Incubating turkey eggs? Any helpful tips or advice?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by MeghanFaith, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. MeghanFaith

    MeghanFaith Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2013
    Okay to begin, I have a friend nearby that has blue slate turkeys 1 tom and 4 hens and Indian Runner Ducks. She sells me hatching eggs for 3$ or 30$ for a dozen.

    My third attempt at trying to hatch turkey eggs and I finally had some success. I bought one dozen blue slate turkey eggs & put a doz of chicks in with them. I waited 7 days to put the chicks in and used a sponges for humidity. I tried keeping the humidity around 50% following the advice on this website http://www.porterturkeys.com/egghatchingtips.htm ....this proved difficult because in our home humidity is pretty dang low. I really need to invest in a humidifier. So about every 2 days give or take I was opening the lid to re-wet the sponges. I kept my temp within the appropriate ranges. Did that affect the developing eggs to much? I only had 4 potential eggs that would hatch!! When it was time for lock down I raised the humidity 80%+ and lowered the temp. 2 piped right away, one never pipped and died in the shell and another passed after it pipped?

    What am I doing wrong here?Should I just try the dry method and not worry so much about the humidity? I have another doz I'm supposed to pick up on Friday with some duck eggs also! Most of the eggs started to develop at least sometime during the incubation so it must be my fault for the bad hatches I'm just not sure where I'm messing up.

    I'm using an LG incubator, this go around I have a PC fan hooked up and ready and added a milk jug lid to the knob for temp. I'm running it now to make sure I can get it good and stable!

    If you have any tips or advice I could really use it!
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    My suggestion is for you to check out the Incubating & Hatching Eggs forum where there are threads specific to your brand of incubator.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/5/incubating-hatching-eggs

    Also study the Hatching Eggs 101 by Sally Sunshine.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101

    One way to ease your running out water problem is to fit a tube through a vent hole so that you can pour water through the tube to your water reservoir without opening the incubator.

    If you haven't already calibrated your thermometer, you should do that or at least use a calibrated thermometer to check the actual incubator temperature in various spots.

    Just me personally, but I never raise the humidity above 70% for lock down.

    Where you are located and what the elevation is there also affects what conditions you should strive for to get an optimum hatch.

    I live in a dry climate and typically incubate between 30% to 40% humidity and lock down at 60% to 65% humidity. These are the conditions that work well for me in my climate and elevation. That does not mean that these conditions will work well for you if you are in a different climate and elevation.

    Good luck.
     
  3. MeghanFaith

    MeghanFaith Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I've studied the first link like a finals test. I always use the chart for recording my temp and humidity. I just wasn't sure if the turkeys needed the extra humidity or not during incubation.
     
  4. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    My experience is that the turkey eggs do well under the same conditions that chicken eggs do well with, the only difference is the length of incubation.
     
  5. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last year I found a lady that had BR turkeys in lay, she was selling the turkeys but I wasn't ready for adults so she sold me the eggs for $12. a dozen.. I bought each one that was laid until she sold, the first batch, 28 was set and I followed the directions from the porter site to the letter, a week after those were set I added a coupe chicken eggs... I had one chicken hatch, lost everything else, upon opening the eggs each and everyone of them was very wet so I came to the conclusion the humidity was way to high... In between this time the lady had been gathering more eggs and I bought another 15 before she sold the turkeys... I did an about face and did a complete dry incubation. Out of those 15 eggs I had 12 hatch without any issue. The only humidity I added was at lockdown and I wet three small sponge strips (from one sponge) they piped and zipped and hatched so fast it was awesome. I have three of those twelve, one tom and two hens. I have sinced practiced with chicken eggs and sure enough, my hatch rates have went thru the roof with dry incubation and the sponge strips at lockdown. I do not keep track of the humidity within the incubator anymore instead I track the air cell.
     
  6. MeghanFaith

    MeghanFaith Out Of The Brooder

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    Where do you keep your incubator at? We live in a house without a basement or garage (for now ;) So the best place I have found so far is in a bedroom the farthest away from the central heat, I shut the vent off in this room but keep the door open and this keeps it pretty regular as far as temp goes. My biggest problem is me freaking out because our humidity is always really low. Where does your humidity normally range at? I am going to try an almost dry incubation this go around I think. [​IMG]
     
  7. MeghanFaith

    MeghanFaith Out Of The Brooder

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    Also my fan bit the dust when I plugged the turner in. [​IMG] To rewire one I'll have to take the lid off, should I just leave it be a go with still air again? I'm scared of taking the lid all the way off for the time it'll take me to hook one up.
     
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    There have been a lot of eggs hatched using a still air incubator. Just remember that a still air incubator needs a higher temperature 101° F. measured at the top of the eggs. You should also move the eggs around in a still air incubator to take care of possible temperature differences throughout the incubator.

    Good luck.
     
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of the spare rooms next to the room when our wood stove is.. I have a space heater In that room and I keep the door closed.. Today is the third day and the temp has been constant at 101-102
    The room humidity is hovering at 40%, I don't know what it is in the incubator [​IMG]
     
  10. MeghanFaith

    MeghanFaith Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 4, 2013
    Thank you for the advice! I also didn't think about moving the eggs around on the turner! So far the temp has been steady 99.5 so I raised it just a hair (the milk lid on the knob helps a ton) The humidity has been around 33%, How often should and move the eggs around on the turner?
     

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