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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by RogerTheChicken, Mar 19, 2015.
They can. They don't lay well. And a BB tom won't make them fertile.
Just curious why you would think that they wouldn't?
Yes broad breasted hens do lay eggs. The problem is that because of their size it is difficult to get natural fertilization which is why the commercial hatcheries use artificial insemination to get fertile eggs from the hens.
Thanks, I heard the that the toms will squish the hens, how long do they live, Gilbert is four, I heard that is over the average
Well I didn't think they would because most broiler hens don't lay eggs
Any broad breasted hens that I have had to maturity laid eggs every bit as well as heritage hens.
While it doesn't happen often enough to make it commercially worthwhile, it is possible for a BB tom to naturally fertilize a BB hen.
I heard that some turkey eggs fertilize themselves, true or false?
Supposedly one line of Beltsville Small White in Ontario occasionally throws eggs that hatch without fertilization and hatch out only males. I've not seen scientific literature supporting it. The eggs would not be fertile, instead they would develop without fertilization.
No, turkey eggs cannot fertilize themselves. Parthenogenesis is the development of an unfertilized ovum (egg).
There was a study done on Beltsville Small White turkeys regarding parthenogenesis.
He bred his flock to enhance their tendency to have parthenogenesis to the point that nearly 50% of the unfertilized eggs showed some signs of development. Of the developing eggs, approximately 8% actually hatched. All of the turkeys produced by parthenogenesis were males. In the natural course of things it would be very rare but not impossible for an unfertilized hens egg to be able to actually hatch.
Olsen's work is now available online: https://ia902509.us.archive.org/11/items/avianparthenogen65olse/avianparthenogen65olse.pdf (includes info. on his chicken turkey hybrids, as well)
If interested in a briefer precis, Schuett's work with parthenogenesis in reptiles is useful: http://home.pcisys.net/~dlblanc/articles/Parthenogenesis.php