Will a turkey hen continue to sit on bad eggs?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Savedbygrace, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Savedbygrace

    Savedbygrace Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016
    Hi everyone, I have a question about my midget white hen, she's been sitting on eggs for a long time. I can't be sure of the exact date she started setting, I jotted on the calendar when she seemed to start being broody but I may have been off by a few days to a week cause she seemed to add eggs after I wrote that. She started with 13 eggs and this morning when I fed her I looked at the nest and would say there is around 7. My guesstimate for hatching day was may 22 so we are quite a ways past that, how long should I let her continue to sit before I intervene or steal and egg to candle?

    Will she continue to sit on bad eggs or should I be trusting her instincts on this?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. R2elk

    R2elk Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    Yes a hen will continue to sit on bad eggs. If you feel confident that it has been over 28 days, I would candle the eggs. Be careful when handling the eggs as rotten eggs can explode without warning.

    Good luck.
  3. Savedbygrace

    Savedbygrace Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016
    Update! They were all rotten and we pulled her off them. Yuck! Should I let her try again? Or would you just use the incubator?
  4. ShannonR

    ShannonR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2015
    northern California
    I would let her try again, she'll get the hang of it eventually. Could be not her fault, perhaps the eggs weren't fertile for whatever reason..

    My personal thoughts are that with turkeys especially, people rely on using incubators far too much. In essence it is breeding the brooding ability out of your birds to incubate their eggs for them. We all got heritage turkeys so they could reproduce naturally, right? I like to let them (or more accurately require them) to take care of their own reproduction matters as much as possible.
  5. Savedbygrace

    Savedbygrace Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016
    Thanks! And yes I agree with you, these eggs were bad and she is off them now and we moved the turkey pen to new ground and hopefully she will start over. I really don't want to rely on an incubator, much rather have it done natural. Plus they seem to have mich higher hatch rates once they get the hang of it :)
  6. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2014
    Give her a couple of weeks and she may mate again providing you have a tom that know what he is doing. I say this because I seen toms try to mate while facing to the rear. LOL
    This season I had hens hatch their eggs and a few weeks later mated and started laying eggs while still caring for their babies.
    One suggestion, make sure to candle the eggs so you can discard the bad ones early on.

    Here is one of my hens that mated and stated laying again. These poults hatched May 10.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  7. Savedbygrace

    Savedbygrace Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016
    Will do! I saw her and the Tom mating yesterday so perhaps she will start laying again soon. Thanks for the encouragement! I hope she can successfully hatch out a few this year :)
  8. amynrichie

    amynrichie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2013
    Nebraska Panhandle
    Make sure she has a high quality diet. You will want her in good condition if she decides to go for round two.

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