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Using hen turkey to hatch chicken eggs.

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ChickenCanoe, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Has anyone done this and what was your experience.
    I put eggs under a broody turkey at midnight Friday, the 20th of January thought it would work but my chicks are hatching 3 days early and not surviving. No idea why they're hatching so early.

  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Yes, I tried it and all of the eggs hatched with no problems. When the chicks were born, I allowed the mama hen to raise them. Never a problem. How long are they surviving before they die? Are they hatching ok and then dieing? Is the mama hen too heavy for them? Is she stepping on them? Which it really shouldn't make that big of a difference (weight) because the turkey poults are about the same size and maybe a little bit bigger than new born chicks.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The problem is that the broody belongs to a friend of mine. I gave her the eggs and this morning she found a dead one on the opposite side of the room from the nest and then another dead one near the nest. A little while later a dead one next to the turkey with the yolk still attached.
    The turkey nest is actually in one of her offices so she's going to work there the rest of the day to try to find out what's going on.
    The hen may be crushing them as they start to hatch and discarding them.
    She's a young turkey hen and this is her first time being broody.
    I just can't figure out why they're hatching so soon. The eggs are from 2 different roosters and 8 different hens.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    When incubating, the accepted wisdom is that if the temp is too high, they'll hatch early. I know nothing about turkeys, though I'm researching with a view to having them in the future. Is it possible turkey bodies temp is a little higher than a chicken's? (I.e., just like cats have a higher base temp than humans). That might account for the early hatches.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm not a turkey expert either but I did a little research and I thought they were a tad cooler than chickens so I thought they would be on time to a day late. Not 3 days early.
  6. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Songster

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    My turkey hen hatched three chicks last weekend. I'm surprised that she's still setting on the unhatched eggs in the clutch, which I assume are sterile. She doesn't call for the chicks, show them around the yard, defend them from the occasional peck, etc that I've seen mother chickens do for their chicks. She does let them under her to warm up, but other than that they're pretty much on their own. [​IMG]
  7. SandyC

    SandyC Songster

    I had two Royal Palms in a nest together hatch a Appenzellar Spitzhauben!!!! I thought for sure they would crush the poor thing, but they didn't and she grew to adulthood!

  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    really depend on what breed of chicken....turkey can be to heavy for some chicken breeds,,,breaking eggs or killing the chicks with their weight.
  9. java girl 2

    java girl 2 Songster

    May 17, 2011
    are the eggs from the small breeds of chickens or the large breeds of chickens???? if the eggs are from the small breeds then that it is why they are hatching 3 days Early. and if so then they are too small for the turkey hen.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They're all large breeds. The eggs were all at least 60 grams. The pure Black Penedesencas are OK as are most of the Ameraucana/pene, Minorca/crosses. I thinks the early ones were Jaer/pene and ancona/pene. All shells are quite hard.
    Right now 5 have hatched. 2 penes, 2 minorca crosses and a rock cross.

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