you just pull the metal rings off the tops of the vials, pull out the rubber stoppers, and pour the powered vaccine into the colored diluent. A quick shake, and it is ready to go!

The feed store also gave me this nasty looking device for administering the vaccine.

The vaccine is given into the webbing at the top of the wing. I really recommend having two people to do this properly, one to hold the bird and the wing in position, and the other to administer the vaccine.

  I was doing the holding. I was just sure that Big Onion was going to miss the bird, stab me with the blue stuff, and turn me in to a were-turkey! Luckily, this did not happen, and I haven't starting gobbling at the full moon yet.

Dip the needles into the solution before each administration.

Locate a place on the wing webbing away from any veins.

Insert quickly then remove.

And you are left with two blue dots that should turn into little scabs in a couple of weeks. Surprisingly, the birds didn't seem bothered by the actual insertion of the needles. I guess they don't have a lot of nerve endings in that area. They were more upset by being held still and on their backs for the few second it took to give the vaccine.

Our bourbon reds and bronzes are now safe from the pox!

Unfortunately, the vaccine does not save well once it has been mixed so we will have to get another set of vials for all the broad breasted whites very soon.

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