A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey??

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A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey??

Postby cut_un » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:36 am

My knowledge of the mating of our turkeys are more hunting related than really understanding what's cookin...

I know the states,as a general rule will allow hunting at/after the peak of gobbling which means most of the mating has happened,this ,as I 've been told actually helps the overall pop as it gets the ol gobblers out of the peeking order! I understandthe overall breeding can be effected by spring weather conditions but ,generally speaking that the target!

My question is......... When a hen goes to the gobbler and as been bred.Does she stop going to him at that point? meaning she lays her fertile eggs daily and sits the nest after that one breeding or does she continue to go to the gobbler a number of times/days...till she lays her 9-11 eggs??? Also.....Wondering how long it take for the eggs to hatch..... 28 days???
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Re: A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey

Postby DocHolladay » Wed May 30, 2012 7:35 pm

I do know that hens store the sperm to be used as needed..... as in all her eggs get eaten by a coon. I dont know how much they store, just that it is done. I am sure that they will breed until they have enough to fertilize their eggs for a certain period of time.

I ordered this on DVD to watch at home, but here is a link to the video. I found it interesting and I did learn alot from it. Its a smidge over 50 minutes. It will give you some information on incubation and such.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2168110328
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Re: A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey

Postby vt.honker » Thu May 31, 2012 7:03 am

:) I have read that a single breeding encounter is sufficient .As Doc Holliday mentioned, the hen does store sperm. It is also my understanding that the hen lays 1 egg per day when she is ready and continues going to ANY tom :shock: (BUT NOT EVERY TOM) :o to mate so long as she has not laid the LAST egg of her clutch(usually 9 eggs).At that point she STOPS breeding :roll: and begins to sit on the eggs to incubate them.She will NOT roost with the toms either at that point but instead stays on the nest except for 2 feeding sessions per day (usually by herself but sometimes other hens may be using the same food plot).
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Re: A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey

Postby DocHolladay » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:49 am

Any one watch the video I posted? I watched it again the other day.
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Re: A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey

Postby ICDEDTURKES » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:58 pm

States have been pushed by biologists to push back dates so that the bulk of the breeding can be done undisturbed, leading to the belief hunters will come in during the second gobbling peak.. I have mixed feelings on this, data I have seen if accurate would leave this more devastating to local populations than allowing hunters to start during the first peak and into breeding.. I have seen where as high as 50 percent of hens bumped off a nest will not return, if true moving hunters into the woods while hens are nesting would ultimately hurt the population more than the small risk of hens going unbred due to high gobbler mortality rate at the hands of hunters.

cut_un wrote:
My question is......... When a hen goes to the gobbler and as been bred.Does she stop going to him at that point? meaning she lays her fertile eggs daily and sits the nest after that one breeding or does she continue to go to the gobbler a number of times/days...till she lays her 9-11 eggs??? Also.....Wondering how long it take for the eggs to hatch..... 28 days???


No she continues to go to the gobbler after being bred.. As mentioned one breeding allows a hen to store enough sperm to re nest if need be.. I do not believe they will attempt to breed again after being bred.. But gobblers continue to be "henned up" as they court hens hoping they squat again..

Reading from various sources over the years.. During initial egg laying 1-5/6 the hen spends very little time at the nest, hour or so.. Once she starts laying eggs 5/6+ her daily time at the nest increases.. Once all eggs are layed, average clutch being 10-12 eggs the hen spends seemingly every minute on the nest including night.. Leaving the nest for brief periods every couple a days. While hunting you can find evidence of incubating hens by the huge piles of crap, not joking. When hens are incubating in this period, it is the touted second gobbling peak.. IMO the second gobbling peak does not really exist anymore, yes you have taken some hens out of the equation.. But with the high number of turkeys seen across the U.S. today a gobbler will have hens into the early summer that either breed late, are renesting or young jenny hens shown to nest later..

28 days to hatch is commonly thought because that is the period for tame turkeys.. Some turkeys will hatch their clutch in as little as 26 days.
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Re: A question about the spring breeding cycle of the turkey

Postby BigAL64 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:13 pm

This is really good info guys!! Thanks!!
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