Stiff Competion... Are the eggs fertile? And when to pull them?


5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
Hey y'all!

I posted this in another older thread as a reply, but I ended up with a whole slew of new questions out of it, so I thought I'd renew the inquiry in it's own thread. We are new, up-and-comin' turkey farmers with lots to learn! Just built our first brooder, got an incubator. ordered some new poults, and couldn't be more excited! We got started with a batch that were obtained as juveniles. We've had them about three months now. They are rotationally pastured. I have some questions about incubating the eggs.

Here's the sitch:

Our group of birds that the eggs are coming from are 18 strong, half male and half female. They are being raised for meat, and initially weren't intentioned to be breeders, but when they started laying, we thought, 'hey! lets incubate those!' We've seen a tiny bit of breeding, maybe...kinda....(they are out of sight most of they day, so they could be sneaking it in). They are about 8 months old, we think. I'm worried that the male to female ratio is too high, making for too much competition for anyone to be able to really mate. But some females are laying eggs in nests, and sitting on them sometimes, while others are laying them randomly about. The turkeys are being rotated around the pasture with an electric fence, so the females don't get to establish and keep a nest, unfortunately. And separating out a few gals and one lucky boy isn't currently an option, although that's what we'll do with the next batch. So here's what I want to know - I'm wondering how likely it is that our eggs are fertile, given the serious competition, what do you think?

After reading lots of information from you helpful folks (thank you!), I understand that eggs can be placed 'on hold' in a dormant state before putting them into the incubator, so that they can be added in groups. So when we collect them, how long is too long to be left out in the sun / under mom? Is collecting each day, then cooling them daily ok? How long can they stay 'on hold' for the best viability? And if we add them to the incubator, say, each week, with the date marked on them, then we'd have to move each batch out to a separate hatcher (for higher humidity / lower temp) for the last couple days, right? Do you all use a separate incubator minus the turner, or do you build something different? Simple homemade hatcher ideas / instructions would be greatly appreciated!

I so very much appreciate all the help and support we get from you guys! Thanks for taking the time to help out a fellow turkey enthusiast! Hopefully soon we will be able to share some wisdom too!!

Thanks again

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