New to turkeys...a couple nesting questions.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by CluksNDucks, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. CluksNDucks

    CluksNDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Naselle, WA
    I have two 9 month old hens with my 9 month old Tom. He's been strutting quite a bit (I don't know if he's done the deed or not) and I just yesterday saw one of my hens on 2 eggs. The other hen today has been over there and looked to be helping in nest building. Now I have a house and covered area set up in their pen but of course they chose a corner in the dirt where they can get rained on. Should I move them to the covered area with hay or just leave it be? And I know they typically collect for about a week before sitting so how long before I should worry about collecting to incubate? I also have no idea how to tell if they're fertile unless I try them in the bator for a few days then candle.
     
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    You can tell if an egg is fertile or not by breaking it and examining the yolk.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures

    You can try moving the eggs to a covered area. Use a pencil or sharpie to mark the eggs so that you know which ones are which. The hens may or may not decide to move to where the eggs are. If they keep laying in the same place, keep moving the eggs. They will eventually stop using that place but they may or may not choose your desired nesting place.

    Every turkey hen has her own desired clutch size. Only she knows whether or not she has enough eggs to go broody. Most of my hens lay a clutch of 8 - 12 eggs but I have had hens that didn't go broody until they had around two dozen eggs in their clutch.

    For the incubator I collect the eggs every day and store them in my cool basement in egg cartons. I tilt the cartons using a box (can use anything such as books) at an approximate 45° angle. I try to alternate which end of the carton is elevated at least 3 times daily. The recommended storage time is 7 to 10 days but mine have done fine being stored for at least 14 days.

    Good luck.
     
  3. CluksNDucks

    CluksNDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Naselle, WA
    Thanks, yes I know how to tell if they're fertile by cracking them, but that doesn't do me much good to then incubate them lol. Thanks for the info! I may move them so they can be a bit better protected. I want her to sit on them but if she doesn't I want to incubate them.
     
  4. CluksNDucks

    CluksNDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Naselle, WA
    This is their first clutch of eggs I believe so I wanna give them the chance to set. :)
     
  5. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    If I want to incubate, I take the early eggs and then let the hens set later. They typically have better weather later giving them a better chance to hatch. Also the longer they have been laying, the more likely they are to go broody.
     
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  6. CluksNDucks

    CluksNDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Naselle, WA
    I've not yet tried to rotate hatches in the same incubator, how difficult would it be to hatch chickens and turkeys together? I just put the chicken eggs in yesterday. I know that turkeys take about 4 days longer than chickens.
     
  7. CluksNDucks

    CluksNDucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2016
    Naselle, WA
  8. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

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    Natrona County, Wyoming
    When I incubate chickens and turkeys together, I put the turkey eggs in and add the chicken eggs 7 days later.

    Turkeys take 28 days to incubate and chicken eggs take 21 days to incubate. I move them all to lockdown on day 25 for the turkeys and day 18 for the chickens which happens to be the same day since the chicken eggs were added 7 days after the turkey eggs.
     

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