An Incubator Full of Turkeys
Our birds flourished and we soon had enough eggs to fill the incubator. The incubator is such a fun project because turkey eggs develop so fast, just 28 days! I’ve always marveled over this, truly a miracle that something can be transformed so quickly from an egg to a live bird…
When the eggs started to hatch, you would have thought it was the Super Bowl, Philip and I sat for hours watching the eggs hatch!
If you have never had the opportunity to watch an egg hatch, I’ve included a short video. The entire process is much longer, the chick uses their egg tooth to chip the opening that you see here. While it’s tempting to “help” the chicks , they need to complete this process themselves for proper development.
While still in the incubator, the poults are always so interested in us…climbing over the eggs to come close to look at us. There’s a book called “Are You My Mother?” and I always wonder what they think as they peer out as us as we excitedly watch them.
Once the poults dry, they are ready to move to the brooder.
One mistake we made with our incubator experience, was the hens had already started sitting on the eggs outside. Each day, the hens laid additional eggs, so that 28 day clock was starting over each day with the addition of new eggs. We had no way to know which ones should have hatched and what might be bad eggs.
We did candle the eggs as well, but it can be difficult to tell at times. It took a few weeks for all the eggs to hatch. Luckily the poults easily accepted the younger birds for quite a while.
Some of our babies hatched in more unconventional ways. Momma Chicken likes to sit, so we gave her a job. Here she is pictured with a poult that she hatched.
We filled the incubator several times and were quite successful in hatching many turkeys. I remember the day we bought that first trio of turkeys and the lady said they had over 30 birds… I thought they were nuts… little did I know how quickly we’d become the crazy people with well over that number of birds! Turkeys oh my!
As a side note, we’ve since learned that replacing chicken with turkey is not a substitute we care for and while we will likely raise both, I still prefer to raise chicken for that purpose. See how quickly the turkey grow.
About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.