Incubate eggs on their side or upright?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by dheltzel, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    Is it better to incubate turkey eggs on their side (like is recommended for peafowl), or is it just as good to set them point down in trays like most chicken eggs? I have a cabinet incubator (Sportsman with turner) and don't know whether to buy the trays they sell for turkey and duck eggs. or the "large egg positioners" that keep the eggs on their side and are recommended for goose and peafowl eggs?

    I want to get the best possible hatch and there is plenty of capacity to use the "goose egg" method if that is any better for the eggs.
  2. Luviesmom

    Luviesmom Out Of The Brooder

    I had no problem incubating my turkey eggs in the duck/turkey turners (upright)in my sportsman. The last three days I moved them into the hatcher and they were on their side. Good luck!
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I lay mine sideways.
  4. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I've always done mine upright. Maybe I'll lay some down this spring and see if it changes the hatch rate?
  5. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    Seems like the peafowl breeders really prefer to incubate them on their sides. The auto turners in most incubators don't work well with larger eggs on their end, so I think if I can, I'll position any turkey eggs on their sides. I studied the (very expensive) add ons for goose and emu eggs and I think I can do at least as good, maybe better, making my own. GQF makes their upright egg holders from plastic, but the trays and large egg holders are all made from 1/4 inch hardware cloth, with plastic splines like they use on report covers to cover up the sharp edges. I can easily duplicate that, or I might use the plastic needlepoint canvas from the craft store. That would be softer and flexible, which I'm not sure is an advantage when the trays get shifted back and forth by the turner. Maybe I'll try both and see what works better.

    It seems like the main advantage of incubating eggs upright is that you can pack more eggs into the tray. Shipped eggs are another reason. Turkey eggs, being extra valuable (compared to our chicken eggs anyway), will be incubated on their sides.

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