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Attempting to hatch turkeys under my broody Buff Orpington!

post #1 of 2
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Hello! I was out in the coop this evening locking the hens up for the night, and I went to check the nest boxes to collect the eggs. Low and behold, my Buff Orpington, Anne, was sitting on a clutch of at least 9 eggs. I've never had a broody before so I rushed inside to Google how to tell if your hen is actually broody. She has all the telltale signs. Fluffing up her feathers and "growl-clucking" when I try to touch her, pecking at my hands when I try to get near the eggs, and there are feathers in the nest. I have a broody on my hands! 

Well, I don't have a rooster so she won't have much luck trying to hatch a bunch of unfertilized eggs. But it just so happens that I have 3 turkey eggs that I have been incubating for about 9 days. After extensive research and contemplating the pros and cons, I decided to take this opportunity to try and let Anne hatch the turkey eggs. My reasons being

1. I have never incubated eggs before. Anne knows what she is doing and even though she has never hatched eggs before I am sure the mothering instinct is very strong in her.

2. The eggs have just as good a chance(probably an even better chance) at hatching with an actual bird mother than with me and an incubator.

3. Even if the eggs don't hatch at least I'll have the experience of caring for a broody under my belt.

4. If they do hatch, then I will have successfully cared for a broody and helped incubate the eggs! 

I went out there in the dark with a flashlight, and my mom and sister to help me, and I took about half the eggs out from under Anne. I figured that since she is used to her chicken eggs, I could just disguise the turkey ones with those and then take out the other chicken eggs once she has accepted the turkey eggs. I was also wearing leather gloves. She was extremely mad at me.I then put my three turkey eggs under her and the wonderful little thing tucked them under her and fell asleep. The nest box is positioned in such a way that I just set up a little fence separating her from the rest of the flock, with her own little food and water dishes outside the nest.

I have done my research and after thinking it through for quite a long time I decided that the best chance for the eggs would be to have an actual bird mother.

The reason for this thread is to share my story and pictures as I go along and if anyone has any advice for me as a first time "mom" let me know!

I'll share pics as soon as possible! 

post #2 of 2

I tried to hatch quail eggs beneath my broody hen, but she didn't feel them roll out from underneath her during the night and they went cold. Turkey eggs are bigger than quail eggs so Anne might notice if they roll out from underneath her.

 

Chickens turn their eggs everyday for so long so the chicks don't stick to the inside of the eggs. Turkey eggs are bigger and so need to be turned over for several days longer.

 

It might work, or it might not work. I hope I haven't turned you off the idea, because the best way to rear birds is with a bird mother that knows what they're doing. I hope it works for you!

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