Bourbon Reds just hatched!

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by goodkarma, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. goodkarma

    goodkarma New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jul 26, 2016
    We are raising bourbon red turkeys and have had our first successful hatch this morning! Two hens were sitting on 23 eggs and we're not sure how many have hatched so far. My question is whether we should let the moms raise these chicks or should we take them away and raise them ourselves? Also, today was 28 days exactly from when they started sitting on the nest. How long does it normally take for all of the eggs (that are going to hatch) to hatch? Of course the nest is 3 feet off of the ground! We've put lots of hay underneath in case they jump or fall but should we move the hens/nest to the ground after dark? Any input would be appreciated or feel free to redirect me to a different thread if there is one that's applicable. Thanks!
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,614
    1,802
    291
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    I remove the poults as I find them and put them in a brooder. There are just too many things that can happen from getting stepped on, pecked, chilled or predators to newly hatched poults.

    Removing the poults as they hatch also helps to keep the hen on the nest until all the eggs that are going to hatch have hatched.
     
  3. goodkarma

    goodkarma New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jul 26, 2016
    Thanks for the help!
     
  4. KayHartZZ

    KayHartZZ Out Of The Brooder

    25
    3
    24
    Feb 15, 2015
    OH congratulations, that's awesome! I'm going to give you conflicting advice from the poster above so I'm sorry! but I really really encourage you to leave them with the mamas. In my experience I LOVE letting the hen/s do all the work for me and I love getting to see the mamas with their little ones. Heritage turkeys make great protective smart mamas. They will keep the poults at the perfect temperature and you don't have to worry about brooder lights, etc. They will show the poults how to eat and drink so you don't have to worry about dipping their beaks or putting marbles in the water, etc. I have found that it may take 24-36 hrs. for the whole nest to hatch but if one active poult or poults starts an exodus they will get up with them leaving whatever eggs are behind. What I do, once they hatch and are looking active or are up and about I have a safe enclosed brooder to move the mama and the poults to. I swoop in, put the poults in a cat carrier and their desperate peeping allows me to lead the hen/s wherever I want to place them. Last year I had two "sister wives" hens and a nest of 28 eggs they built on top of a stack of hay bales three high...I put hardware cloth up around the nest best I could and luckily none of the poults took a tumble but I was diligent. Once they were up and about I grabbed the poults. And I tend to disagree, I don't think pulling the poults as they hatch will make the hens stay on the nest, I've hovered around a hatching nest too much and I think it made the hen feel threatened and it drove the her off, earlier than she otherwise would have because there was one egg nearly hatched :(
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,614
    1,802
    291
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    If the hens are kept in the general population with newly hatched poults, they will end up having poults killed. If you give the hen a private area with her newly hatched poults heritage hens can be excellent mothers but not all hens are good mothers.

    You definitely don't want to hover around the nest. Once the hatching begins, I remove poults on a daily basis and my hens stick on the nest until every viable egg hatches.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by