Imprinting: incubator vs. broody hen

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ForrestGump, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. ForrestGump

    ForrestGump Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 19, 2016
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    My first set of turkey eggs are on day 23 under two broody hens. I have a lot of experience hatching all kinds of chickens, but these are my first turkey eggs and also the first time hatching for the two broodies. I read that turkey eggs have a higher hatch rate under chicken hens, so I decided to incubate them under the two Marans. Have you found this to be true? Or do you have just as successful hatches in an incubator?

    Today someone told me turkey poults will imprint on people after they hatch if they are hatched in an incubator. Any thoughts on this? I'm considering pulling the eggs tomorrow and hatching them in my incubator. I'd give the poults back to the hens when they are 24 hours old. Is it really going to make much of a difference in the future regarding their friendliness?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Hatching them in the incubator and then giving them to the hen to raise is not going to make any difference. If you want them socialized, you'll just have to make the effort of spending a lot of time around them.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I highly recommend you letting the hens hatch the poults than pulling them and brooding them yourself.

    Poults raised by chicken will imprint on them and they will end up thinking they are chickens. They can become terrors as they grow to the chickens. I had 2 toms raised with chicks fight and kill roosters at sexual maturity. And others raised by my bantam hens soon grew big and the chickens were frightened and the turkeys were hard to integrate into the turkey flock. I have learned my lesson.

    I use my bantam hens to hatch all my turkey eggs. I get about 100% on my own eggs, and about 60-80% hatch rate on shipped eggs.

    My poults that I brood become friendly and will follow me by 6-8 weeks, and learn to come when called.
     
  4. ForrestGump

    ForrestGump Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you recommending to let the hens hatch the poults so they grow up to kill chickens by mating with them? What you wrote is rather confusing.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Sorry I was confusing. I meant you can have chickens hatch the eggs but I wouldn't recommend letting the chicken hens raise the poults, you should away from the chickens, nor should you raise your poults with chicks long term because turkeys will view themselves and chickens as the same species and they can kill chickens because of it, mostly through fighting for dominance, or just because the turkey can.
     

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