One Tiny Turkey

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turkey merggie

A So-So Hatch

Our temperatures have been erratic, which is typical of spring weather. But it sure messes with the temperature inside the incubators. Because the temps have been up and down so much, I had trouble keeping a stable temperature in the incubator with 13 turkey eggs. Add to that the fact that many of these eggs were quite chilled by frigid March weather. The result? Only one turkey hatched and survived. My friend Jeanine has named this little tyke Mergatroid. πŸ™‚ I don’t usually name my food, and this little turkey is intended for the freezer. But I’m now calling him/her ‘Merggie the turkey’. I feel bad because it has no siblings or flock mates. Every time I walk in the room, I’m greeted with peeps. Sigh. Why does food have to start out so stinking cute?

Try, Try Again

I won’t give up easily on my turkey hatching project. I have another dozen turkey eggs and some chicken eggs in my Hova Bator 1602N. I’ll have to be extremely careful about the temperature when the chicks hatch and come out, to be sure that the temperature doesn’t drop and kill the turkey embryos. They take 28 days to hatch and chicks only take 21 days. Since hind sight is 20/20, I’m realizing that I should have put the chicken eggs in one week later so everyone would hatch at the same time. Sigh.

I also have 8 more turkey eggs to go into the incubator that is now empty. I considered the possibility of ordering a temperature controlled thermostat kit to install in one of the incubators. They run around $90 plus shipping and need to be wired into the existing heating element…a thought that makes me hesitant to jump in right away and order one.

I have had numerous successful hatches with the incubators as they are, with no temperature control. However, turkeys don’t lay eggs for as long as chickens and I hate to waste any more eggs withΒ a bad hatch. Fortunately, the incubator that is running now hasn’t had temperature fluctuations as wild as the last one, so hopefully I’ll have a good hatch in a week or so.

Do you have a temperature controlled incubator? Have you installed a temperature controlled thermostat? What was your experience? I would love to get some feedback before I invest another $90 in hatching eggs!


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15 comments on “One Tiny Turkey

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  3. Linda Steiger

    So sorry your turkey hatch didn’t pan out! We have a Hova Bator 2362 and think that has forced air and regulated thermostat and did come with an egg turner. We paid a little over $200 for it (hubby relentlessly shopped lowest price online) and since it was about 4 years ago can’t remember where he eventually did buy it. We have had really good success (except for the year I forgot to plug in the egg turner DUH!!!).First hatch was 38 of 40 eggs. We also hatched 11 or 12 turkey eggs (one was cracked which we didn’t notice). Not sure what the current prices of Hova Bator’s are but might be better to buy a newer temperature controlled one? (after all Mother’s Day comes but once a year! haha). Don’t worry about Mergatroid being too cute to eat – they get ugly really fast!!!!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Hopefully the next batch will turn out better πŸ˜‰ Yes, I have looked at some of the temperature controlled incubators. But I already have the egg turner and circulating fan for this one, so I guess I should just bite the bullet and but the controlled temp thermostat! Will let you know how it all turns out. I looks like the turkey hen may be done laying eggs for the spring…no eggs from her in 4 or 5 days. I was hoping for another dozen or so. We’ll see. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Lisa Lynn Post author

    Hi Deborah,
    Wow, you are very busy with all the hatching going on! I hope you have better luck with the rest! I wonder if the shipping shakes the eggs up too much and kills the embryos? I have never ordered fertile eggs through the mail because so many people report low hatch rates. I’ve also never had the problem with the thermostat melting the incubator…that’s pretty scary. πŸ™

    Let me know how the rest of your eggs do!

    Reply
    1. Deborah Allen

      I was desperate for turkey eggs, and I couldn’t find them locally. Of course, 2 days after I paid for them, someone listed some on Craig’s list. Should have gotten them then! The meltdown was scary. If we hadn’t been home and noticed a smell, it could have been a real disaster! I had a friend lose her brooder house recently. It also melted the siding on her house. She just happened to look out the back window before going to bed, or her house could have gone up, too. My son keeps telling me I need to put my brooders outside. But they are so tiny!!!

      Reply
      1. Lisa Lynn Post author

        Yikes! Yes, I’m not crazy about using heat lamps, but I do. I make absolutely sure that they are secure with no possibility that they can fall, but still…in the house I use an Ecoglow brooder. I had two, but the heating element on one burned out and I need to replace it. But it limits how many little ones I can have at a time in the house.

        Reply
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  6. Deborah Allen

    Ah, so I am not alone! My hatch was exactly one Bourbon Red turkey poult! He looks so lonely, too! Mine hatched Wednesday afternoon. I was hoping for at least a pair. Still trying to find some more eggs locally. I had mail ordered these. Haven’t had much luck with the ones I have had shipped to me. My incubator is not temperature controlled. We seem to have had some wild swings, also. Not as bad as the hatch we tried a few months ago. The power was off for several days and it took me a few hours to get the generator up and running. Then, a week later, the thermostat on the incubator went out and literally melted the incubator. I got a new one and I have a borrowed one. On Easter we hatched 33 of 36 Cornish Rock X meat chicks. We got a drake about 2 months ago, and have 6 of our own duck eggs that should be ready to hatch Monday. At least 4 of those look good. I have Muscovy’s that should hatch next week, and we just set quail, silkies and mottled cochins. The silkies and cochins are for my granddaughters to sell. I just wish we could have gotten more turkeys to hatch!!!

    Reply
  7. Cornwall Turkeys (@PamsTurkeys)

    I have found that the temperature controlled incubators do have better hatching rates, although the high humidity we have is still affecting this. I am down to 50% hatches in my ordinary incubators and get 80-90% in the temperature controlled ones.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Lynn Post author

      Wow, that’s a big difference. Thanks for sharing. I might just ask for the temp control thermostat for Mother’s Day. It’s the only thing I really want right now πŸ˜‰

      Reply

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