Ok turkey egg incubator experts......I want to know......

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Struttn1, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    I did not use the incubators at all last year due to a trip to England but the 2 previous years the vast majority of my hatch from the incubators were toms and I do mean vast majority. it was like 5 tom to 1 hen ratio. i let the hens hatch their eggs last spring and summer and it was right at 50/50 tom to hen ratio. My question is if incubator temp determines sex and if so do I need to lower or raise the temp to even out or even tilt toward a hen heavy hatch? [​IMG]
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Man, I went to Europe for 2 weeks last year with the bator full! Had a great hatch about a week after I returned.(love the Dickey's) I don't think temp has anything to do with the sex.
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Sex is determined by the hen and established before incubating the egg. Were you using the same hen(s)? Temperature doesn't matter.
  4. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    Yes the same hens that I am getting way more toms than hens from the incubators are hatching 50/50 when they hatch them. I am scratching my head here. [​IMG]
  5. linda_zeagler31002

    linda_zeagler31002 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2010
    Adrian, Georgia
    My comment on this discussion forum, from the researching that I have read I have found this to be true:

    The rate in a hatch is normally about 50/50 but small fluctuations in temperature during incubation with higher than normal temperature (100.2F) will result in a larger ratio of male to female hatch.

    This statement above is off one of the websites about hatching by hens vs hatching by incubators, and I have personally found in my own experience that dropping my temp. down a half of a degree to almost a degree from the 99.5-100 manufator recommendations, that I have more hens to hatch.
  6. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I had the same problem hatching button quail, getting almost all males. When I posed the question on the incubating and hatching forum, quite a few people confirmed that this does really happen. It isn't that the eggs are all male, it's that male eggs seem somehow a bit more vigorous and can survive problems like temperature spikes or improper humidity than the female ones. So, a disproportionate high number of males hatch, and a disproportionately high number of females die in the shell at various stages of development.

    It's a bummer. Had this happen with duck eggs, too -- wanted hens, ended up with mostly drakes. Now, the turkey eggs I bought were a different story, because I had a really good hatch. Out of 8 fertile eggs, 7 hatched, but one was crippled and died. Of the 6, I ended up with 4 hens and 2 toms.
  7. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I had that kind of year too-roo rooo rooooooo. I also had alot of hatches to where I had 1/2 my batches die in their shells shrink wrapped:-( I know the issue there. I can only imagine -IMO-that the strongest are surviving-the males, leaving the girls dead or unhatched or failure to fully thrive in egg prior to hatching. Thats my take-I know I have girls in those buggers its just a matter of how strong they are to hatch out. Always depressees me too-so when I have 11 out of 28 make it-and 10 are roos??? Dang if that bunch that didnt hatch I know were mostly girls!
  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I've only read this about chicken eggs, but it may well be true for turkeys that male embryos are somewhat hardier against high temps than female so are more likely to survive if the incubator is running just a bit too warm. The temperature level does not determine the gender, but it can determine which one survives. You may want to check your thermometer against one that has been calibrated to be sure you're getting a true reading. If so you may need to drop your incubator temperature slightly.

    I pay close attention to mine and try to make sure it never goes below 99.5 or above 100.0 (electronic thermostat). So far so good on the gender distribution.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  9. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    I guess I should add this -- IF you're getting a really great hatch, like almost every egg hatches, and they're all male, then it's logically an issue of fertility with the tom, I assume, putting out only male sperm or almost all male sperm.

    I know it happens in humans -- a lot of families keep getting all girls or all boys, and keep trying and trying for one of the other gender. I actually have some cousins -- 7 boys. They never did get the little girl they wanted.
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:In humans the male determines the sex of the embryo, but in birds the opposite is true. The female determines the sex of the embryo. With regards to gender the tom sends the same genetic package every time.

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