are blue slates broody?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kinnip, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I have two hens who've started laying. They have a mighty clutch, but haven't gone broody yet. I want those poults bad. Should I snatch the eggs and put them in the bator, or will the girls go broody? I'd much rather they hatch/raise them on their own. I already have a house full of growing poultry, and the hatch would have to be staggered with the eggs I already have cookin.
     
  2. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    16
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    How many eggs do they have? Ours will lay about 15 or more before they start to sit. Have the hens ever sat before?

    Steve in NC
     
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    This is their first year of laying, so they haven't sat before. It looks to me like there are 15-20 eggs in the clutch already. I'm pretty sure they've been laying for a month or more. I've seen pieces of smaller eggs laying around in the bushes, so I'm not too worried about the egg size (just a little worried).
     
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    16
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    With two hens laying for a month you should have more eggs than that. Some turkeys will lay an egg every day some every other day, it depends on the hen. If you are seeing egg shells you may have something eating the eggs, the hens probably won't go broody in a place they don't feel safe in, they are just laying there from habit. It's really hard to say if they will go broody our not, since they have been laying for a month the first eggs layed are probably not good. What you can do is mark all the eggs in the nest and collect all the newly layed from here on. Also, do you have any ducks? the reason I ask is you can take a turkey egg out and replace it with a duck egg (the duck eggs have a thick shell and if the hen steps on it it won't break - if you use a chicken egg they will more than likely break them by stepping on them). By letting the eggs pile up more they might go broody. That will give you 2 chances to hatch poults.

    Steve in NC
     
  5. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Yet another reason those darn ducks need to get busy and lay some eggs! I know something was eating the eggs for awhile, but they seem to be safe where they are now. Of course, my opinion matters little to a turkey hen. Last night one of the girls was missing from the roost, the same one that was missing yesterday morning. I think she's been spending the night and part of each day on her eggs. I've saw her walking the yard yesterday afternoon and again a couple of hours ago. Is it normal for turkeys to come off the nest daily, or is she just not very good at this yet? I can't imagine she's going anywhere else to roost. I only have two hens and a tom, so there's not much social pressure. However, the nest is in a difficult place, so I haven't actually observed her on the eggs.
     
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    16
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    One way people use to break a broody hen is to tear up the nest and break the eggs, then the hens will tend to move on and find a safer place.

    If she isn't on the roost at night with the others (and she used to be?) she probably is going to the nest. Is there anyway you can check at night and see if she is there, how difficult is the nest to get to? We have some hens that when they sit you could tear the house down around them and they won't move off the nest. They come off once a day to eat, drink, poop and right back on - others we do see coming and going more. The more experienced hens will sit better.

    Steve in NC
     
  7. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I think she's found a pretty safe place this time. It's behind a three foot thick patch of briars and under a pile of wood. I'm not sure how she gets in there without losing an eye. I guess we won't be burning that pile anytime soon. As I write this, she's still standing out in the yard. I suspect she just goes and sits on the eggs from late afternoon until the next morning. Poor girl just needs a good role model, or maybe an instructional DVD. I may put on a heavy jacket and sweat my way through the briars to mark/collect the eggs. Thanks again Steve.
     
  8. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    2,121
    16
    211
    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:That is strange, it's like she kinda has the idea but not completely. You might want to see tonight if she is actually on the eggs or just gaurding them? shine a flashlight after dark or right at dark without spooking her off. I would think if she is spending the night on the nest for 10-12 hours the eggs are at a temp to start developing and then cooling back off. I don't know how long it takes eggs to actually start developing - is 10 or 12 hours enough to start the process? Most time when they are laying they aren't on the nest very long.

    Don't you have any "youngsters" around that you can stuff into the briars? they are young and should heal up quickly. [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  9. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    875
    5
    151
    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    When my hens are starting to lay I let them get 3 or 4 eggs in the nest then I replace them with chicken eggs from the fridge. Then I remove the egg they lay everyday until I have what I want to put in the incubator. When I stop robbing the nest I remove a chicken egg everytime they lay another egg until it is all turkey eggs left in the nest then I just leave her be to lay until she decides to brood. They usually go broody when they get 10 to 15 eggs in the nest. I have seen them brood with as little as 8 and as many as 17 or 18 eggs.
     
  10. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Thanks folks. I've decided to fire them as broodies. I'm going to start robbing the nest. Of course, I already have the bator running, so I guess I'll buy another. Oh the woes of the poultry obsessed. All day yesterday both of the hens sat on that one pile of eggs. Last night, they both decided to roost. They really are very confused. I'm about fed up with broodies. I also have a defective chicken broody. She'll sit on a clutch for two weeks, then leave them and start collecting eggs for a new clutch. Of course, I didn't separate her from the other layers. I guess neither of us had our hearts in it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by