I have read allot of different threads on turkeys and thought someone might have an answer to my questions. I have a breeding pair of Rio Grand Turkeys. This is the first laying year for my hen and she just started laying. Three eggs in three days, I was impressed. Most of my questions were answered from the different threads except for a few. I have disinfected and set the eggs she has laid to date. I want to collect as many eggs as possible before they go into the incubator. How long can I set the eggs before they go into the incubator, so I can collect as many as possible? The other question I have is. Has anyone heard of wrapping the eggs in plastic wrap during setting to help guard against the eggs drying out so you can set them longer? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone has any tips that would give me the best hatch rate possible, I'm all ears.
Setting Turkey Eggs
I myself personally would never wrap a egg in plastic wrap sealed because it has to breathe. The egg is living. I have kept eggs up to 3 wks as long as they are setting in cool dark room and turned twice a day. The longer they sit though the harder they can be to hatch. I think the best time frame to save eggs is a week and I don't feel that time frame affects hatch much. The last half of hatch I mist the eggs with mister bottle with water once a day seems to help keep eggs from being too dry.
I would not wrap the eggs
I have Rios and have held eggs up to 2 weeks without any problems. Never tried going over that but I would think it wouldn't affect much. My thoughts are a little different than some but I have hatched quite a few turkeys the last several years. My beliefs are based on nesting behaviors of turkey hens in the wild. They will take 2-3 weeks to lay a clutch of eggs. Consider the fact that the documented average most wild hens lay is 10-12 eggs. They normally do not start laying daily until at least the 3rd and sometimes the 4th egg. If you do the math, it would take at least 2 weeks for her to lay just an average clutch. I do not know about Rios, but the Easterns usually lay more than 12 eggs. Around 14-16 seems to be more the average around here. My dad walked up on a nest in Northern MO several years back with 21 eggs in it. Also take into consideration the fact that these eggs are laying on the ground out in the elements, no dark rooms or temperature controlled environments, just the hen sitting on them about an hour a day or so as she lays the next egg. They get cold at night and warm during the day and hatch rate is not the problem with wild turkey poults, it is the mortality rate after the fact due to predators, etc. Just my 2 cents worth, but I do think the "shelf life" of turkey eggs is longer than the recommended 7-10 days.
i keep my eggs from 7-10 deays turning them every day . i would not wrap eggs need to breath. you should do ok i have good luck doing this.