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incubating turkeys

Posted by eggsintomatoes Black Hills, SD z5 (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 19, 08 at 21:06

I am thinking of trying my hand at incubating some heritage breed turkeys in the spring. Anyone have experience with this? Best breeds to try? Good economical incubator to get?

I currently keep a small bunch of laying hens -- 3 reds and 5 leghorns. I am planning on adding to my girls this spring too with some heavies: maybe Australops or something similar. I have read that turkeys should not run with chickens, however ten years ago I got a little bird crazy and ran hens, ducks, peafowl and a large standard white turkey together and had no problems. I free range everything on 10 acres. No problems yet with predators as I have dogs that keep them away.

However, I do have large groups of wild turkeys in the area -- does that pose a problem with heritage birds? I was hoping that incubating would have them imprint on us so they would stick around.

Any tips, suggestions, etc. are very welcome!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: incubating turkeys

I have a similar question about adding a couple of turkeys to our flock of 40 chickens next year. We have 20 acres and they are free range dawn to dusk. I'd like to raise 2-3 turkeys next year but don't have the means to add separate housing. We have wild turkeys from time to time but not large groups.
We have a neighbor with an incubator. Where would we get heritage breed turkey eggs?

RE: incubating turkeys

Here is a good site to see all kinds of heritage turkeys. They sell eggs too.

This site is about incubating turkey eggs. I incubated holland white eggs this spring with the info from this site:

You can free range turkeys, but you need to watch the hens close when they are laying. They will slip off and make a nest in the field. I had a turkey hen and her nest of eggs run over during haying. She stayed on the nest to protect them. No one saw her until it was too late.
I would reccomend keeping hens penned during their laying season.
The turkey hens seem to get along with chickens. They will chase the chickens off of the food. My tom killed one of my chicken hens trying to breed her. He got ahold of her neck and was twisting it while he was on top of her and broke her neck. I had a bourbon red tom that never bothered my chickens. So, it just depends on the tom.
Hope this helps!

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