Turkey Laying...need some guidance please

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Cornychick, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Cornychick

    Cornychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2009
    Sebastian County, AR
    Here's the scoop. I have two young turkeys that I purchased as chicks last summer from Atwoods. I ended up with a tom & hen. Lucked out on that one! The hen has started laying a week ago, but is laying in random areas. I incubate chicken eggs all the time, but have never tried turkey eggs. I would really prefer to have them raised by mom & dad if possible. I'm not even sure if they are fertile or not. I have been collecting them to keep them from freezing and getting broken. I have seen the tom make an effort (kind of) to breed her when we are in the pen to water/feed. She will lay down for him, but I have only witnessed him stand on her. Is it normal for them to be unorganized this early in the game? Also, is it strange that the hen comes over to me and lays down? Any and all guidence is appreciated!
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    You can check fertility by cracking them and looking for the "bullseye". Usually the first eggs aren't fertile especially from first time layers. The same with mating, I have noticed a difference in the varieties that we have. The white hollands are very quick and efficient. The bourbon red toms will stand on the hen for awhile. Once the hen lifts her tail it's over pretty quick after that. The hen laying down for you is common in small flocks, she sees you and being more dominate than the tom. Most hens will sit but some aren't the best mothers. The best way is after the hatch to put her in a small seperate covered pen. The covered will keep the poults dry and a small area so the poults don't get lost. With hen raised expect to loose some poults no matter what you do but I think hen raised are stronger and better over all.

    Steve
     
  3. Cornychick

    Cornychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2009
    Sebastian County, AR
    Quote:So as far as her sitting on her own eggs, should I just keep gathering them for now and wait till spring to let her try a clutch? Will she continue to lay for a certain period? Or would you gather the eggs and put them in one spot? I did try that before and they just scattered them.
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    It's hard to tell the number of eggs a hen will lay. You will need to let the eggs gather if you want her to sit. I have either numbered the eggs so you can tell the oldest from the newest or I use duck eggs to fill the nest. Duck eggs work well since they are so tough and don't break easy. I collect the turkey eggs and keep them inside until the hen decides to sit then take the duck eggs and slip the turkey eggs under her.

    Steve
     

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