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First time with breeding pair of turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Heather J, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    So, I have a few questions. I have a pair of blue slate x bourbon red turkeys and am very much looking forward to hatching poults this spring, so I have a few questions. I did a search on BYC and found out incubating information, but I wondered when I might expect her to start laying (she was born in early June last year) and how long they lay.

    The guy I bought the poults from only hatches through the end of July, or at least he only hatches the chicks/ducklings/poults/goslings for selling through the end of June, after that he keeps some for his own breeders. I'd keep the first bunch for breeding and sell any that came later, but I was curious if they tend to lay 30-40 eggs, then stop, if they lay for several months, then stop, if they lay most of the year (like guineas--which I also will be collecting eggs from for the first time!) I'm trying to decide if I'm going to need a third incubator (I know, I'm so addicted, but I can't let duck, guinea or turkey eggs go without incubating, it's anathema to me, and I can always sell a few chicks on the side easily enough too).

    I'm hoping my hatching will pay for ALL of my bird feed this year instead of only 60% (not complaining, it's nice that they paid most of their way last year, but dang it, they're still costing me a mint to feed!) I need to find someone who can hatch some goslings for me too, my girls won't go broody and I never managed to hatch any last year, even though some of them got pretty close. But that's an issue for another forum! [​IMG]
     
  2. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About the time she starts to lay down for the Tom then she ready to start laying. maybe 6 to 9 month. Mostly it's triggered by the length of the day. Better for the hen if she waits till after the 7th month before laying, temps are not below freezing. The turkey hen will not go Broody and sit on the eggs until she has about 7 or 8 eggs in the nest.
    So they will be exposed to outside temps. She may lay every other day so we check in the morning so eggs won't get to cold, cold eggs don't hatch well.

    If you put a night light where she stays she will start laying soon.

    If you don't gather her eggs she will lay about 7 to 9 eggs, the go broody. Other wise it can very from to about 30 to 50 or so. Last year we had 0 hatch from 28 or so eggs. Turned out our single male was infertile.


    Tom
     
  3. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    Thanks! The coop where the turkeys are living doesn't have access to power and I'd rather not stretch a lamp out there yet, as it really is quite cold still. Hopefully once it starts to warm up she'll decide she's ready to start laying and I'll end up with a few babies. I do intend to incubate as many as possible, knowing even if they are fertile I may only hatch a fraction. I hope my tom is fertile!
     
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What time of year the hens lay eggs depends on where you live. Where I am the hens start laying in early March (even though it seems cold outside!). If you think about it, it takes 2-3 weeks for them to lay a full nest of 20 or so eggs (end of March); and then it takes 28 days of setting for the eggs to hatch, so that means they would hatch near the end of April, which is just about the right time!
     
  5. Kate+chicks

    Kate+chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    We are preparing a pen/shelter for a breeding pair we are getting at the end of February. The goal is to get them to hatch some eggs so we can process the poults by Thanksgiving. Even though we have a large area for the turkeys I do not want to keep a permanent population of more that 2 or 3 partly because of "waste management" and also noise. We have 3.5 acres and most of my neighbors are fine with the sounds of crowing roosters and gobbling turkeys but all it takes is one to complain.

    We already have 16 chickens and 4 of those are roosters who start up at 4am every day [​IMG]
     
  6. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Tickfaw, Louisiana
     

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