Turkey Egg Hatching Tips
This is some basic info to help you get the most successful hatch possible out of your turkey eggs.
These are my methods and they work for me, if you have a method that works great than by all means continue with it. This is just for those who would like a little guidance.
Before you place eggs in an incubator make sure the temp is regulating at 100.5 to 101.5 degrees for still air machines or 99.5 to 100 degrees for forced air incubators with a relative humidity in the room of 50-60 %.
I recommend a digital thermometer and hygrometer if you don’t have these already .
A lot of people are using the tabletop incubators like the Little Giant Styrofoam ones.
I would highly recommend buying a digital thermometer with the probe that you can insert right thru the Styrofoam to get a reading right at the top portion of the egg.
These can be bought at most Wal-mart stores in the cooking section , it is the same kind you use to insert into whole roasting poultry to take the internal temperature reading .
If your incubator has an auto egg turner place the eggs in the holders large end up. Otherwise just lay them on their sides and turn them over completely to the other side at least 3 times a day.
Now it will take quite a few hours for the eggs to warm up , but if the temp hasn’t reached at least 99. 5 degrees in a 24 hour period turn the temp up a bit more and carefully watch that it doesn’t go above 101.5 degrees, It can get up to 103 and still be safe but this is the maximum temp and if it goes higher it will kill the embryo. So I like to keep it in the middle at a safe range so it has a degree or two to fluctuate either way without doing any damage.
The lowest the temp can be is 99.5 degrees, if it goes lower than this for too long it can kill the embryo as well.
Check the temperature often and make any adjustments needed as it will fluctuate a bit especially in the cheaper tabletop incubators, If you are using a Dickey or GQF cabinet type incubator they pretty much maintain the correct temp without worries.
The first 24 days is considered the incubation period. I don’t add any water at all in the incubator for this time period. You shouldn’t have to unless you are in an extremely dry part of the country with very low humidity below 50%
If you run your incubator in an air conditioned room you may have to add water if your humidity is below 50% in the room.
I have mine set up in my basement and the humidity is ideal down there already .
Now at day 24 the eggs no longer need turning, the last 4 days is the hatching period, the embryo is fully developed in the egg and now it positions itself to hatch and the yolk will start to absorb into the abdomen.
Now at the end of day 24 or 25 take out the turner and put the eggs back in laying on their sides or just move them to your hatcher if you have one. You will now need to decrease your temp. down to 98.0 - 98.5 degrees and also increase the humidity by adding water, and you want the humidity to be at least 80% and if you can get it higher it will make an easier hatch for the poults as it will help to soften the shell.
But make sure you make all these changes to temp and humidity at the same time . Remember this, A combination of high temps and high humidity is a killer. So lower that temp when you raise the humidity.
Your poults should hatch out by the 28 th day, sometimes they will come out a day or two early.
I like to see an early hatch instead of a late one. Most late hatches result in weaker poults that just don’t seem to thrive.
Most early hatched poults are very vigorous and do quite well.