Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Turkey eggs - trials and tribulations

In the incubator I have two very tired and very wobbly turkey chicks, two of the eggs have hatched ! A bronze and a white, hopefully the remaining four will follow shortly. Although their due date is Thursday.

It is amazing any have hatched at all. The eggs were bought on ebay from a seller in Scotland and although extremely well packed three of the eggs had irregular shaped air sacs, suggesting possible rupturing. Interestingly it is two of these eggs that have hatched and the third appears to be the next egg to do so.

When the eggs arrived we placed them under a broody hen. For twelve days she was the model broody and then one weekend she decided she had had enough and left the eggs to go cold. We quickly placed them in the incubator, we had nothing to loose.

On day 24, with four days left to hatching I stopped the automatic turner on the incubator and added water to the tray to increase the humidity, alarmingly the temperature soared. It finally steadied - 2 degrees higher than required for several hours. All I could do was cross my fingers and wait.

Last night about 10 pm two of the eggs had a very small crack in them, this morning at 6.15 am the first little white chick hatched, followed at 6.45 am by the little bronze chick.
Now I am waiting for the rest.

My next dilemma is what to do with the chicks, as yesterday another hen went broody. I have brought her home and settled her into the poultry shed on a nest of china eggs. I do wonder, however, if trying to foster the chicks onto her so soon is pushing my luck with these eggs one step too far.

12 pm two more pipping.
8.30pm agonisingly slow progress- no more hatches 1 of the two has increased the size of the hole so you can see the chick but a long way from hatching.The second little or no progress. Third pipping.

Tomorrow I will need to remove the first two to hatch...where is fast becoming a problem.

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