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Red    Posted 06-21-2004 at 18:00:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello to all and hope this reaches everyone in good health and happy days. My wife and I are tring to get started raising turkeys and are completely ignorant to this new project we jumped into. We have eggs in the incubator and are hoping some will hatch. We have a lot of wildlife where we live so we had to put the new turkeys in a pen behind an electric fence. They have plenty of room and a brand new house to live in but, being half wild and half domesticated, why won't she sit on her eggs?, and one other , do we need to split them up now that they have mated so Alice may do her thing while Tom stays ruffled? HELP. Thanks Red

EngineerJoyce    Posted 06-22-2004 at 06:27:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My sister learned a couple things about hatching turkeys the hard way.
First, every time you turn the eggs, you have to mist the shells. This keeps the shells from hardening too much. She started with a clutch of 2 dozen and only hatched 4. Most of the rest were fully developed, but unable to break the egg shell.
Then once they hatch, you can't give them full free choice feed like chickens. If they eat too much high protein feed (starter/grower mash) their body and muscles will outgrow their leg bones and they will either break their own legs or otherwise become cripple and immobile.
Enjoy your endeavor!

Bkeepr    Posted 06-22-2004 at 05:03:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
We've had turkeys (old breed Bourbon Reds) for just over 3 years now, and chickens for about twice that, so I'm not an expert.

Our turkeys free range over several acres, they just mingle in with the chicken flock. We do not separate the tom and hens any time. Hens do get battered a bit during the spring breeding season, but don't seem to mind (or at least get over it) and they don't put up with any nonsense once they start setting eggs.

You didn't mention what breed you have. None of the newer breeds will set eggs--the broodiness has been bred out of them, as well as the ability and desire to forage for their own food. Older breeds still keep these qualities, although to different degrees.

Most turkey books we've bought have been something of a disappointement. On the other hand, there are several very good chicken books that'll teach you the basics about fowl keeping, and turkeys aren't that different. I'd suggest reading up.

Turkeys are difficult to hatch in an incubator...or at least we've found them to be so. We have perhaps 85% fertility, but still get only about 70% hatch rate on turkey eggs; some hatches a little more, some a little less so don't be surprised at this.

anyway, good luck. If you've got specific question, just ask!

Tom A

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