My turkeys are laying eggs. But should they?


10 Years
Jun 19, 2009
Upstate SC
I ordered 25 Bronze Breasted straight run turkeys from Cackle Hatchery at the end of May. I have been keeping them penned up so they can gain some weight for Thanksgiving. I had a friend feed them I was out of town. A couple escaped and where hanging around in the yard for a couple of days before I got them back in the pen.

I found a large speckled egg in my yard a couple of days after I penned them back up. At first I thought it was a mushroom. I knew it wasn't from my chickens, the chickens are penned up too and the egg was way too big for a chicken. I just assumed it was from one of the turkeys that got out. Today I found another egg in the turkey pen.

So I have a couple of questions.

1. Should 4 month old turkey lay eggs? Could this be a side effect from feed?
2. Will she continue to lay or is she seasonal like Peafowl?
3. Will the other girls start to lay too?
4. Do turkeys mate like chickens?
5. Do fertlized turkey eggs have a bullseye like chicken eggs?

These seem like silly questions but with turkeys I'm just not sure. My really problem is not to cull the layer.
Wow a 4 month old turkey laying!???
There is one way that I know to see for sure who is laying and that would be to check the vent - it should be big and moist if one is laying.
Thanks, maybe I'll try to seperate the hens from the jakes and take a look at the girls bottoms

Could it be from chemicals in the feed?
You may just have an early layer. The speckled egg is probably a turkey egg. They have some personal differences. Turkeys typically lay in very early spring and then in late summer. However, mine tend to lay all summer long. The other hens may wait to lay until they are older. I think mine were laying at 5-6 months. Turkeys mate differently from chickens. It is hen's choice (as opposed to roosters choice). The hen will behave "droopy" when she's ready and kind of lay down in front of the tom. Then he hops up and gives her a rather lengthy backrub kind of thing until the deed is done. My understanding is that the fertilization is held within the hen and continues to fertilize up to 14 to 30 eggs until she needs to mate again. It's a very strange process actually. My hens are pretty picky about when they want to mate, but the tom just hangs around all day, every day, hoping and hoping. I've never cracked the eggs open to look for a bulls'eye but maybe someone else knows. I would assume it is the same... I can tell when my hens are laying eggs because they sneak off on their own and act a bit differently.
Another egg today. Getting one every other day.

DH suggested I collect a couple and put them in the bator. I almost did and then remembered that they aren't fertilized.

Maybe next year.
My turkey hen is still laying, but they should be stopping anytime now. Their laying is seasonal, starting in Spring and ending about now. Of course, where you live probably makes a little difference.

She definitely started early. They usually start at 5 to 6 months. Since she just started at this time of year, it will be interesting to see how long she keeps laying. Keep us posted on this if you will.
I got 3 turkeys they r 1 year old they haven't started laying yet I got them coop up well that hurt them from laying sometime I let them out im afraid something will kill them if I let them out they r mating but no eggs
My bourbon red hen is just turning 1 yr old. She laid eggs for a month or 2 in the fall, then stopped. She molted earlier in the year, and that's done. She still has not laid any eggs this year. I have noticed that my Tom has been mating with her for the last 2-3 weeks, but still no eggs. Any thoughts from anyone out there?
Also, my hen and Tom are in a shed with a run so they can be inside or out. I also let them run free for 4-5 hours a day, which they really like to do, but they come back in to roost at night. Occasionally, ruby, my hen, roosts in a near by tree but is ready to get back in the pen at daybreak.

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