HELP WITH HATCHING TURKEY EGGS

amanmas

Hatching
Jun 10, 2020
4
7
3
Incubation / broody hen help needed!

Sorry for the long story, but feel it’s necessary for advice.

Long story short, our Tom was eating our eggs so we collected them to hatch. We thought she was done laying so for about three weeks our turkeys have been free ranging until dusk when they come to their pen on their own. Our hen wouldn’t come home last night so we thought she was eaten... she came back this morning and we ended up following her back to a nest out near a field that will be planted in a few weeks. We are afraid to leave her out so we moved her to the pen and took the eggs in to incubate (because the Tom eats them)
When I candled them, they’re all at different stages ?! Like one is just solid black except the air sac, two look the same as our eggs did at day 15ish, four are still the yolk. What in the world could be going on? We did have a wild hen with our pair until Friday when she disappeared. Could our hen have laid her eggs in another hens nest? Why would they be so different in development?
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,278
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Incubation / broody hen help needed!

Sorry for the long story, but feel it’s necessary for advice.

Long story short, our Tom was eating our eggs so we collected them to hatch. We thought she was done laying so for about three weeks our turkeys have been free ranging until dusk when they come to their pen on their own. Our hen wouldn’t come home last night so we thought she was eaten... she came back this morning and we ended up following her back to a nest out near a field that will be planted in a few weeks. We are afraid to leave her out so we moved her to the pen and took the eggs in to incubate (because the Tom eats them)
When I candled them, they’re all at different stages ?! Like one is just solid black except the air sac, two look the same as our eggs did at day 15ish, four are still the yolk. What in the world could be going on? We did have a wild hen with our pair until Friday when she disappeared. Could our hen have laid her eggs in another hens nest? Why would they be so different in development?
The one that is solid black except for the air sac may be a rotten egg. If the black area moves easily as if it is liquid, dispose of it quickly.

Your hen could have laid her eggs in another hen's nest. It happens. The ones that are just a yolk may be infertile or eggs that have just recently been laid.
 

amanmas

Hatching
Jun 10, 2020
4
7
3
Attatching pictures of what I saw when candled.Our hen was only gone one day so the ones that are yolk only are as I would expect because she would have only sat for about 24-36 hours. The others are the ones I’m more worried about. I hate to throw them away if they are developed but don’t want to keep them if they’re “rotten.” They’re so different from chicken eggs, I’m having a hard time watching development. Chicks are so clearly seen when candling!
 

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R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,278
161,814
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Attatching pictures of what I saw when candled.Our hen was only gone one day so the ones that are yolk only are as I would expect because she would have only sat for about 24-36 hours. The others are the ones I’m more worried about. I hate to throw them away if they are developed but don’t want to keep them if they’re “rotten.” They’re so different from chicken eggs, I’m having a hard time watching development. Chicks are so clearly seen when candling!
The last one looks like it might be rotten. The first one looks drawn down and ready to internally pip.

You said that the turkeys had been free ranging for 30 days but your hen only spent the one night out. Your hen could have started laying as recently as a couple of days ago or as early as two weeks ago.

The nest may well have belonged to a wild hen which brings up another problem. No state allows the collection and possession of wild turkey eggs or the poults if they hatch.

Good luck.
 

amanmas

Hatching
Jun 10, 2020
4
7
3
I ended up going back to the incubator to candle again and see if I could see movement.
The two “blackened eggs” had clear liquid oozing when I opened the incubator, so I decided to do an “autopsy.” I didn’t get far but the first crack in both resulted in black ooze. I didn’t have the stomach to see if anything was developed.

Thanks for your help! We have the other eggs in the incubator so 🤞🏼
 
Last edited:

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,278
161,814
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I ended up going back to the incubator to candle again and see if I could see movement.
The two “blackened eggs” had clear liquid oozing when I opened the incubator, so I decided to do an “autopsy.” I didn’t get far but the first crack in booth resulted in black ooze. I didn’t have the stomach to see if anything was developed. I had another egg stop developing on a previous hatch and it was “normal” yellow yolk color with no smell when I cracked it to see how far it developed, so I’m not sure why these two were so black and fowl smelling.

Thanks for your help! We have the other eggs in the incubator so 🤞🏼
They were black and oozing due to bacteria. It is good that you got them out of there before they could explode and contaminate your other eggs.
 

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