Some silly turkey questions

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by wanda047, May 7, 2009.

  1. wanda047

    wanda047 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    Since I've started keeping chickens, my dh has decided that he'd like to try his hand at some turkeys. He specifically requested the wild eastern turkey so I ordered a dozen (received 15!) Eastern turkey eggs to incubate. Now we know nothing about the turkey... except for hunting them!

    We've done enough research to know what to feed them, how to house them, etc. However we have a few questions that hopefully some of you can answer.

    We know the wild turkey has a breeding season during the spring. Do wild turkeys born and raised in captivity only breed once a year like the wild ones?

    Do they only lay during that time frame? And if they lay more frequently, what are the chances that those eggs will be fertile any time besides during the wild turkey's normal breeding season?

    Thanks in advance for your time in answering these questions!
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    The number one rule with turkeys is always remember

    "everybody loves a turkey"

    Even when - they jump the fence and eat your garden, wait for you to reach under them on the roost to grab that egg and then poop on you, follow you around like a puppy dog. [​IMG] I wouldn't know what to do without them.

    Our turkeys will normally breed and lay twice a year, spring and fall. If you let them sit on a nest in early spring and hatch, then take the poults sometimes they will lay another batch in the spring. We collect eggs all spring and about this time of year let them sit a batch, they will raise them thru the summer and be ready for fall laying.

    With turkey mating it's hens choice, she will pick her tom and lay down for him. If the mating is a success the eggs will be fertile regardless of time of year. The best fertility and hatchability comes from yearlings in the spring laying cycle. With ordering yours now you can expect eggs next spring.

    Not to put a damper on your turkeys but some states require permits for Eastern Wild turkeys - we live in NC and they are a down right pain in the you know what about any type of game bird. I just wanted to let you know [​IMG]

    If you have any other questions this is the place!

    Steve in NC
     
  3. wanda047

    wanda047 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    yes, Arkansas has limits/laws... only 6 wild critters of any breed without a license. We used to raise whitetail deer, so we're familiar with the laws. Presently they are being really stingy with giving out permits of this kind.

    I presently have 15 turkey eggs in the incubator. If we have a successful hatch, looks like my mother-in-law and/or son are going to inherit a few turkeys. [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:They are here in NC as well, they are not giving permits at all in 09 for eastern wilds. Who knows why? Here in Eastern NC there are more of them now than there has been since the 1700's. I'm sure being the fish and game people they know what they are doing...... did I just say that? lol

    Steve
     
  5. chunky_ficken

    chunky_ficken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    My 3 Eastern hens have already gone through a laying cycle and raised their first brood. The Tom (his name is Puffy.....short for Puff Daddy) mounted all 3 soon after the poults were on their own, and now they are laying again.

    We currently have 8 eggs in the bator, and another 7 waiting to follow them. This time around, we will be incubating more than letting them set naturally. We hatched 18 of 30 in the bator the first time, and had a dismal hatch of 7 out of 26 with them setting naturally.

    Last fall, 1 of the 3 tried to lay, but her eggs were bright white and had a rubbery spot the size of a quarter on each of them. We thought she might have a problem with her ovaries, but this spring, she started laying beautiful eggs, and hatched out her first babies. The other 2 hens sat on their eggs during the entire cycle, with not one hatching naturally. I think the problem was that they broke a couple of eggs onto their other eggs, and soiled the others.

    We're still new to this, but we're looking forward to this second cycle, especially with the knowledge we have gained from the first experience and reading these forums .

    Good luck to you and your dh, turkeys are a lot of fun.

    Big T
     
  6. wanda047

    wanda047 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    Out of 15 eggs... only 8 hatched. I was ok with that. Last week though one of the poults got his leg caught on something in the cage during the night and the other poults trampled him to death. I found him the next morning. So sad [​IMG]

    Is there a secret to sexing these guys while they are little, or do we have to wait until they're half grown? I'm starting to worry that I have a bunch of toms! I've seen three (out of 7) strutting already! And they're only about 3 weeks old. I really want a few hens!
     
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    The only way to sex them at a young age is to vent sex them. Both the hens and the toms can strut but the hens can't hold it as long.

    Steve in NC
     
  8. KOTurkeyRanch

    KOTurkeyRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2009
    Western PA
    is there a law against raising eastern wilds in PA? i have no idea, lol i just got 5 bronze, two are crippled and one's eye wont open and his beak is crooked. But my cousin found eastern wild turkeys and is rasiing them till they get older so i might ask for a few turks, so is it illegal or legal in PA?[​IMG][​IMG]
     

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