Congratulations on receiving your heritage Blue Slate and Lavender turkey eggs from our farm! Hatching these beautiful birds can be a rewarding experience. In this blog, we will provide you with an informational and instructional guide on how to successfully hatch and care for the eggs you received from our farm. Let's dive into the step-by-step process of hatching and raising these magnificent turkey breeds!
1. Egg Examination:
Upon receiving the eggs, carefully inspect them for any cracks or damage that may have occurred during shipping. If you notice any damaged eggs, please contact us right away.
2. Incubation Equipment and Setup:
Prepare an incubator suitable for turkey eggs. Ensure that the incubator is clean and set up according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set the temperature to 99.5°F (37.5°C) and humidity between 55-65% for the first 25 days. On day 26, reduce humidity to 45-50%, as excessive moisture during hatching can be detrimental.
3. Egg Handling and Positioning:
Handle the eggs with clean hands and avoid excessive rolling or shaking, as this can damage the developing embryos. Place the eggs in the incubator with the pointed side facing down. If you have an automatic egg turner, use it to maintain uniform heat distribution. If not, manually turn the eggs at least three times a day.
4. Candling and Egg Inspection:
Around day 8, perform candling to check the embryo's development. Use a candling light or a bright flashlight to illuminate the eggs from below. Look for signs of a healthy embryo, such as veining and a visible dark spot (the embryo). Remove any eggs that show signs of infertility, cracks, or abnormalities.
5. Hatching Process:
Heritage turkey eggs typically take around 28 days to hatch. During this time, avoid opening the incubator unnecessarily, as it can disrupt the hatching process. Maintain stable temperature and humidity levels. Allow the hatchlings to emerge naturally from their shells.
6. Brooding and Care for Chicks:
Once the chicks have hatched, transfer them to a brooder with a temperature of around 95°F (35°C) for the first week. Gradually reduce the temperature by 5°F (2.8°C) each week until reaching room temperature. Provide clean water, starter feed, and a secure environment to keep them safe from predators.
7. Nutrition and Feeding:
Heritage turkeys require a balanced diet for healthy growth. Provide them with a high-quality turkey starter feed containing essential nutrients and vitamins. We prefer to feed ours Organic NON-GMO 30% protein grower. After a few weeks, gradually transition them to a finisher feed appropriate for turkeys. Additionally, offer fresh water and occasional treats like fruits and vegetables to enrich their diet.
8. Shelter and Protection:
Ensure that the turkey poults have a spacious and well-ventilated shelter that protects them from extreme weather conditions. Provide adequate bedding, such as straw or wood shavings, and maintain cleanliness to prevent disease outbreaks. Secure the enclosure with sturdy fencing to keep predators at bay.
9. Health Care and Monitoring:
Regularly monitor the turkeys for signs of illness or distress. Keep their environment clean and provide proper ventilation to prevent respiratory issues.
10. Patience and Enjoyment:
Raising heritage Blue Slate and Lavender turkeys can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. Remember to be patient, observe their behaviors, and enjoy watching them grow into beautiful adult birds. With proper care and attention, these heritage turkeys will reward you with their grace, beauty, and, even delicious meat.
Hatching and raising heritage Blue Slate and Lavender turkeys requires careful attention and dedication. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a successful hatching process and provide a healthy environment for the turkey poults. We are delighted that you chose our farm for your turkey eggs, and we wish you the best of luck in your turkey-raising journey!
-Masha at Mockingbird Homestead