Do Turkeys Need a Male to Lay Eggs?

We all have been taught that God has created all in pairs. Undoubtedly, it’s true God has created all in pairs. There needs to be a male and female to perform certain functions like reproduction.

Whenever we decide to bring an animal or bird home, we have been advised to bring a pair. Or even we do not get advised, we always look for a pair. It is believed that animals can not reproduce and birds can not lay eggs without a male.

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The commonly raised domestic birds are no mystery, hens and ducks are being domesticated for thousands of years.

We are very well aware of their behavior and a fact that they keep producing eggs with or without a male.

Turkeys are rarely domesticated, hens and ducks are more common. As turkeys are rarely raised in some parts of the world, they have been maintaining their mystery quite well.

Even if Turkeys are not as common as hens, they are also categorized as domestic birds.

Turkeys have the same mechanism as other domestic birds. What’s surprising and worth discussing about the domestic birds is that they do not need a male to lay eggs. 

Since Turkeys have the other domestic birds have the same mechanism, do they not need a male to lay eggs as well? It’s a fair question it must not go answered. 

So, Do Turkeys Need a Male to Lay Eggs?

No, Turkeys do not need a male to lay eggs. Like every poultry bird out there, turkeys can lay eggs without a male. So, if you are bringing a turkey solely for the eggs, there is no need to get a pair.

Most poultry birds do not need a male to lay eggs

Most poultry birds do not need a male to produce or lay eggs and Turkeys are one of them. Yes, it’s true and frankly, it’s not even a mystery. You bring a mature hen or turkey home, the birds would begin laying eggs without a male.

If you are rearing these poultry birds mainly for eggs, do not spend on a male keep bringing more females to earn enough living.

So, it’s as clear as water that turkeys are one of the few domestic birds that can produce or lay eggs without any male aid. Here’s what else you need to know;

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The eggs laid without males would taste the same and have the same nutritional value

Turkeys, ducks, and chickens lay eggs without males all the time. The eggs laid without males do not taste any different, they are just as delicious as the turkey eggs need to be.

Surprisingly, the nutritional value of the eggs laid without males is also the same. 

male-turkeys

Does not having males affect the number of eggs laid each month?

When I got to know that most poultry birds do not need a male to lay highly nutritional and heavenly delicious eggs I wasn’t “really” surprised. The questions I had in my mind at that time were the following;

  • Are these eggs nutritional?
  • Are they edible?
  • Do they taste the same?
  • Do they keep laying the same number of eggs each month?

Well, I bet these and similar other questions must have been bothering you. The first three questions have been answered above, however, the last and the most asked question still needs to be addressed.

The answer to that question is yes, the turkeys, ducks, and chickens rock the same number of eggs each month.

Whether there is a male or not, if you keep collecting eggs the turkeys would continue laying eggs.

However, if the eggs are not collected the turkeys would lay thirteen to eighteen eggs every four months.

They would then sit on the eggs to incubate them. Once a certain period is over, they begin laying eggs again just as they should be.

Does not having a male affect the eggs anyway?

The turkeys do not need a male to lay eggs. It would not affect the quantity, taste, and nutritional value.

However, that does not mean that not having a male would not affect the eggs anyway.

Eggs produced and laid without a male are not fertile, they can not be incubated. To get fertile eggs that can be incubated, female turkeys need a male. 

The male and female Turkeys mate to produce fertile eggs

In the nesting season, the male and female turkeys have to mate to produce fertile eggs.

The day the male and female turkeys do not mate, the egg would not be fertile. It is the main reason why few of the eggs fail to develop a baby turkey.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do turkeys produce eggs?

Yes, turkeys do produce eggs. It’s just that they are not that readily available. The eggs that the turkey lays are slightly bigger, got thick shells and have the same taste as chicken eggs.

Are Turkey eggs sold in the market?

Yes, the eggs are sold in the market but they are not readily available. This is so because turkeys are not frequent layers and their demand is also quite low.

Do Turkeys lay eggs all year round?

Like every poultry bird out there, turkeys lay eggs all year round. However, the number of eggs they lay annually may not be impressive. As per research on average, chickens lay 250 eggs whereas, turkeys lay 100 eggs a year.

Summary

Turkeys, hens, and ducks are the few commonly raised domestic birds. All these poultry birds have so many similarities.

They are a source of meat and eggs. The most widely asked questions about hens and turkeys are that “do they need a male to lay eggs?” The answer is no they do not need a male to produce eggs.

However, if we get asked do turkeys need a male to produce fertile eggs? It would be more appropriate to say yes, they need a male to produce and lay fertile eggs. Other than the matter of being fertile or not, the eggs have the same taste and nutritional value.

  • Usman Aslam has done his degree in Agronomy and Animal breeding from the CAU (China Agriculture University). He is serving as a livestock expert in local farms.

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