any experience in turkeys sitting on hen eggs?


10 Years
Jun 16, 2009
San Jose el Alto
Sorry I couldn't find anything with search about this...

I'm in a bit of an unusual situation in that I'm making the rules up as I go since we're in rural Mexico & I normally had access to more informational resources when I lived in the States...anyways...

I am raising turkeys for breeding/meat birds and chickens for egg laying at my home. We have a nice little coop that my husband built. I raised my 2 female adult turkeys from 2 chicks that my next door neighbor sold me (she raises a lot of turkeys and sells them for meat).

So as it turns out after the turkeys started laying eggs, I brought over my neighbor's male for them to get together. They mated a few times, I sent him home after a few days, the females kept laying, and then about a week later the 2 turkeys both started nesting. They sat on turkey eggs AND chicken eggs, they would beat us to collecting the hen eggs and pull them under themselves. This was resolved by putting a couple extra nest boxes for the hens under them. I should mention that after a year & a half my hens have never been broody, although they are constantly mated by the rooster.

While I am traveling to NY (now), my husband informed me that hen chicks have begun to hatch. Lo & behold, right on time. 3 weeks from whence they began to sit. If the turkey eggs were indeed fertile, they're scheduled to hatch this Friday.

My questions are:
*How long does the male turkey's sperm last in the female? I am wondering what the chances of their eggs being fertile really are. After all, they didn't start sitting on their eggs until at least 1 week after Mr. went home.
*If we were to leave the hen's chicks with the turkey would they imprint on her? Would she care for them? After 5 hatched and 2 got squashed, my husband took them out from under her & is caring for them himself.
*Will the adults terrorize the chicks since they don't technically have a mom who raised them to follow around? This is the first time we've had naturally hatched eggs in this coop.
* Can we put the chicks back with the turkey mom if and when her eggs hatch, so they have someone to take care of them?

I hope someone out there has done this before!

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