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Hatching and Raising Wild Turkeys

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My husband cut down a tree with a chain saw. He was there about 1 1/2 hours cutting up the tree. It scared a wild turkey off her nest. We wen back twice today and the hen had not returned. We went to our local feed store ans the manager told us that it was not likely that the hen would return. He told us that - given the warn weather today - there was a good chance that the eggs would hatch if we placed them in an incubator. Well, we did exactly that -   a few hours ago. the eggs are in a small incubator at 99 degrees with some water in the bottom. I do not know how long the hen was sitting on the eggs but given that today is May 25th it could be a few weeks already.

1.  how many times should I rotate the eggs each day

2.  when should I stop rotating them since I do not know how far along they are in the process

3.  when do I take the poults out of the incubator

4. what should I put them in

5.  when can I move them outside

6.  when can I let them loose with my intents to let them roam wild

7.  if I have to continue to provide some food for them on an ongoing basis that is OK with me

Thanks to all who reply!

post #2 of 15

I would turn them 3 times .I am not a turkey expert though.Here in SC it is illegal to  have  wild turkeys.Don't  know why-they are  very plentiful and  it  is legal to hunt them.I saw a flock of  over 20  just  last week.I saw  a mom with poults last summer

post #3 of 15

1.  I have been told to turn them 3 times a day or an odd number of times, but more than once.  Every 8 hours I would turn them.  If it's too much of a hassle I would just buy an egg turner if you can.

2.  I would candle them to see how far along they are.  If most of the egg is filled with a dark mass then they are pretty far along.  I have some Eastern Wild Turkeys in my bator right now and they are on day 22 and most of the egg is filled with a dark mass.  You can see an air sack at the big end of the egg and it's about the size of a quarter or bigger.  You will also see alot of movement, at least I do in mine.  Sometimes I tap lightly on the shell while candling and they will move.  If you can get some good candling pictures I can compare them to mine to see if they are even close to my eggs.

3.  You take the poults out of the incubator after they have all hatched.  When they absorb the yolk they can keep to 3 days without food and water.  They need to be completely dry before you take them out so they don't get cold.  Some people open up the incubator and take out the dry chicks, but I wouldn't just to be safe.

4.  I have a fish tank with a heat lamp and a infrared bulb for my poults.  Right now I have 3 Eastern poults and a Slate Blue poult in my tank.  I also have the temperature in the tank at 90 for the first week and then I will drop it 5 degrees every week.

5.  You move them outside one they have completely feathered out to be safe.  Turkeys don't seem to ever want to go into shelter. 

6.  We are going to let our next batch of poults out into the wild.  We are going to wait until they are a year old to let them go, but that's us.

7.  Some people feed a game starter and some people feed them just a normal turkey starter with some extra nutrients.  I would go with the game starter, it's probably alot better.

This is my first time raising turkeys, and all this information is what I have been told my breeders.

I hope this helps!

Home to my husband, son, daughter, a breeding trio of Narragansetts, 2 Silkie hens, and a Guinea Pig named Bullet!
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Home to my husband, son, daughter, a breeding trio of Narragansetts, 2 Silkie hens, and a Guinea Pig named Bullet!
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by priszilla 

I would turn them 3 times .I am not a turkey expert though.Here in SC it is illegal to  have  wild turkeys.Don't  know why-they are  very plentiful and  it  is legal to hunt them.I saw a flock of  over 20  just  last week.I saw  a mom with poults last summer


I'm in SC too and it is a big no no here to mess with turkeys.  When I was growing up we had no turkeys here.  As a teenager my dad took me to watch the rangers at Sandhills Wildlife Refuge turn out a batch to try and repopulate wild turkeys in SC.   The project was very successful.  Turkeys are more highly populated in that surrounding area then they ever expected them to be.  Hunting is still very limited here of turkeys even though they are now a common site.  Turkeys are more highly protected here than any of our wild birds. 

You might should check with your local wildlife folks.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, the eggs have been in the incubator for 1 day now. I turned them 3X per day. The only thing I notice is a slightly foul smell when I open the cover. Is that a sign that one or more is no good?

post #6 of 15

There's a 10k fine here in NC for taking wild turkeys in. They're beautiful, but...no thanks! :rofl

Good luck! I imagine it'd be about the same as incubating regular ole' turkey eggs? wink

Cindy ~ proud USPS Mail Carrier! Mom to 5 kids!

Keeper of 2 Parrotlets, 10 Zebra Finches,

6 Society Finches, 4 Lady Gouldian Finches,

1 Betta & 4 Platys

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Cindy ~ proud USPS Mail Carrier! Mom to 5 kids!

Keeper of 2 Parrotlets, 10 Zebra Finches,

6 Society Finches, 4 Lady Gouldian Finches,

1 Betta & 4 Platys

Reply
post #7 of 15

YIKES 10k--  no way it tastes that good-LOL

post #8 of 15

Usually if there is a foul smell that means that there is an egg or eggs that is probably rotten.  I dont' have any kind of foul smell with my wild turkey eggs.  Did you candle to find out if they are alive?  That would be what I would do.  I believe they will explode if they are rotten, then it will contaminate the other eggs.  Good luck!  Let me know what you found out!

Home to my husband, son, daughter, a breeding trio of Narragansetts, 2 Silkie hens, and a Guinea Pig named Bullet!
Reply
Home to my husband, son, daughter, a breeding trio of Narragansetts, 2 Silkie hens, and a Guinea Pig named Bullet!
Reply
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am new to this! I stumbled upon this as my neighbor startled the hen by messing around near her nest then my husband cut down a tree and moved some wood in her direction before he knew she was there nesting. My husband tried to candle the eggs and said that he could not see through the shell. One egg has some foreign matter on it and it stinks.

post #10 of 15

I know that some people will wash their eggs if they have any kind of dirt or poo on them, but I'm not sure of the correct way to wash an egg or if you even should.  I had a really hard time seeing anything in my eggs too, my flashlight isn't the best.  Did your husband candle the big end of the egg?  I've tried the side and the small pointed end of the egg and I haven't been able to see too well.  The air sack usually sits at the big end of the egg and you can see alot when you shine the flashlight at that end.  I can see big veins and a big shadowed mass and movement.

I would try and post a topic about washing your eggs before you incubate them, see if anybody knows how to or if you really should.

Home to my husband, son, daughter, a breeding trio of Narragansetts, 2 Silkie hens, and a Guinea Pig named Bullet!
Reply
Home to my husband, son, daughter, a breeding trio of Narragansetts, 2 Silkie hens, and a Guinea Pig named Bullet!
Reply
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