Phil built some nice nesting boxes for the turkey hens and I have been finding at least one turkey egg nearly every day.
I’ve been popping them in an old Hovabator a colleague gave me:
I wasn’t even sure if they were fertile, but when I candled one yesterday evening at five days incubation, lookee here:
That dark spot in the middle is the developing embryo and the dark lines coming out are the vasculature that is starting to form. Good work, Vernon!
No idea how many, if any, will hatch since this is my first time incubating turkey eggs, but hopefully in less than 3 1/2 weeks we should have some baby Midget White turkeys. Kevin Porter, from Porter’s Rare Heritage Turkeys, has helpful turkey egg incubation information (excerpted);
Before you place eggs in an incubator make sure the temp is regulating at 100.5 to 101.5 degrees for still air machines or 99.5 to 100 degrees for forced air incubators with a relative humidity in the room of 50-60%. I recommend a digital thermometer and hygrometer if you don’t have these already .
If your incubator has an auto egg turner place the eggs in the holders large end up. Otherwise just lay them on their sides and turn them over completely to the other side at least 3 times a day.
Now it will take quite a few hours for the eggs to warm up, but if the temp hasn’t reached at least 99. 5 degrees in a 24 hour period turn the temp up a bit more and carefully watch that it doesn’t go above 101.5 degrees, It can get up to 103 and still be safe but this is the maximum temp and if it goes higher it will kill the embryo…
The lowest the temp can be is 99.5 degrees, if it goes lower than this for too long it can kill the embryo as well.
The first 24 days is considered the incubation period. I don’t add any water at all in the incubator for this time period. You shouldn’t have to unless you are in an extremely dry part of the country with very low humidity below 50%.
Now at day 24 the eggs no longer need turning, the last 4 days is the hatching period, the embryo is fully developed in the egg and now it positions itself to hatch and the yolk will start to absorb into the abdomen.
Now at the end of day 24 or 25 take out the turner and put the eggs back in laying on their sides or just move them to your hatcher if you have one. You will now need to decrease your temp. down to 98.0 – 98.5 degrees and also increase the humidity by adding water, and you want the humidity to be at least 80% and if you can get it higher it will make an easier hatch for the poults as it will help to soften the shell.
But make sure you make all these changes to temp and humidity at the same time . Remember this, a combination of high temps and high humidity is a killer. So lower that temp when you raise the humidity.
Your poults should hatch out by the 28 th day, sometimes they will come out a day or two early.
We’ll sell whatever hatches straight run $10 a head. Email if interested: