How To Hatch Turkey Eggs
Turkey eggs are extremely fragile. Because the oils on your skin can pass through the egg shells, always handle eggs with clean hands.
Use an incubator to help healthy turkey eggs hatch. The temperature of the eggs is controlled by incubators. Additionally, they have a water-filled trough to provide the humidity that the young turkeys require to remain healthy. To aid in the growth of the turkeys, eggs must be turned over multiple times daily. After 28 days, cute little chicks hatch from their eggs and are prepared to be raised until adulthood
Hatch Turkey Eggs In An Incubator
Pick an incubator that has enough room for your eggs. Incubators come in a variety of designs, but they all function in the same way. Finding the right size is the most fundamental aspect of selecting an incubator. Consider how many turkeys you have and how many eggs you intend to hatch since turkeys typically lay 2 to 3 eggs per week. Next, choose an incubator design based on your preferences and price range.
For small batches of eggs, still air incubators are frequently inexpensive and effective. You must open the door every day to let oxygen in, regulate the temperature, and turn the eggs because they lack circulating air.
In forced air incubators, the air is maintained by a fan.
The majority of incubators have slots where you can place individual eggs so you can gauge how much room you have. You don’t need to look for incubators designed specifically for turkeys; they work for chickens and other birds as well.
Hatch Turkey Eggs In An Incubator Step 2
Twenty four hours before putting the eggs in, set up your incubator. Install the incubator on a secure surface in a space with a constant temperature before plugging it in. Give it plenty of time to warm up and acclimate to the local humidity. Get the incubator hot before adding the eggs to prevent hurting the turkeys.
Until the incubator is ready, keep the eggs in a cool place like a pantry or cupboard. The growth of the turkey is stopped by cool temperatures. Before starting the incubation process, give the eggs 4 to 8 hours to warm back up to room temperature.
Most likely, your incubator runs as a forced air incubator with an air distribution fan. It happens a lot more often.
To raise the humidity, add water to the lower trough. Depending on your incubator, the trough might have “W” for water written on it. Look for a flat trough or compartment without egg-holding racks if it isn’t marked. Fill the trough with at least 12 cup (120 mL) of fresh water. The heat inside the incubator will warm the water until it evaporates, regardless of temperature.
Change the volume of water in the trough to alter the humidity level in the incubator. More water can be added to raise the humidity. To lower the humidity, remove some of it.
Incubator Thermometer Set
A thermometer should be placed in an incubator and heated to the proper temperature. The clip will probably be near the center, just to the right, when you look through the incubator’s front. Place the thermometer so it points toward the center of the incubator and slide the stem into the clip. If the incubator has forced air, set it to 99.5 °F (37.5 °C), and if it has still air, to 100.5 °F (38.1 °C).
For best results, use a thermometer with a long stem. For an accurate reading of the temperature in that area of the incubator, the thermometer must be positioned at least halfway above the eggs.
Put a wood block or disposable plastic cup under a short thermometer to raise it.
Affix Fabric To The Lightbulb.
A second thermometer should be submerged in the water with fabric attached to the bulb. Wet a cotton shoelace, slide it over the bulb, and secure it with a clip to create a wet bulb thermometer. Place the shoelace’s other end in the water. Then, make sure the thermometer reads between 27 and 32 °C (80 and 90 °F) or 55 percent humidity.
The relative humidity can be determined using a wet bulb thermometer as long as the fabric extension is wet.
To calculate the humidity, you must compare the wet bulb’s readout to the incubator’s overall temperature. Print out a wet bulb humidity chart for incubators to make this easier.
Invest in a high-quality hygrometer from an animal supply store for a simpler time reading the humidity.
Maintaining The Eggs
To keep track of the eggs’ turning schedule, mark them with a standard pencil. Place the eggs flat side up. Each egg should have a “X” on one side and a “O” on the other. By paying attention to the markings, you can turn the eggs in the incubator exactly 180 degrees. For the turkeys to develop, the eggs must be properly turned.
Avoid using markers, pens, or colored pencils. All of these contain chemicals that can harm the turkeys by passing through the pores in their shells.
Gently place the eggs in the incubator. Place the eggs in a row so that each one faces the same letter. The narrower end of the eggs should face down in the egg holders if your incubator has them.
For 25 days, rotate the eggs at least three times each day. To keep the turkeys from adhering to the shells, turn every egg every day. The egg should be picked up, turned over onto its other side, and then placed back into the incubator. While moving the eggs, refer to the letter markings as a reference.
The Eggs Being Turned
The turkeys won’t adhere to the egg shells if you turn the eggs. It’s likely that the eggs won’t hatch if you don’t turn them.
To increase the probability of healthy turkeys hatching, turn the eggs more frequently. If you plan to hatch a lot of eggs, consider purchasing an incubator with automatic turning.
After a week, check the eggs’ viability by shining a flashlight on them. Candling is a technique that enables you to recognize the fertile eggs. Bring the flashlight up close to the egg’s shell as you turn it. The turkey embryo, which appears as a dark, veined blob in the larger end of the egg, will be visible to you. If there are no clearly visible veins, the egg is probably not viable and should be thrown away.
Inside of bad eggs are frequently rings that are black or red. The embryo may also appear as a tiny, dark smear on the shell.
Keep the eggs if you’re not sure about the viability of the embryos because some of them are late bloomers. Nonviable embryos stop developing. Give the embryo a little more time if it develops but still lacks discernible veins.
Reduce The Heat.
After 25 days, lower the heat and raise the humidity. To maintain the happiness of the young turkeys, make a minor adjustment to the incubator’s settings. Set the thermostat to around 99 °F (37 °C). increasing the humidity to 75% The turkeys will be prepared to hatch from their eggs in these conditions.
The temperature needs to be between 90 and 94 °F (32 and 34 °C) if you’re using a wet bulb thermometer.
To see the turkeys hatch, wait three more days without turning the eggs. Don’t move the eggs at all because the turkeys will be in the hatching position at this time. Search for cracks in the eggs. On the 28th day, fluffy little turkeys will emerge dry and healthy.
The turkey chicks may trample the other eggs when they hatch. To move the eggs, use the pencil marks as a guide.
Transfer the baby turkeys to a brooder. So that the turkey eggs have plenty of heat when they hatch, keep the brooder warm. Place bowls of food and water inside the brooder after spreading sawdust over the floor. The turkeys will be well on their way to growing up strong and healthy once you teach them how to eat and drink.
Twenty four hours after hatching, young turkeys need to be shown where their food and water are. To avoid getting food or water in their nostrils, they dip their beaks into the bowls.
Observe the turkeys’ responses to warmth. The brooder is too cold if they huddle close to heat sources. The brooder is too hot if they cluster together away from heat sources.
Some egg losses are common during the hatching of turkeys. Not every egg is viable, and not every egg will result in robust chicks.
Conclusion – How To Hatch Turkey Eggs
Any cracked or damaged eggs should be discarded. You have nothing to gain by placing them in an incubator since it’s likely that they are already infertile.
Put fresh eggs as quickly as you can into a warm incubator. Keep them chilled for no longer than a week. The likelihood of a healthy hatch declines with each day you wait.