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Laying behaviour -- should I worry?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by justanotheramy, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. justanotheramy

    justanotheramy In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2010
    Hi guys. My turkey (Rhonda, a broad breasted white) has been laying for a few months now, and some of her laying behaviours seem... odd. But then I've never known any turkeys before, and they are odd people, so maybe she's just being normal for a turkey? Hoping a few of you can give me some points of comparison.
    Rhonda usually lays two or three days in a row, then doesn't lay for a day, then two or three... you get the picture. Most of her eggs are speckled and have good shells, although 1 in 10 are basically just membrane with a tissue coating of white powdery shell; all have very very tough membranes.
    When she has an egg coming, she goes into the shed/shelter I built for her (the only time she does so, I might add -- even if it's raining she stays out in the open if she's not eggy) and sits on the ground, squished beak-first into the far corner. She tips a large metal bowl that's in there upside down first, pushes that into the corner, and then sits with the bowl pressing into her chest. The bowl seems to be quite important; attempting to take it away from her makes her all stressed and quivery (the first time I saw her sitting like that I didn't realise she actively wanted it there and thought she looked uncomfortable), and it's always tipped over and moved back into that corner if I try returning it to its original function. Some days she'll sit like that for a couple of hours before she lays, and sometimes she doesn't seem to know she has an egg coming at all and will just lay it wherever she is in the garden at the time. About half the time the pointy end of the egg is broken when I find it (not the membrane, just the shell) -- I think she sticks her knee on them when she's trying to get back up again. She makes no effort to conceal or sit her eggs regardless of where she lays them, but does get slightly more agitated than is usual if someone goes near the shelter after she's laid.
    Any thoughts?

  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Sounds like pretty typical turkey behavior. As for the soft eggs, what kind of diet is she on? Is she in a pen or freerange? Sounds like she could use some extra calcium like ostyer shells or a good turkey/gamebird layer feed. I feed the Purina Gamebird Layena during the laying season not because I think it is the best but it is what my feed store sells. It is 20% protein where as chicken layer is usually around 16%. Turkeys will lay 15-20 eggs usually before they go broody so that's why she is not sitting them yet but she still is protecting them. I doub't the eggs are fertile unless you have a heritage tom.

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