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How to know when a turkey is laying fertile eggs.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am a first time turkey owner. My eggs are coming tomorrow! :) Narragansett :)


What my questions is, after they hatch, how old are they before they start mating?

Do people normally separate them until they want them to mate?

How do you know if the turkey is fertile and about to lay fertile eggs?

Will they just lay regular eggs or only if they are fertile?

When can a hen start laying fertile eggs? and what age?

how often will she lay and how many?

I read that a hen will lay eggs and wait to brood until she lays all her eggs.. What If I take some for myself to put in the bater?

How can you tell if they are brooding?


I would like to know the process from after they are hatched so forth. I cant find much information about this.


Also, at some point I would like to sell poults and even grown turkey for thanksgiving. What ages can you do this?


Thanks!!! :)

post #2 of 6
Hens will normally lay the spring after their first winter. 8 to 10 months old.

You can seperate them if you want to. I keep my birds running together until I want pure eggs to hatch as I have several varieties.

If the tom is doing his part you will have fertile eggs.

Hens can lay eggs without a tom being present.

Each variety will lay different amounts of eggs. Usually when they are laying good a hen will give you an egg everyday or every other day.

Each hen will have a magic number in her mind of the amount of eggs she will want to brood. Average nest size of 8 to 14 eggs. You can take eggs from the nest to incubate if you take all the eggs the hen will continue to lay. If you take eggs from a free range nest leave one or replace with chicken eggs so she will continue to use the nest.

You can tell broodiness by her not leaving nest during day or night other than a few minutes to eat drink and poop. While she is on nest and anything comes near she is liable to hiss and ruffle her feathers. Somevhens also get into a trance like stare.

Poults you can sell at any age. Some sell as day olds others wait up to 3 days to make sure they are eating and drinking. That would be your call.

Heritage breed adult turkeys could be butchered at around 28 weeks.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your informative reply! :)


Now do you have different compartments in your coop when you are ready to have true breed variety's? When do you separate and for how long? I heard they can lay fall fertile eggs sometimes?


I have done so much research on the heritage breeds of turkeys and chickens and want a few of each. Normally my family members just puts them all in one area. But I want to let them out on our lot to free range. Do I just let them out all at once or should I only let one breed out at a time during the fertile time?


Thank you! :)

post #4 of 6
The birds I want to breed true. I keep seperate for about 3 weeks before I incubafe eggs and call them true. So tgat way if there was some mating activity with some other tom hopefully his swimmers are gone and knly the tom I have with hens will be viable.

I keep my mating thrkeys in a 10x10x6 dog pens. Usually 1 tom to 2or 3 hens. Use dog houses for hens to lay eggs.

If you want pure eggs only let one variety out if that is not a concern let them free range together
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you! :D

post #6 of 6



I have a Narragansett tom, hen and another hen which is a Broad Breasted Bronze. She is a doglike, tame butterball! She is laying eggs at only 6 months old and I was wondering what the harm would be to hatch her eggs, if the tom is fertilizing them. Would he? She is very docile and goes down for petting (or any other attention one wants to give her) so it wouldn't be from her lack of cooperation, but do toms only stay with their own breed?

Her offspring, perhaps they would be bigger than a Narragansett but not as full as the BB? We would use these for food, so I am not seeking to breed her offspring for breeding pairs but what do you think would happen if I hatched her eggs? She's laying one a day so I would love to hatch some!

One last question, (I'm new to turkey hatching) is their any problem with hatching them this time of year? I've only raised them in the traditional spring season.

Thanks for your input, neighbor!



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