Frustrating psycho turkey hens are inconsistent setters

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
Just wanted to post about my attempts to get some RB turkey hatches. My 5 hens have laid about 35 eggs in 3 nests altogether in the past 2-3 weeks, but now one or two of them sit on a nest for a day, then they get up and leave the nest for a day. Then they get back on the nest for 24 hours. Then they don't sit for 2 days. What is going on!?

I did order my first Hovabator 1588 incubator for these eggs but it's not arriving for a week so I'm still hoping the hen will sit and stay put and save us all the work of raising chicks! I'm not sure how those eggs are doing by now after all this inconsistency. Also, our weather is wacky, it was getting up to the high 40s and mid50s for a week, and then last night back down to 32 with snow this morning. Are the eggs frozen?

I just discovered the 3rd nest, which is behind a huge pile of junk, but it's just eggs on concrete next to a wooden barn wall. THAT hen seems to be consistently setting, at least for 2 days now. But I"m worried about her location and the comfort of her eggs. Will they be ok on concrete? If I climb back there it will be quite a chore to get over all the junk (wires, boards, etc) and I'm afraid if I go back there and make a nice hay nest I will be seriously disturbing her and she'll leave. (I know I know, I should have cleaned out the junk


My turkeys are very imprinted on me by the way. Don't know if that's influencing them at all.
 

Blisschick

not rusty
12 Years
Feb 20, 2007
1,875
32
191
Shepherd, Texas
I'm wondering about this, too. I had a hen go broody with 2 eggs in her nest, so I stuck 2 of her sister's under her. She sat on it for about 5 days, and has now decided she's no longer interested in sitting on them anymore. She was sitting herself down in front of the boys all day today.
I knew she'd been off the eggs for the better part of the day, so I stuck them in the incubator before they got too cold and died. 3 are good, one was infertile.

As far as I know, no one has disturbed her nest. She made it a little ways away from everyone in the woods.

Edited to say, if it weren't for the fact I own an incubator, I don't think I'd get any poults at all this spring. One hen is laying like crazy but won't sit, one is laying a little but cops out, an the other...I'm not sure if she's laying at all, but she's enjoying the boys' attention.
 
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ivan3

spurredon
12 Years
Jan 27, 2007
4,511
209
291
BOCOMO
Our `psycho' Slate hen sat on her clutch from late May of `07, until just two days ago!!!! I thought we'd gotten all the eggs during one of her brief outings (one was buried well) when we tried to break her of this obsession in october. Went out the other evening and there was an egg in the middle of the shed floor and the hen up on her perch (egg was intact and nearly dried out inside), she'd pushed the egg out of the nest, filled the nest with feathers and that was that.
 

deeszoo

Songster
13 Years
Jan 12, 2007
204
3
131
I think it might be still a little early for them to want to set. If I remember right, mine didn't try to set their nests until around late April, or maybe May. But, my experience is limited.

DeAnna
 

chickenannie

Songster
12 Years
Nov 19, 2007
3,152
35
231
Pennsylvania
DeAnna, Do you know if they will keep laying eggs all spring? I guess I kind of assumed, they'd lay their 30 or 40 eggs and then that would be it for the year. If I know they're going to keep laying for several months, I won't be so freaked out about it.
 

Blisschick

not rusty
12 Years
Feb 20, 2007
1,875
32
191
Shepherd, Texas
Last year, my girl was laying as late as June and tried to set a third nest. I think if she hadn't been attacked, that would have been her last nest.
 

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