It is time to start hatching little turkeys in preparation for Thanksgiving. They will spend 28 days in the incubator, then a few more weeks in a cozy heated brooder room, then out to pasture.
Finding eggs to hatch, to start with, can be like an "Easter egg hunt" a couple of times a day, for several weeks. This is particularly true of the orchard turkeys.
I love that they have so much savannah like space to romp and play and forage, but when it's time to look for eggs, it's a lot of ground to cover! I also have to compete with the crows, who love turkey eggs, and have keener eyes than mine, or at least, a better perspective.
With a regular pencil, each egg gets marked with a code of its origin, this one came from the "barn" turkeys, and the date which it was collected. This helps us keep track of fertility rates.
The eggs go into a regular box cooler as they're collected. You can store them before hatching for up to two weeks, but I prefer to keep them for no more than seven or eight days before we set them in the incubator.