Hen stopped laying, wanting to incubate.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by rssnbabybear, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. rssnbabybear

    rssnbabybear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    (Sorry if this pops up twice, I wasn't logged in the first time...don't know if it will show up).
    Hi everyone! I have a heritage bronze hen that I wanted incubate eggs from. She is a year old and was laying eggs everyday for the last 3-4 weeks. I was ready to set eggs in the bator lady weekend, but she suddenly stopped laying last Friday. I was waiting to be sure of fertility (bull's eye).
    She hads been setting in a clutch of chicken eggs (which I take away daily) but she won't come out of the coop. In the meantime, my Tom and rooster are fighting and I'm afraid I'm going to loose my rooster. I can separate the Tom or the rooster from the flock but I need them to do their jobs. Can't isolate both turkeys together.
    Will my hen start laying again soon? Is there anything I can do to help? How long can the hen be away from the Tom and still have fertile eggs?
     
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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    She won't lay eggs as long as she's broody.
    Take the chicken eggs away and put your turkey eggs under her. Problem solved. No need for an incubator.
     
  3. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Fertilized turkey hens have been known to stay fertile for at least a month after breeding. However since your hen has gone broody, once she gets broken from being broody she will most likely need to get bred again for her eggs to be fertile once she starts laying again. Your hen will not start laying again until you break her of being broody.

    If it was me, I would find a way to separate the hen and tom from the chickens.
     
  4. rssnbabybear

    rssnbabybear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tips. Perhaps I will isolate the Tom while I get the hen broken from her broodiness ad then let him back in to get her fertile again. Thanks for the idea, Chicken Canoe, but I didn't save the turkey eggs previously. I put them in the fridge because I didn't think they were fertile. I hope she will go broody again because that would certainly be the ideal. :)
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They do tend to go broody often. Do you have a wire bottom cage to suspend her in to break her broodiness?

    Refrigerating doesn't necessarily mean the eggs won't hatch.
     
  6. rssnbabybear

    rssnbabybear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Really? I thought refrigerated eggs, chicken or turkey killed the fertile part inside. How long can they be in the fridge and still hatch? Some have been in there for a week and all have been there for two days at least.
     
  7. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    The Incubating & Hatching Eggs forum has threads about people hatching refrigerated eggs. Most refrigerators are not set at a low enough temperature to kill embryos. There have been studies done indicating that embryos can survive down to 27°F. Refrigerators are normally set above freezing temperatures.

    The studies do indicate that storage temperatures below 40°F do drastically reduce the abilities of the eggs to hatch but there is always a chance of success.
     
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  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    While not ideal, refrigeration isn't a big problem. The longer they are stored, the lower the temp will help.
    There is a club hatching Trader Joe's eggs. Those have been refrigerated from collection.
    Eggs can be viable down to 29.8 F for short periods as long as ice crystals haven't formed.
    Other than temperature, low humidity is a bigger problem in refrigeration.

    Bring the eggs to room temperature slowly and then stick them under her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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  9. rssnbabybear

    rssnbabybear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! This is amazing. I had no idea I could hatch refrigerated eggs. I'm feeling so much better about all of this. Perhaps I will take the chance and just go give back the eggs I have.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That would be your shortest term solution. You have her eggs, she's broody, let her do her thing now.
    Otherwise, you'll have to break her, which could take a few days. Then you'll have to wait for her to start laying again which could be a couple weeks to a month or more after breaking her. Then collect eggs again. Then wait for her to go broody again. All those things together, you may or may not get poults this year.

    You want to store eggs in a cool place that is fairly humid to prevent too much moisture loss. About 55F is ideal but colder temperatures aren't a big problem. A turkey hen is the wild will lay eggs for a week or two before sitting.
    Those eggs will undergo various weather conditions including temps down to freezing.

    The following is for chicken eggs but most of the information applies.

    http://www.brinsea.com/Articles/Advice/PowerOff.aspx
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016

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