Broody Turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Guineagang, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Guineagang

    Guineagang Out Of The Brooder

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    Are turkeys likely to go broody and hatch their own chicks?? Do they have to be kept in pairs or does the sex ratio not matter??
     
  2. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The heritage breeds (royal palms, bourbon reds, and narris) I had last year all went broody. And did hatch their own chicks. I had about 1 tom to 5 hens and had no fertility issues.
     
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My black Spanish have all been good mommas too. My last hen hatched a mixed clutch of turkey and chicken eggs and did a wonderful job of mothering them all (and it was hilarious to see that big turkey with a bunch of tiny chicks running around with her!).
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    I have never had a hen turkey that didn't go broody. They do an excellent job hatching their eggs but may or may not do such a good job actually raising the poults.

    I try to keep 4 or 5 hens for one tom. It keeps the hens from getting bred too many times and helps keep the tom from trying to breed the hens when they are setting on a nest since they don't all tend to go broody at the same time. Keeping turkeys as pairs does not usually work out well especially if they are all kept in the same pen. It can cause the hens to get injured when a tom is attacked while trying to breed a hen and can also cause the breeding attempts to be interrupted ending without any fertilized eggs.
     
  5. KeriT

    KeriT Out Of The Brooder

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    How many eggs will a hen usually lay before setting? My hen is laying about an egg every other day and I've been taking them in the house so they don't freeze. I'm turning them like I do my chicken eggs that I'm going to incubate but this is my first year with turkeys. I wanted to put them all back in her nest when there is enough for her to sit on them I just don't know how many that is lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Each hen has her own requirements for a clutch. That number can decrease dramatically the later it gets in the laying season. Most of my hens will go broody on 8-10 eggs. I had one hen whose clutch was more than 22 eggs before she went broody. I have had hens go broody on a single egg when it is late in the season.

    I normally incubate the early eggs and let the hens have the later eggs to go broody on. Doing it that way I don't have to be concerned about eggs getting frozen.

    Good luck.
     
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    It depends on the hen. The last time I had a hen sit, she laid probably 20 eggs before she decided it was enough. I pulled her eggs out of the nest each day and turned them (and turned them, and turned them- I did leave a bunch of golf balls in her nest though, so there was something in there) like you're doing. I marked the eggs with a sharpie each day as I gathered them, then I ended up giving her the newest eggs for her to hatch.
    I've had other hens though that'll only lay 5 or 10 before they were ready to sit.
    I'm jealous you all are getting eggs already. I got my newest hen last April or May and I haven't seen a single egg from her yet :barnie My poor tom is ready though, I've seen him out in the run humping the air everyday for the past week :lau
    I've got a nest all set up for her though. I use a medium sized dog crate crammed with straw. The chickens have been making good use of it, but the turkey doesn't seem interested at all :/
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  8. KeriT

    KeriT Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! That is helpful I might just incubate these when my chicks hatch out of the bater (I only have the one) I was hoping I could gather them and keep them in the house and by the time it warms a little I could put them back in her nest for her to sit on. Have you ever done that?
     
  9. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hen go broody on 4 eggs. I had another I knew had a nest somewhere and when I found her there was seventeen eggs in the nest. I don't know what number makes a hen want to set its just up to them.
     
  10. KeriT

    KeriT Out Of The Brooder

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    does that mean that turkey eggs stay fertile longer than chicken eggs? Bc they say up to 10 days for chickens and if a turkey lays every other day that would be almost a month! Lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015

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