Turkeys are some of the biggest birds around, and the largest domestic fowl kept in North America.
Turkeys are impressive birds, alright, and though they were only a hair’s breadth from being made the national bird of the United States they are the symbolic bird and main course at Thanksgiving dinners, their delicious, juicy meat being the main course.
But on that note, you never see turkey eggs at Thanksgiving, or at breakfast for that matter. But why not? Do turkeys even lay eggs?
Yes, turkeys do lay eggs. Their eggs look like chicken eggs, but are bigger. They will be light to darkish brown, sometimes speckled, and tend to have thicker shells than chicken eggs.
Of course turkeys lay eggs, just like all birds do! It is no great mystery, but there is a lot more to learn about turkey eggs, including why we don’t usually see them on our breakfast or dinner tables.
Keep reading and I will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about turkey eggs.
How Big are Turkey Eggs?
Turkey eggs are significantly larger than chicken eggs. On average, turkey eggs are anywhere from 50% to 100% larger than chicken eggs, and much harder, too.
Turkey eggs are typically an elongated oval shape, similar to a large teardrop, and are usually about 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
How Many Eggs Do Turkeys Usually Lay?
Turkeys typically lay their eggs in clutches, which means that they lay a group of eggs together over several days, rather than just one at a time.
The size of a turkey clutch can vary depending on the breed of turkey, but they typically lay between 8 and 15 eggs in a clutch.
After laying a clutch of eggs, the turkey will incubate them for around 28 days until they hatch. During incubation, the turkey will rotate and tend to the eggs, keeping them at a constant temperature until they hatch.
It’s worth noting that domestic turkeys may lay more or fewer eggs at a time than their wild counterparts, as selective breeding and other factors can affect their egg-laying patterns.
What Color are Turkey Eggs
Turkey eggs have a hard, sturdy shell that ranges in color from pale cream to a medium brown. The exact color can vary depending on the breed of turkey and the individual bird.
Some turkey eggs may appear to have speckling or spotting on the shell, while others may be a solid color.
It’s important to note that the color of the eggshell doesn’t affect the taste, quality or nutritional value of the egg. The color is actually determined by the breed of the turkey and is unrelated to the egg’s flavor…
When Do Turkeys Lay Eggs?
Wild turkeys typically lay their eggs from March through May, with peak laying occurring in April. They will often lay their eggs in a shallow depression in the ground or in a hidden location such as a dense thicket or brush pile.
After laying a clutch of eggs, the female turkey will incubate them for about 28 days until they hatch.
Wild turkey hens generally only lay one clutch of eggs per year, although they may lay a second clutch if the first one is destroyed.
In contrast, some domesticated turkeys have been selectively bred for egg production and their laying patterns can differ significantly from wild turkeys.
Domestic turkeys are typically bred to produce a much larger number of eggs than wild turkeys, and they may lay year-round, although their production may slow in the winter months due to the decreased daylight.
In summary, wild turkeys typically lay their eggs once a year or twice at most, while domestic turkeys may lay eggs year-round.
How Often Do Turkeys Lay Eggs?
Turkeys do not lay eggs every day like chickens do. In fact, compared to chickens, turkeys lay eggs much less frequently, even in domesticated settings.
On average, a turkey will lay about two to three eggs per week, but this can vary depending on the breed, age, health, and season.
How Many Eggs Will a Turkey Lay in a Year?
Wild turkeys will lay around 10 to 18 eggs per year, while domesticated turkeys can lay upwards of 100 eggs in a single year.
How Will You Know When a Turkey is Going to Lay?
In wild turkeys, it can be difficult to determine when a female turkey is going to start laying eggs because they do not exhibit any specific behaviors that signal the start of the laying season.
However, if you are observing wild turkeys in a nesting or brooding activity, such as a female turkey sitting on a nest or chicks following the female, it is likely that they have already started laying eggs.
During the laying season, female turkeys may spend more time alone or in small groups and may be more vocal or aggressive if approached by a potential predator.
In domesticated turkeys, breeders may be able to predict when a turkey is going to start laying based on the age and breed of the bird.
Once a female turkey, also known as a hen, reaches sexual maturity, she may start to vocalize more frequently or become more active and alert.
Some breeds may exhibit more pre-laying behaviors such as searching for a nesting site, scratching at the ground, or laying small mock clutches of eggs.
However, these behaviors are not always an indicator that the turkey is going to start laying eggs and can vary depending on many factors.
Do Turkey Eggs Taste Different from Chicken Eggs?
Yes, they do. Turkey eggs are generally acknowledged by those that try them to have a different taste than chicken eggs.
This is because of the difference in size between the two types of eggs, as well as the differences in their nutritional composition.
Turkey eggs are typically denser, larger and richer than chicken eggs and contain more yolk, so they have a creamier flavor. Some people also describe them as having a slightly gamey taste.
They can be a unique addition to any meal that requires eggs, and they can be prepared in the same way as chicken eggs.
Are Turkey Eggs More Nutritious than Chicken Eggs?
Indeed, turkey eggs are generally more nutritious than chicken eggs on a per-egg basis. Turkey eggs are larger and have more protein, which makes them a great choice for people on a high-protein diet.
They also are an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is important for maintaining nerve and blood cell health, and they have higher levels of selenium and riboflavin compared to chicken eggs.
However, turkey eggs do contain more cholesterol than chicken eggs, so they may not be the best choice for people who need to limit their cholesterol intake.
Do People Eat Turkey Eggs?
Rarely, it seems. Turkey eggs are entirely edible, although are not a common food item at all except for people who farm or raise them.
They are far less commercially available than chicken eggs in every market. This is partly due to the fact that turkeys generally lay fewer eggs for consumption, as well as their bigger size, which makes them harder to handle in a commercial setting.
Turkeys also lay much more slowly and require a lot more food than chickens, meaning the economics of turkey eggs just cannot match up against the ol’ standby chicken egg.
However, the people who raise and keep turkeys do enjoy their larger eggs and use them in all the usual recipes such as omelets or scrambled eggs.
If you have access to fresh turkey eggs, they can be an interesting way to change up your breakfast routine; give them a try!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.