Wednesday, 14 October 2015

When Does A Turkey Start Laying?

Hens start laying two weeks after first mating with tom

One of the biggest questions new turkey farmers often ask me is when to expect the first egg. Newbies are anxious to a fault anticipating the arrival of the fragile solid white oval. There are signs that may suggest that your eggs are on the way. However, this article is not so much on the signs but rather the time.

Turkeys are fowls and as such their reproductive systems must be fully developed before they can lay. Laying is the final stage of sexual maturity in turkeys. The elegant creatures are good layers when they are fed. Let us examine when the turkey will start laying those precious eggs.

Unlike some birds, turkeys will lay eggs even if there are no male turkeys around. Toms, as male turkeys are known, are however required for the eggs to fertilize. No egg can hatch without fertilization. Any egg laid without fertilization will not be viable and cannot hatch!

On the average, turkeys start laying at the age of 7 months. They may lay between 12 and 16 eggs per clutch after which they will go broody. Even if the eggs have been removed, some turkeys will visit where they laid the eggs and brood.

From my experience, turkey hens start laying approximately two weeks after coming on heat. When the hen is on heat they readily offer themselves to the toms and mating takes place several times in the day. When this takes place, the first eggs should be expected about fortnight later.

Have a great day!

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