Questions about hatching under a hen (Turkey)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by glassparman, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

    149
    0
    119
    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    OK, my female turkey is real broody. She has just laid about a dozen eggs.

    Can anyone give me advice about adding extra heat, restricting her from leaving the nest or any other advice about helping her out.

    I'm in the Mojave Desert and it is getting down to the mid-40's at night and high 60's during the day but we expect another short freeze (29 degrees or so) for about a week. We always warm up the first of March and then get another quick mild freeze for about a week and then April brings on spring weather.

    I just want to make sure that if she starts setting, I can provide the best environment possible for her.

    Her coop is 8x8 and has a chicken wire window across half of the front. We do expect cold winds to blow off and on from March through May.

    Also, once the baby turkeys hatch, do I keep them away from the mother and put them in a temp controlled brooder?

    So many questions for a first timer.

    Michael
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well Glass, I`ve never had turkeys, but I don`t see where it could be much different than chickens. So, under the circumstanses, I would recommend making the coop draft free. Make sure she is in there alone. Make sure she can cover all those eggs adequately with none sticking out. Leave her alone except for food and water and let her do her job hatching and caring for her poults. When she is done hatching, she will leave the nest in the daytime and probably return to it at night, so make sure the nest she sets in is floor level so the poults can get in there with her. Turkeys are dumber than dirt so make sure the waterer is shallow enough so they don`t drown. She will keep them warm and show them the ropes. Feed them a good quality turkey starter/grower. She can eat the same as the poults. Hope this helps.
     
  3. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I don't know much about turkeys either but I know somebody who hatched some under a standard cochin hen. They were raised by the hen. Unless her hormones kick in, she isn't going to sit on the eggs and that's something you have no control over. If it were me, and I wanted poults, I'd put them in an incubator or under a hen that is truly broody. IF you get lucky and she does go broody, I'd let her hatch and raise them herself.
     
  4. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

    149
    0
    119
    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    She seemed really broody a week ago but now that she has a dozen eggs, she does not seem interested.

    She is in the coop by herself with the nesting box, food and water but she just wants to sit on top of the nesting box.

    I put chicken wire above the box this morning to see if that would keep her off the top of it. Hopefully she will go in it this afternoon after being kept in the coop all day.

    If she does not start to set by tomorrow night, I'll run down and get a hovabator.

    I guess my real concern is that if she sets, and then the weather gets cold again towards the first of April, should I supply extra heat in the coop? We usually have one more quick mild freeze each April at the beginning of the month for a few days.

    Thanks.
    Michael
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  5. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Don't know if somebody will come here that knows for sure how to answer your question about heat but, if it were me, I'd supply some as it's better to be safe than sorry. In other words, it won't hurt but it might hurt if you don't. JMHO
     
  6. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

    149
    0
    119
    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    Yahoo! She took to setting yesterday and when I fed this morning, she just looked at me from the nest. Usually she comes running.

    Now hopefully she will stay on the nest.

    I'm going to get a small space heater with a thermostat and have it in there just in case.

    Mama is setting on 13 eggs!

    Michael
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,143
    3,357
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Be very careful with setting up the heater. They can be a fire hazard. Make sure they cannot get into it, cannot knock it over, and cannot scratch litter or anything into it. There was a post recently about a chicken that backed into a heat lamp and set her feathers on fire. There was another one about a coop burning down. I think he lost all his chickens.

    Good luck. With the hatch and baby birds, you should have a fun couple of months coming up.
     
  8. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I don't think you need to worry about heat until after the poults hatch and, then, I would use a 250 watt heat lamp hung from the ceiling so there's no danger of what the poster above said.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by