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Broody Turkey hen?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

We are new Turkey owners and one of our two hens has gone totally broody but she has no eggs to sit on. There were a couple laid but my GP eats the free range eggs, but that hasn't stopped this hen from sitting on her now empty nest. It's now been three days that she has been sitting there in the nest she made under a pile of tree branches that were waiting to be burned. If we try to move her she hisses at us. I did place a dish of water and food near her and we threw a tarp over the wood pile to keep some of the weather off her. Do I just let her continue to sit or should we try to "break" the broody or could something else be wrong with her?

 

ETA: Our GP never messes with her or any of the poultry, the dog took the eggs when the hen had left the nest before she started sitting on it.  There is a chance she has eggs under her now we haven't been able to get her totally off the nest since she started setting on it.


Edited by ChicksinFL - 2/23/12 at 7:59pm

~~~ Homeschooling mom to two 4h girls ~~~
 

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~~~ Homeschooling mom to two 4h girls ~~~
 

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post #2 of 10

Check to see if she has eggs, slide your hand under her and either lift her up a little to look or feel around for eggs. She will hiss, peck and probably draw a little blood. If there are eggs, do you have a tom so they are fertile? If yes then let her set if you want poults. If your other her is laying you could throw a few of hers under her. If no eggs or you don't want poults break her.

 

The hen will normally get off the nest for a while each day to eat, drink and poop. If the food is right there she barely has to get off the nest so there is little opportunity to access the nest whilst unoccupied. There is really no need to put food and water right there at her nest or to cover the area with a tarp, but if it makes you feel better, go for it. If you let her set you may wish to cordon off the area to keep the eggs safe from the dog during your hen's daily walk. If you do block the hen in then be sure to keep some food and water for her to access each day. In the end it is all up to you.

 

That's my 2¢

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you.. We do have a tom so if she had eggs then they would be fertile. However today my older daughter just couldn't stand it any more and got her off the nest (we have not seen her off the nest at all and no evidence of her moving off it like tracks in the dirt or anything since she started sitting at the start of the week), and there are no eggs but the hen got right back on to the nest within seconds of being moved off it. 

She hasn't eaten the food we left near her either as there is no disruption of the top layer of it. I'm starting to worry about this hen a lot, she was our friendly hen who would come over and see us when ever we went out to the barn. 

 

Any suggestions on what to do with her.

 

 

~~~ Homeschooling mom to two 4h girls ~~~
 

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~~~ Homeschooling mom to two 4h girls ~~~
 

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post #4 of 10

Well you said she was hissing and that tells me broody not sick. I still wouldn't worry about the food and water too much as long as she can get to some somewhere. She really doesn't have to get off the nest until she has to poop, I have yet to see a hen go in the nest. Even sitting on an empty nest is very stressful on a hen. I've had a couple that have hatched out three clutches in a season and had probably lost over half their weight by the last hatch. So she is putting that much of herself into it for no return.

 

As far as what to do with her. I would catch her and burn the brush pile then let her back loose. If it was too windy to burn I would just try and prevent her from getting to her nest, some old fence or lay a couple logs in the nest. If you break her she will probably start to lay again in a few weeks. You could always use her as a surrogate. I hate to see a broody go to waste.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, we've never had turkeys before and our second hen is not laying at all yet. I think that will be our project this weekend to either burn the pile off or cover her nest area. 

 

 

~~~ Homeschooling mom to two 4h girls ~~~
 

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~~~ Homeschooling mom to two 4h girls ~~~
 

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post #6 of 10
This is an old thread, but I just wanted to share my broody turkey hen. She is a bourbon red and I'm giving her some of her sisters' eggs this weekend to hatch for me!

post #7 of 10
Hmmm, she's got that `look' in her eye. To be on the safe side, wear long sleeved shirt/coat and a pair of plastic safety glasses (can get rather hissy), when transferring eggs.
post #8 of 10

I have that same problem but she laid 14 un-fertile eggs I have no tom so I put chickens eggs under her I dont know if it works but I will know by the middle of Feb

post #9 of 10
I gave my hen 3 fertile turkey eggs and she quit within 24 hours and left them unattended in freezing temperatures!
post #10 of 10

I only wish I could have had some fertile turkey eggs but I am hoping for the best

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