Raising turkeys for the dinner table or simply for enjoyment has become a popular pastime on numerous hobby farms. Often the need to incubate turkey eggs artificially becomes necessary when raising the birds. Many turkey mothers are notorious for being poor at sitting on the eggs so removal becomes paramount to insure hatching. Hens often abandon eggs and they must be gathered to hatch. Many times people simply want to increase their hen's egg production so they remove the egg clutch for artificial incubation.
Things You'll Need
- Egg sanitant
- Egg cartoon
- Light source (flashlight, light bulb or candle)
Gather the turkey eggs and place them in a cool, dark place for 5 to 7 days. Place the eggs so the broad end is facing upward. Using a cardboard chicken egg carton works to hold the larger turkey eggs.
Place the incubator in a room where the temperature is maintained from 70 to 75 degrees F. Do not sit the incubator by a window or any other location where sunlight can shine on it and raise the inside incubating temperature. Make sure the incubator is located away from heat ducts and doors that can create a draft.
Disinfect the incubator using a solution of 10 percent bleach mixed with 90 percent water. Wipe all areas that the eggs will touch using the solution on a cloth.
Plug the incubator in. Fill it with the required water for the unit. Set the incubator temperature to hold between 98 to 100 degrees F. Set the humidity level for 55 percent.
Disinfect the turkey eggs prior to placing them in the incubator. Dip the eggs into an egg sanitant. Egg sanitant can be purchased at most farm supply stores. Follow the directions on the label prior to using.
Gently place the turkey eggs into the incubator. Turn the eggs three or more times per day until the eggs reach 17 days old. Most incubators automatically turn the eggs but many older or simple models do not offer this feature and the eggs must be turned by hand.
Candle the eggs after they have been in the incubator for one week. Hold the egg gently up to a light source such as a flashlight, light bulb or candle to determine if the egg is fertile and there is a baby poult developing. If the egg is not fertile then discard. Place all fertile eggs promptly back into the incubator.
Watch the eggs closely on day 25. Around day 25 the eggs will begin to pip as the poults works to leave the egg. Raise the humidity level to 75 percent in the incubator to help the poults leave the egg. Hatching should occur by day 28.