Inside: Learn about the benefits and risks of consuming fertile turkey eggs, and find out how to tell if an egg is fertile.
When it comes to raising happy and healthy turkeys, eggs play a vital role in the process. Hatching the right eggs is the first step in successfully raising a turkey flock. To guarantee that your turkey eggs are viable, you need to know how to determine whether your turkey eggs are fertile.
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How to Tell If Turkey Eggs Are Fertile
Fertile eggs can be identified through a few simple tests that can be done quickly and easily. Knowing how to identify a fertile egg is an important skill for any turkey breeder or farmer. Here are the basics of how to tell if turkey eggs are fertile and what to do once you’ve determined their viability.
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This is a lot like raising and hatching chickens or Coturnix quail:
- You aren't going to know the outcome 100% until they hatch
- You need a male
- Females can eject the sperm if they don't like that male
Look for A Clear Bullseye Pattern
If you're lucky enough to have backyard turkeys, you'll find that their eggs are absolutely delicious! They're a little bigger than chicken eggs and the shells are a bit tougher, but the extra effort is totally worth it. Most people say the taste is very similar to chickens. Why am I talking about eating them?
When you crack an egg you can look for a bullseye pattern to see if the egg has been fertilized. My understanding is that females only lay 14 eggs per YEAR, so you might want to skip this path if you are looking to hatch.
Candling the Egg
A female turkey lays about 14 eggs at a time before she is going to sit on them, so it is safe to say you can collect them all before putting them in an incubator if you want to do one big hatch.
The most reliable way to tell if an egg is fertilized is to candle them after a few days in the incubator. Personally, I wait until day seven to make sure that I can see development for sure. You don't want to candle them too often.
After even just a couple of days, you will be able to see some veins developing. This is why I like to wait until at least day seven, you can for sure see development and be able to remove those that are not developing.
Alternatively, you could let your hen do her thing. She will lay an egg every day for 14 days. She isn't going to sit on them until all the eggs are laid so that they all hatch at the same time. Try making a safe space for her to nest, safe from predators.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is my turkey egg fertile? Did you know you can determine if an egg is fertile or not by looking at the germ spot? The germ spot is the white spot on the yolk.
Why don't we eat turkey eggs? Turkeys are bigger than chickens, so they take up more space and require more food. They lay only two eggs a week, compared to a chicken's near-daily production.