Hatching turkey eggs under a hen works well if you have a broody hen like a Silkie crossbreed or Bantam. These hens typically sit on any egg, even items that resemble an egg. Don't put too many under your hen, as she'll frequently move the eggs and organise her nest. You don't want any to fall out or be uncovered. If you utilise more than one broody hen, don't put them next to each other. They may try to steal each other's eggs. Set the eggs out on the same day so they hatch around the same time. If one broody has babies, the other may leave her eggs.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Broody hen
- Brooding box or nesting spot
- Fertilised turkey egg
Prepare a brooding box or nesting spot in a calm, quiet, enclosed area. The ideal size is 16 inches square. Fill the bottom with straw or sawdust.
Put the broody hen in her box or the nesting spot at night, so you don't disturb her. Leave her alone for a few days to get used to her new surroundings. If she continues to brood while left alone, she's ready for the eggs.
Place the eggs in the brooding box at night, underneath your hen.
Take the hen out of the brooding box one time a day to eat, drink and go to the bathroom. Do this at the same time each day so she knows the routine. After the 28th day, leave her alone. Put her water and food where she can reach it but not where baby turkeys could.
Remove the broken and unhatched eggs and clean out the brooding spot after the hatch is complete. Place a low-water container where the baby turkeys can drink safely without falling in. Do not disturb your hen during this time. She should be busy bonding with her new babies.
Tips and warnings
- When you're testing to see if your hen is truly broody, place some egg-shaped rocks or throwaway eggs under her. If she stays in place, she's ready for your turkey eggs.
- If the eggs are dirty, clean them with a dry, rough sponge. Clean eggs hatch better.
- If your hen has lice, delouse her before the eggs hatch.
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