What helps increase the hatching percent of turkey eggs?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Arielle, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,722
    593
    411
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    AT Hagan asked about the turkey hatch rates that other people experience. Thanks AT, that thread is very informative and got me to thinking.

    FOr those people who have a higher rate of success, say over 90% hatch rate, would you share management style. Like temperatures used for incubating and lockdown, and humidity. And whatever factors you think improve the hatch rate for you. Just curious.
     
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Theres no sub for a good incubator and a good Tom. Also, shipped eggs will have lower success rate. As the breeding season goes on and it gets hot, the tom will loose some interest and fertillity will also drop. I run 99.5 @ 45% until the last 3 days when I move them to my hatcher at 98.5 @ 65% and have great hatches.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,381
    132
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Quote:I do pretty much what Colby does. The time of year plays a big role here for the reasons he outlines. The hotter it is for long periods of time the lower the fertility will be. Feed both the tom and hens right as well. This past weekend I had two different people asked why my seventeen week old Midget Whites were so big. They weren't. They were just bigger than their birds because they'd been feeding chicken layer feed instead of a higher protein gamebird feed. It makes a difference.
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,722
    593
    411
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    AT-- you feed gamebird, do you start with a starter then switch to game bird? And if so at what age?

    Colby--what is the importance of a decrease in temp during the hatching phase?
     
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,381
    132
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I start my poults on gamebird starter (28-30% protein) and keep them on it until about two months from when I expect them to begin breeding. I move them over to a fifty/fifty mix of Layena and gamebird starter after that (28% + 16% = 22%) with additional oyster shell when they actually start laying. This coming year I'll have enough breeders to make it worth just buying gamebird breeder feed so I'll give that a try to see if it works well.
     
  6. Unclebean

    Unclebean Rest in Peace 1977-2013

    430
    0
    109
    Jun 10, 2010
    Tower City, PA
    What % of poults from a hatch make it to one week of age and two weeks of age?
     
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,381
    132
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    This likely varies with breed and region of the country so I can only tell you about my own experience. In the spring I typically hatch 85% or better of my turkey eggs. I will sometimes lose one in the brooder for general failure to thrive, but that's not every hatch. That poults actually in the brooder. I don't count them as such if I cull them out of the incubator. That counts against my hatch rate instead.
     
  8. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Quote:I use a degree lower temp because I am raising the humidity 20-25%. If I should have a temp spike for some reason(3 year old turning a knob), the high temp and high humidity is a killer on a pipped egg. Not telling you have to do this but it works for me. Years ago I was having OK hatches but I was on porters turkeys website and these were Kevins instructions so I tried it and got better hatches.
     
  9. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Quote:About the only poults I ever loose are ones that tried to hatch for 36 hours and have to help them out of the shell. Very rarely will I loose a healthy hatched poult. Turkeys are pretty easy. I think most people loos them due to stress from shipping.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by