I have a Royal Palm turkey pair about a year old. The hen (Isabelle) collected a clutch of 10 eggs and then started setting. During that collection time, she and her mate (Thomas) were regularly have turkey sex - each morning without fail. Once she started setting I clocked the date. She continued to lay after setting began - another 8 eggs until I could get in her nest to mark the existing ones and afterwards remove new ones. She has been a dedicated setter. I understand the magic number is 28 days. Since she began setting in ernest it has been 30 or 31 days and no chicks have appeared. Anyone have some info or advice?
Royal Palm eggs are not hatching
Turkeys lay a clutch of eggs, and when they have the clutch laid they begin to sit. Sometimes, they may sit, and lay additional eggs, as the first ones are incubated. So egg number one that she laid would be due to hatch in 28 days, but egg number 10 wasn't laid until 10 days later, so it would be due to hatch 38 days after egg number one was laid.It also happens sometimes, that they lay a few eggs, begin to sit, get disturbed ( say your dog barks at her, scares her) may stay off those eggs too long, they die, then she lays a few more, those may live. 28 days therefore is not a set in stone number. sooo many things can happen to alter this, or you may be counting for the whole clutch, and that rarely happens.
I personally let mine get a clutch and then I take them from her after a day or two of sitting. I put them all in my incubator, and have a higher hatch rate then she ever would. If she gets a bad egg, it explodes showering the other eggs with bacteria, that pretty much kill them all. Or she can be clumsy and break a few. Or it can rain hard, and water can find it's way into the nest, thats never good. So i help her out. The plus to helping her this way, is she often will attempt again, to lay another clutch. More eggs means more baby turkeys ( with me doing her job for her of course). In the wild, perhaps 5 out of 12 will hatch, and only 1 or 2 of those will ever grow up. You can tip the odds back the other way with some sound management practices.
Thank you so much for the info! It has been a little over 5 weeks now since she started to set, and in the past week 3 poults hatched out and all are doing well. She continues to set on 15 or so eggs but so far, no more babies. We'll see what happens. The poults are getting more active and Isabelle is taking more forays out the entrance of the dog house to have dust baths just in front of the door. Wonder how she will handle the older ones if more hatch. It's all a great learning process...