Specific BroodyHen, Candling, and hatching Q's..

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by SonnyGirl, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few questions and would REALLY appreciate any responses/advice! I have a very broody hen (turkey) that just keeps laying eggs so there is a range in how old they are. This is my first experience with candling/hatching/etc.

    Questions #1: I candled the eggs (some of which are 2-3 weeks old) and some were very "sloshy" inside. The entire contents were very liquidy, even though they were dark (aside from the airsac). They never get moved/stay in the nest, so does this mean they are definitely not developed eggs??

    Questions #2: During the first couple of weeks she would leave them for 5-6 hours a day and it was still pretty cold out (in New York). After about an hour or two the eggs were already completely cold. Could those still have developed?

    Question #3: I only have one other turkey - a tom (was going to buy a third turkey but decided to save money and wait till spring). He is VERY sweet to his hen, VERY considerate. He never tries to climb in her nest (even before I sectioned it off properly) and mate her.. he only ever mates her outside and is not forceful. He will not free-range without her - hangs around and seems to keep watch over his little woman! Even though I know he'd love to go play. He roosts beside her nest and never bothers her - she never minds him there and they get along perfect. With this considered (and the fact that I only have two turkeys)... when she finally does have fertilized eggs that hatch - do I HAVE to section the Momma and poults off?? Can I see how he acts with them, or is that a big no-no to allow a Tom anywhere near them??

    Again -thanks for any responses!! I have spent countless hours researching on this site and would LOVE answers to these specific questions!! Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Since the hen is doing the work, don't concern yourself with candling. The hen will remove any `bad' eggs from the nest, herself. Yes, even if the temp is low (above freezing) the eggs could well be viable. The hens never actually `set' until they determine the `magic number' is reached (might have a pile of ten-fifteen eggs with the hen still parked up on the roost at night). Start the count from the day the hen hunkered down and no longer went traipsing (will sometimes leave nest for brief time during heat of day to get water/forage/dirt bathe). We always separate hens and poults from the toms after hatch (in nesting area) RP tom could get to main feeder and roost but never flew down into the fenced off area: [​IMG] In shot below you can see that the Slate tom is spending quality time in the chook run, the RP tom does just fine with the poults (always the chance one will get squashed but we've yet to have that happen - easy going RP boy - some toms are not so well behaved). [​IMG]
     
  3. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you SO very much to take the time to respond (and post such great pics!!). I am VERY relieved to have those questions answered :) :)
    I was worried about any eggs blowing up because I've heard it's really stinky and I wasn't sure if it would stress or upset my hen haha.. I'm a little TOO sensitive to her, I think! I might be a more nervous expecting "mommy" than she is ;)

    She was coming out during the day for 5-6 hours then last week she stopped... now she is only coming out for MAYBE twenty minutes and acting frantic to go free-range... go dustbathe, eat some grass/forage and then goes right back in the coop and hops back on 'em! I think she has 21 lol so I guess that's her magic number! I just marked it down in my calendar and I'm so excited. Very happy to hear actually that I don't need to fuss like I've been! If mother nature can take it's course, I've always been happy to let it do so. I only candled twice (with clean hands) because there were some really old eggs I doubted were fertile and I was able to safely remove 9. She wasn't being mated much also so I was worried that she was doing work for nothing? A lot of the eggs were sloshy/liquidy inside even though they were dark and they were older ones.
    Anyhow - I will be sure to section off an area for her and the poults (although my coop doesn't look nearly as big as yours! I'm guessing from the (wonderful) pictures that I need to section off INSIDE the coop and out...

    My tom is a RP too btw!! :)
    Again, thank you for responding so thoroughly, I'm really relieved!
     
  4. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    The rotten eggs are, indeed, atrocious (have only had one burst under a hen once in 6 yrs). Start removing any unhatched eggs as soon as hen leaves nest with poults (will sometimes want to continue setting after the clock has run out).

    Good luck!
     
  5. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2011
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    Thank you! Just one more question... I was planning to candle one last time this weekend.. just because the eggs have such a wide range and the older ones were before she was really being mated.. so I think there's about ten out of the twenty that are just waiting to explode. Could I just remove those (and maybe replace those with fake ones) so that there's not so many bad ones?? I'm so new to this and didn't know what to do in the beginning.. I didn't want to discourage her from being broody, but I'm pretty sure she's got old (some maybe 3-4 weeks now) eggs that aren't good. They were really dark (with a distinct air sac) but super liquidy inside! Or do I REALLY just leave it alone?? lol. Thanks again for all the help! Don't know what I'd do without BYC members advice and all the great threads to learn from!
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    If you are pretty sure you can separate good from bad, go for it. Just wear long sleeved shirt and a pair of safety goggles; brooding hens aren't famous for their `hospitality' just the hissing, biting and occasional flogging of interlopers.
     
  7. tinzman8

    tinzman8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Good luck! I have a broody hen turkey sitting on 6 of her eggs right now (they should be hatching within the next 4 days or so) and i have another dozen of hers in the incubator. Keep us posted on how your hatch turns out! [​IMG]
     
  8. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Ivan and Tinzman!!
    And @Ivan - I won't go near her when she's actually on her nest!!! LOL She was the sweetest little cupcake before she went broody, used to sit in my lap and take naps... the fact that she even LOOKS like she'd be interested in taking my fingers off, was enough to keep my hands away! ahahaha! She has a set time that she typically hops off for 15 min and frantically forages and dust-bathes.. so I have checked on them during that time. I washed my hands and candled them only twice.. the first time I didn't have a strong enough bulb but I did successfully take out 6 clears or ones with obvious bloodrings.. the second time was about a week later and I was able to see that the dark ones I had left (about a month old) were very liquidy/sloshy inside and even with the stronger bulb I couldn't see any distinct features. I haven't touched them yet because I wanted to ask on here to be sure - but I figured I made a big mistake and that those dark ones are probably giant developed blood rings or something, just waiting for warmer weather to burst!! haha. So, I was just thinking with some tips and pointers I could candle one last time to take those older yucky eggs out...
    Since then I have seen her mated several times... so I'm hoping all the new ones have little baby poults growing! :)
     
  9. SonnyGirl

    SonnyGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And Tinzman - That's very exciting!! I would love to see how things turn out for you! If you post any updates when they hatch, please share the link with me! This is my first year with hatching and it's even more fun then I thought it would be haha
     
  10. tinzman8

    tinzman8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah it's a blast hatching out your own birds, the waiting game is always the hard part haha...And I'll be sure to keep you posted! :)
     

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