turkeys hatching and raising young

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by smallfarmgirl12, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. smallfarmgirl12

    smallfarmgirl12 Just Hatched

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    I'm new to poultry, my turkey hens have been setting on nests, one not leaving at all, for almost two months now. I have taken the eggs to candle then twice, some are totally solid with just an air pocket, some look like newer embryos. I know there are rotten ones, I just can't tell. It's still been cold enough to not changed their physical appearance. Also, there are chicken eggs under them (that I didn't put there) the turkeys have their own area in the indoor coop with larger nesting boxes.. maybe they worked something out with the chicken hens, lol. My desire is for the hens to raise the young. I finally went out there to pull the eggs and give up and heard a peep.. And it's a chicken, of course. Lol. If the chickens hatch will they abandon the turkey eggs? Should I just pull the rest of the eggs anyway? Any advice would be welcome, there is limited info on the internet for people who would prefer to let the hens raise young. Especially turkeys. Thank-you
     
  2. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hens will stay in the nest trying to hatch the other eggs, the babies should be okay for a day or two under the hen. If you know which ones are bad, take them out. After a couple of days the babies will come out form under her looking for food, she may get up and go with them. If she see that the egg are there she may not want to leave the nest. Do you have any broody chickens that can take over the new hatched babies? This way the turkey can stay with the eggs or you can take the eggs and put them under a broody chicken. Whenever I have a broody hen (chicken or turkey), I mark the eggs if I plan on leaving them in her nest, other wise I take the eggs and put them in an incubator, replacing the real eggs with fake eggs (you can use golf ball too) for the hen to sit in the nest. After they hatch, I replace the fake eggs with the babies. I also separate the mother and babies so the babies don't get squashed by the toms or peck by the other turkeys or chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  3. smallfarmgirl12

    smallfarmgirl12 Just Hatched

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    I thought about taking one turkey hen with the chicken baby and separating it from there other hen, leaving her to sit on the other egg. From now on I'm going to mark any eggs that they lay. Unfortunately my chicken hens have played around with being broody, but never been serious about it. I could see how they would take to the baby/babies though. I have the turkey hens/baby separated from the rest of the flock right now. I'm having a hard time figuring out which eggs are bad since they don't look different and I am inexperienced in candling. They don't smell really offensive yet either.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    You sound like you have a bit of a mess. After a while the eggs go dark and can be hard to tell what is dead or alive, I would pull any that are clear. I usually will do a sniff test too, but you said they didn't smell bad.

    I have tried to have my turkeys hatch and raise chicks and it didn't work for me. I think they require a private enclosure, and I don't have the room for that, so I use my chickens to hatch my eggs than I rear the poults so they are more friendly.

    Next time I would mark the eggs like Farmer Mac says. I'm not sure what you should do with a single chick, turkeys can be goofy about taking back things removed from them.
     
  5. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can candle the eggs to see if they are good. Place the flashlight where the air sack is located, the air sack gets bigger with time and if the egg is good, you will see the embryo move. If the egg is bad, you can see the liquid move. It is easier to candle at night or in a dark room.
     
  6. MRSDTHOMAS

    MRSDTHOMAS Out Of The Brooder

    I got 6 turkey babies from a breeder in July...supposedly bronze and from 3 different hatchings so probably unrelated-ish. So fast foward... 2 big bronze toms and three big bronze hens and one smallish bronze hen ALL laying eggs and now sitting on like 20 eggs since March 07- Easter morning I got a baby!!! A WHITE baby !! and have candled (and been pecked badly) as many eggs as I could but its hard to get in there and they are BIG and MEAN!! So like every day or so I get a dead one they kick out or a new baby...got 2 last nite...theyre all weird colors and look mega unrelated so I have no idea what I have here but a mess. I've got white , buff/reddish and the regular stripey brownish color babies . Baby waterers and feeders are in the coop so everyone is eating and doing great but hens arent through and its a circus in there. Any tips for the next time? Should I wait it out or take the eggs now?? The girls are violently protective even at night!! If I mess with them too much they break eggs.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    What you are explaining is exactly why I don't let my turkey hens brood or raise their own poults, I do it, or have my bantam hatch them than I raise them. The first round of toss the poult and I pulled everything. Turkey hens need to be separated and isolated I think, I don't have the set up for it.

    I have various colors of turkeys, many first generation crosses are nothing spectacular, a lot of Brown's and bronzes. The second generation starts to bring out the colors, I'm assuming that's what you are seeing.
     
  8. MRSDTHOMAS

    MRSDTHOMAS Out Of The Brooder

    ( Sorry for the delayed response...Ive got more babies!!!) Well Ive gotten it under control...I think.. the eggs left were sooooo rotten...one exploded and I grabbed the rest and candled n YUKK ...So I.have those first babies with one tom, sold a mean tom, and have only 2 hens now plus I have a dedicated baby safe enclosure and coop ! *Tommy* is a very gentle and protective daddy and with the girls setting once again I moved the first hatch (teenagers now) to his section of the aviary, and have 9 newly hatched so far with 3 lost from failed pips and 12 eggs to go. Babies are able to get out on their own into the run and the coop is double sided with nests on each side and babies are freely wandering around...I may have the start of a decent set up . Also gave 6 to a chicken who hatched and is happily raising them in the newly situated brooder in another corner of my now 24 x 24 ft 1/2 barn 1/2 aviary. I am getting an average of 2 royal palm colored and 1 buff to every 4 brown babies so far... Im reading up as much as I can and yea...I see its crazy about the color genetics...still trying to wrap my brain around it for sure !!! Im sorry I didnt see this post earlier...Im outside waaay too much and completely absorbed in this apparently! Plus Im not really a computer person but Im trying !
     

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