Incubating turkey eggs 80% hatch rate, including one from a cracked egg!


In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2020
So this was my first time incubating turkey eggs, second time incubating poultry!
Like last time I used a River Systems Egg Tech 12 egg incubator, but I turned the eggs by hand rather than using the lever. I kept one tray of water filled up throughout incubation and turned them 5 times a day (easy to do when you're on lockdown!) I weighed them on day one, and then candled once a week after the first week at which point I would weigh the eggs too to track their weight loss.

I ordered 12 eggs on ebay (don't judge me)
1 had a somewhat wrinkly shell but not severely wrinkled. 2 arrived cracked. I've read about people successfully hatching cracked eggs before but they usually seemed to be cracked at a late stage rather than before incubation. I decided to try anyway and experimented: One crack I sealed up with plain white candle wax, the other I sealed up with clear nail varnish (both things people had posted about on a forum somewhere)
A week later, on candling 10 eggs showed up as fertilized (including the two cracked ones)
A week after that on candling the cracked egg that had been sealed up with candle wax looked like it had just stopped developing, I couldn't determine any usual signs of death so to give it the benefit of the doubt I left it in there (I would throw it out if it started to smell though) One normal looking egg had a blood ring and I discarded it.

Day 26 I noticed some shadowing in a few of the eggs. I put tiny air holes at the end of the air sacs as and when they began shadowing just so I wouldn't be compulsively checking them to see if any had suffocated/then I felt I could just leave them to it (I had done this with my goose eggs and it worked out fine)
I then cranked up the humidity by filling the second water tray and stopped turning the eggs.

Within 48 hours, 6 of the eggs hatched unassisted, including the remaining cracked egg! I felt very happy for it and was glad I hadn't discarded it.
Two final eggs were left 24 hours after the rest had hatched:
One had zipped through the shell all the way around but the membrane had only broken through in places and had dried all tough and papery, so I very carefully separated the few remaining bits holding the two sides of the egg shell together and she popped out just fine, almost entirely dry already!
The second had externally pipped but nothing else for 24 hours I very carefully removed a few small pieces of shell and saw that the membrane was also dry and papery inside and had pulled away from the egg walls somewhat, no blood vessels in the membrane anymore. Not sure if that's what shrink wrapping is? But the bird was cheeping away and seemed okay. I very carefully removed a few pieces of shell and moistened the membrane with a paintbrush dipped in warm water. I worked like this very slowly, putting the egg back into the incubator to warm up thoroughly after removing bits of shell and membrane. A few hours later I had removed half the shell and the chick then wriggled out.
So 8 healthy turkey chicks out of 10 fertilised eggs, I'm really enjoying incubating and look foward to the next batch - whatever they may be!


Premium Feather Member
Mar 10, 2019
Great job! I put a piece of painter's tape on my cracked egg and took it off after internal pip. It hatched on it own yesterday and is running around the brooder! I've never used anything to patch a crack I just threw them out but I'm glad I didn't!
I get Ebay eggs all the time! I can't get certain breeds locally so I buy hatching eggs. :D

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