Questions from a beginer re: setting and nesting....

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by cracked egg, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. cracked egg

    cracked egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Blackfoot, Idaho
    We have 4 Sweetgrass Turkeys, 4 Wilds and 1 Naragansett.
    One of the Sweetgrass hens has built a nest and has been laying for almost a month now. But she refuses to "set". We built a shelter and enclosure around her nest, she goes in daily lays the egg and promptly exits. We collected 7 of the original eggs and took them into a gentleman here locally who incubates them and charges 1.50$ per live hatch. He phoned Sunday to say of the 7 one was not fertile, one had died and we had 5 viable chicks growing. Since the time we took the original 7 eggs in we have gathered another dozen. It is still freezing here @ night so we are still gathering the eggs. We have tried on a few separate occasions to put the eggs back and have her "sit", to no avail. We are taking these eggs tomorrow to be incubated. Is this "normal" behavior for a young hen?
    Second question,
    We have seen the other sweetgrass hen mating but cannot find a nest. And the wilds seem uninterested all together.
    We have a coop/barn for them they freerange during the day and return every evening to roost.
     
  2. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    As long as you are taking eggs away, your hen will not set. If you want her to set, just leave everything alone. Let her turn her own egs while she finishes laying. When she decides she has enough eggs, she will start setting. It may take 15 eggs or more. Seems to depend a little on the hen, but 12 eggs is often not enough. She will not start setting until she is done laying all of her eggs. In other words, if she is going to lay 14 eggs, she won't start incubating them until all 14 are layed. She will just cover them up and leave them until she is ready. It sounds like she is doing fine. Freezing isn't usually much of a problem either. The ground doesn't get as cold as the air, and hens will often bury the eggs under grass or leaves, keeping them a little warmer. Unless the temperature is dropping below 20, or so (I really don't know the lower limit), I would let her go. Last spring we had a cold March and April, and my hen was laying in the snow. She hatched 8 of 13.

    The other hen is probably laying outside somewhere. Ignore her and one day soon she will disappear, then reappear a month later with a bunch of poults. Don't worry too much when she's gone. I have a Golden Narragansett that is to wary for me to catch, so she flies over the fence a couple times a day to tend her nest. Luckily, I stumbled onto it just after her second egg was laid. I am collecting eggs until Friday to incubate, then letting all three of my hens hatch their own broods after that. The other two hens have clipped wings and are laying in nest boxes like good girls should.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  3. cracked egg

    cracked egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Blackfoot, Idaho
    Thank you, that information is most helpful. :D
     

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