How to Hatch Turkey Eggs

Whether you find wild turkey eggs and want to save them, or raise turkeys for a business, then you need to learn to use an incubator. When you are hatching turkey eggs in an incubator, you need to know the proper temperature and humidity, and several other things for the chick to hatch successfully.

Sanitize the eggs, by dipping them in a solution for that purpose. When you are hatching turkey eggs in an incubator, you want the eggs free from germs. Clean and sanitize the incubator as well.

Start the incubator and get the temperature between 100 degrees and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the humidity at 60 percent. If you can adjust oxygen, keep it above 20 percent and the carbon dioxide below one half percent. Make sure there is at least some air movement; 12 cubic feet each minute is best.

Place the hatching turkey eggs in the incubator. Don't adjust the temperature upward in the first 48 hours, if it falls. The eggs cause the temperature to fall a little and raising it, cooks the eggs.

Keep the eggs out of direct sunlight and drafts while they incubate. When you are hatching turkey eggs in an incubator, you want the conditions similar to those under a mother turkey.

Increase the humidity. If the incubator is a still air one, raise the humidity higher right before hatching time. If the humidity falls, increase it with a spray bottle. Spray through the incubator ventilation holes. You only add water, that is the same temperature as the incubator. If it's warm when you touch it, it usually passes the test.

Turn the eggs at least four, to six times each day. Don't turn the eggs the last 3 days before they hatch. Since turkey egg incubation period is 28 days, stop turning them on the twenty-fourth day. The chicks inside the turkey eggs move enough to turn themselves in the incubator.

Stop yourself from helping the chicks from the shells. It could cripple or infect the chick. Keep your hands out of the incubator those last days, since it disrupts humidity. Remove the chicks between 6 to 12 hours after they hatch. Wait until they are fluffy and dry. Remove all the chicks at the same time. If all chicks hatched but one and the others are dry, remove the dry and fluffy ones.

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5 Tips For Raising Turkeys

Turkeys have been considered a holiday delicacy for many years. However, this has changed over the years as more and more Americans become increasingly health conscious. Thanks to advances in rearing and meat-processing technologies, rearing turkeys has become a year-round affair. These huge birds are natives of North America and have been found to have the leanest meat among all domestic bird species.

Raising turkeys is predominantly done for meat. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes approximately 17 pounds of turkey meat every year. In order to meet this demand, turkey farmers in the U.S. have to raise more than 252 million turkeys annually. It will take you anything from 15 to 25 weeks or 6 months to grow sizeable turkeys. Below are five tips for raising turkeys.

Tip #1

Turkey poults love heat. A good source of heat is a must have for an aspiring turkey farmer. Turkey poults are happiest at a temperature of 37C especially during the first week of their lives. The temperature should be lowered by one degree every week. This should continue until they are four to five weeks or until they attain full feathers. The behavior of the birds will be a clear indicator of whether they are comfortable or not. If they huddle together near the heat lamp, then, they are pretty cold. If they move far away from the heat source, they are too hot. If comfortable with the heat setting of the lamp, they should be evenly spread out.

Tip #2

Always keep them dry and clean. Avoid smooth surfaces especially those that are lined with newspapers. Raising turkeys on such a floor tends to result in sick birds since they eat their bedding. Concrete surfaces are the best.

Tip #3

Raising turkeys on ground that was previously used to rear chicken is an absolute no. Hens pass a certain type of parasite/worm through their systems. The parasite does not affect chicken. However, in sufficient amounts, it could prove to be fatal. The parasite/worm causes blackhead or histomoniasis in turkeys. It attacks the liver and the intestines of the turkey causing a blackened head. Bright or luminous yellow excrement is a clear indication of blackhead in turkeys. If you cannot rear hens and turkeys on separate grounds, then ensure that you de-worm the turkeys every six weeks and use lime to treat areas that previously held the birds.

Tip #4

Get spotlights to hang over the feeders/drinkers during the first week after the poults hatch. Poults have very poor eyesight during their first week and as such, they might not be able to locate water and food in the drinkers/feeders. This might result in mysterious deaths especially after four to five days. Shiny colored marbles placed in their water and food will also attract the poults to feed.

Tip #5

Turkey poults should be fed with lukewarm water. Extremely cold water may cause deaths. A well-positioned spotlight can easily heat up the water to lukewarm levels. The water should also be fortified with vitamins if possible. They require a lot more protein than chicken. As such, their food should be rich in proteins.