Hatching turkeys wasn’t in our immediate plans, but then Farmer John found where our year old turkey hen has been laying her eggs. We could have just left them for some critter to eat or we could see if any would hatch. We chose to try hatching them.
We set 7 turkey eggs in the incubator with chicken eggs that had already been in there for a few days. We knew from the beginning that we would have a little problem when it comes time for the chicks to hatch. Chicks take 21 days to hatch. Turkeys take 28 days, plus the turkeys were getting a later start. We didn’t want the turkey eggs in the incubator when the chicks were hatching. But, we didn’t know for sure if they were fertile or if they would develop. So, we decided to set them & worry about what to do if they actually developed.
Three of the 4 eggs still looked good when it came time for our chick Hatch Batch #4 to go into lockdown. The 4th one looked like it had quit, but I left it anyway just in case I was wrong.
The turkey eggs had to move out of the incubator while the chicks were hatching, so Farmer John used his MacGyver skills to make a temporary incubator out of materials we had at home. The only thing we had to buy was a light bulb.
The thermostat was set to slightly less than 100°. The thermostat turned a light on when the incubator needed warming up & turned the light off when it reached the optimal temp.
We used shot glasses with water to raise the humidity.
Farmer John’s original plan was to put the same insulated foam from the walls on the top, but he didn’t have enough material. Instead, he made this super fancy top out of foil & saran wrap. It may seem kooky, but it worked. I was so nervous that this move to the new incubator was going to harm the developing turkeys.
After the chicks hatched we moved the turkey eggs back to the original incubator and placed them in the turner. I tossed the 4th egg that still didn’t look like it was developing anymore.
Our first incubator hatched turkey poult!