Can a hen incubate and raise a poult?

Augie1

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Aug 18, 2020
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What is the best way to start a turkey flock? I'm looking around for three broad-breasted white turkeys. Could I buy hatching eggs online and put them under a broody hen? How long can the hen take a care of the poults? Where can I get small minimum orders of poults?
 

R2elk

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What is the best way to start a turkey flock? I'm looking around for three broad-breasted white turkeys. Could I buy hatching eggs online and put them under a broody hen? How long can the hen take a care of the poults? Where can I get small minimum orders of poults?
You can but what is the point? BBW poults are readily available at local and chain feed stores in the spring. They are already alive and ready to go. No failure to hatch problems at all.

I do not recommend letting a chicken raise poults due to the problems that imprinting can cause later in life.

If you want to start your own flock of turkeys, choose a heritage variety. BB turkeys are designed for quick growth in a short period of time. They are bred through artificial insemination in the hatcheries. While the hens can hatch their own eggs, they are not good mother candidates. They do not have the ability to move their legs and feet in the delicate manner that heritage hens can. Any poults that are hatched are very likely to get stepped on and killed.
 

Augie1

Chirping
Aug 18, 2020
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111
91
You can but what is the point? BBW poults are readily available at local and chain feed stores in the spring. They are already alive and ready to go. No failure to hatch problems at all.

I do not recommend letting a chicken raise poults due to the problems that imprinting can cause later in life.

If you want to start your own flock of turkeys, choose a heritage variety. BB turkeys are designed for quick growth in a short period of time. They are bred through artificial insemination in the hatcheries. While the hens can hatch their own eggs, they are not good mother candidates. They do not have the ability to move their legs and feet in the delicate manner that heritage hens can. Any poults that are hatched are very likely to get stepped on and killed.
I'm looking for a meat bird. The reason I was wondering if hen could raise a poult was so I didn't have to set up a brooder.
 

Pencilled Palm

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Oct 23, 2020
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You can but what is the point? BBW poults are readily available at local and chain feed stores in the spring. They are already alive and ready to go. No failure to hatch problems at all.

I do not recommend letting a chicken raise poults due to the problems that imprinting can cause later in life.

If you want to start your own flock of turkeys, choose a heritage variety. BB turkeys are designed for quick growth in a short period of time. They are bred through artificial insemination in the hatcheries. While the hens can hatch their own eggs, they are not good mother candidates. They do not have the ability to move their legs and feet in the delicate manner that heritage hens can. Any poults that are hatched are very likely to get stepped on and killed.
What problems "later in life" with letting a hen raise poults? (I am talking about heritage turks.)
 

R2elk

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What problems "later in life" with letting a hen raise poults? (I am talking about heritage turks.)
Turkeys imprint very easily. Poults that are imprinted by chickens grow up without the ability to understand that there is a difference between them and chickens. Even heritage turkeys are enough bigger than chickens that they can cause considerable damage to chickens when they treat them like they are turkeys.
 

Pencilled Palm

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Turkeys imprint very easily. Poults that are imprinted by chickens grow up without the ability to understand that there is a difference between them and chickens. Even heritage turkeys are enough bigger than chickens that they can cause considerable damage to chickens when they treat them like they are turkeys.
So the only issue would be in they were going to be housed/pastured with chickens forever, rather than being hatched/raised by a chicken hen
and then not being with chickens any longer?
 
Jun 20, 2020
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Well here goes. My desperate Easter egger hen is broody and desperately wants to be a mama. So I got her fertile eggs. Maybe she will be surprised when they hatch out to be heritage turkeys! If anyone has done this before please let me know any lessons learned.
 

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R2elk

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Well here goes. My desperate Easter egger hen is broody and desperately wants to be a mama. So I got her fertile eggs. Maybe she will be surprised when they hatch out to be heritage turkeys! If anyone has done this before please let me know any lessons learned.
I have let chickens hatch turkey eggs. Once they are hatched, I take them away and put the poults in the brooder.

I prefer my turkeys to be able to understand that there is a difference between turkeys and chickens. Imprinting the poults with a chicken removes that abillity and can cause serious problems for the chickens in the long run.
 
Jun 20, 2020
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209
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I have let chickens hatch turkey eggs. Once they are hatched, I take them away and put the poults in the brooder.

I prefer my turkeys to be able to understand that there is a difference between turkeys and chickens. Imprinting the poults with a chicken removes that abillity and can cause serious problems for the chickens in the long run.
Could anyone tell me what serious problems could occur?
 

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