Just like all other oviparous animals, turkeys also lay eggs, though this variety isn’t talked about as much as some of its other counterparts, such as the hen or the ostrich.
This lack of hype may be speculated to be partial because of their absence in conventional grocery stores or restaurant menus. Although the first thought that comes to mind after hearing such an argument is that the reason for their absence might be that they might be inedible. But to most of our surprise, that is absolutely not the case.
Are Turkey eggs edible?
Not only is the relatively high difference in cost of Turkey eggs (discussed ahead) a huge deterrent in making it widely edible, but one of its nutritional values also makes people steer clear of it.
A single turkey egg is known to have as much cholesterol as almost three sticks of butter. A regular consumer might be extremely probable to experience problems related to high blood pressure or heart issues in the future.
Thus, from a visual perspective, there is seemingly nothing wrong with eating Turkey eggs. However, when viewed from several aspects, there are several deterrents that contribute to its lack of availability in the markets, and therefore a proportional lack of consumption.
Turkey eggs are known to be quite similar in taste to chicken eggs (although some claim that they might be creamier), though, in terms of weight, they weigh considerably more. A standard chicken egg weighs almost 50 grams, while a wild turkey egg is around 90 grams on average thus pointing towards almost a 50% increase.
A major difference between the two eggs is the nutritional breakdown. It goes unsaid that due to the almost doubled size, the nutritional values are approximately double to that of a chicken egg as well.
A turkey eggs’ nutrition consists of almost 135 calories on average, with 9 grams of fat and 11 grams of protein. These can be compared to the average chicken eggs values to see the difference clearly, which lie at 75 calories with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
The real reason for the apparent scarcity of Turkey eggs is the economical situation that surrounds their upbringing.
It is extremely expensive to raise Turkeys as compared to raising hens, which usually do not require much attention. As Turkeys are bigger in size, they need more space to live and thus more food as sustenance, all of which just contributes to the costs of raising them.
Not only do Turkeys take longer to start laying eggs (at 32 weeks compared to 20 weeks for Chickens), but they also only lay around a hundred eggs per year each in contrast to the average of 350 per annum for every chicken.
In short, the difference is clear to see as to where a single turkey egg costs almost $3, a dozen chicken eggs can be bought for the same price!
How do I hatch turkey eggs?
If you own an incubator and are planning on hatching turkey eggs on your own, worry no more for we’ve got you covered with all the details you might need for this process!
If unbothered, the eggs can be collected & hatched through an incubator quite easily. It takes almost 28 days for a single egg to incubate.
Conditions for Incubation
Quite surprisingly, the temperature to get turkey eggs to hatch is the same as the temperature that is needed by chicken and duck eggs.
In a conventionally used Still-Air Incubator, that might be somewhere around 100.5-101.5F, while in a forced Incubator that will be an exact 99.5F for the hatchlings to be healthy.
However, at the time of hatching, you have to keep a lookout for the rise in temperature due to the growing turkeys’ own body temperatures. You will thus have to adjust the temperature accordingly to avoid any harm to the turkeys inside the eggs.
During the Hatching Process
The “internal pip” is when the chick first breaks through the membrane to infiltrate the air sack. This happens around Day 24 and is the sign of the beginning of the hatching process.
As soon as you notice this process to begin, you should:
Turn the temperature down by 1 Degree
This is done to prevent the chicks to become too hot and fall ill by stressing themselves while they are in the process of trying to free themselves
Bring humidity levels up to around 80%
Several methods can be used to put this decrease into effect: actions like spraying the eggs with a spray water bottle or adding wet sponges to the incubator are all acceptable things that succeed in achieving our goal.
Open all air vents
You can get the inference for this for when you work out in the gym yourself; after all the hard work you put in, your body is in dire need of Oxygen, aka fresh air.
Similarly, a fresh Oxygen supply will not only keep the chicks strong but will prevent them from falling victim to CO2 poisoning. This can also be prevented by keeping the air less humid
And that is about all you need to do! If you follow the above instructions to the T, you will surely end up with healthy chicks that will end up living a long and healthy life.
However, it is widely said that the real challenge begins after the young turkey chicks come into being. They are even harder to raise than chicken or duck chicks. Whatever the challenges you might face, the outcome might be all worth it for you!