Candling Turkey Eggs ~ Day 7

turkey eggs
turkey eggs
Turkey eggs ready for the incubator.

Candling Turkey Eggs On Day 7

Candling eggs from your incubator gives you an opportunity to see the development of the embryos. In the old days they actually used candles to check for embryos in incubating eggs. I’ve used a flashlight in the past but found it difficult to use. Recently I invested in an egg candler and it works much better. Since I’m hoping for lots of baby Narragansett turkeys this spring, I was pretty jazzed about candling my latest batch in the incubator.

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At day 7 in the incubation period, the turkey embryos are difficult to make out. In fact, last week I took all of the eggs out of my incubator, thinking they were infertile. I cracked them open to feed back to my flock and found an embryo in one of them. I saw it’s tiny heart beating for just a second before it died. Curse my impatience! At one week, you might be able to see a few blood vessels forming and a dark colored spot in the yolk. Out of the 8 eggs in my incubator right now, it looks like only 2 are fertile. Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to photograph the eggs as I candle them.

I’ll wait another week and candle again. I have more turkey eggs going in the incubator today and I hope to put a batch in each week until the turkey hens stop laying. Maybe we’ll have better fertility as our tom turkey gets the hang of his job on our homestead.

For a good site with instructions on candling an egg, check out The Poultry Keeper.

Check out this video from Half Acre Homestead where they candle Turkey and Duck Eggs on Day 7…

And here is a video from showing a turkey embryo candled at 15 days. It’s pretty cool to see the embryos moving around inside the egg. Hopefully someday I’ll get better photos to share with you of the candling process.

Have you ever candled eggs during the incubation process? Do you have any tips for the best candling techniques?

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5 Comments on “Candling Turkey Eggs ~ Day 7

  1. We just found our turkey sitting on 8 eggs! It’s October and we live in Virginia, so obviously we took them and put them in an incubator. I’ve never heard of a turkey laying this late in the year. I have no ide if they are fertile yet..but I know Tom has been trying his best to work it out with Tomesina. Lol our turkeys are only about 6 months old, and she laid one egg a few months ago but the shell was paper thin and we found it crushed. I hope we have babies this time. Any comments on the time of year, or how many eggs we can expect typically?

    1. Hi,
      Well, that’s exciting! I have read that turkeys can sometimes start laying eggs their first fall, but I don’t think it is very common. Maybe having a light on in the coop helps trick them into thinking it’s spring? I don’t know if you have a light on, but it might have that effect.

      I think that the fertility of the eggs depends on so many factors that it is really difficult to make a prediction about how many, if any, are fertile. Genetics, age, nutrition, and conditions will all have an effect.

      I haven’t had the best luck with hatching lots of baby turkeys so far. It seems that the turkeys I’ve had in the past weren’t very fertile. But I have read other peoples’ accounts and some of them have had great luck with turkey fertility. I hope that you have a nice hatch with some cute little fluffballs this fall! Stop back and let us know how things go!

  2. Hi Patrice…sounds like you’ve been having some tough luck with those eggs! I hope that incubating them works out for you. Because turkey eggs take 28 days to incubate, I have found that the embryos aren’t very big or easy to see during week 1. At the end of week 2 is when you should really be able to see that embryo and hopefully you’ll be able to see it moving around.

    I have a couple of posts about incubating eggs…I hope that they will help.



  3. I am trying to hatch my turkey eggs with a homemade cooler incubator . And today is day 6 I just tried to candle them and am seeing a big dark area on one side of the egg but that’s all I can make out I can not tell if it has any veins or anything yet . This is my first time trying to hatch out eggs. I was intending for the hen turkeys to hatch them on their own but first we had a snake problem then the eggs were getting broke and after losing at least 8 to ten eggs I decided to try to incubate them myself. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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