Ducks, Guineas, and Other Poultry

Do Turkeys Lay Eggs?

do turkeys lay eggs

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to start tackling the mystery of the turkey. The mystery of the turkey? What could I possibly mean by that? What I mean is that it’s time to answer this pressing question – do turkeys lay eggs?

This is a question that a lot of people have but aren’t quite sure they’re confident enough to ask. Have you ever noticed when you go to a grocery store you only see chicken eggs but not turkey eggs? Is it even possible for turkeys to lay eggs?

The answer to this question is yes. Turkeys do lay eggs. So, since that’s the case, how come we never see them in stores? We’ll be happy to break down all of the facts of buying and eating turkey eggs!

do turkeys lay eggs

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Do Turkeys Lay Eggs? Yes! But Do People Eat Turkey Eggs?

do turkeys lay eggs

For those of you who have turkey eggs or are considering buying some, you’re probably questioning if they are even edible. Turkey eggs are indeed edible. However, the way that they are cooked compared to chicken eggs is a little bit different.

You can scramble, poach, or fry them, but because they are bigger than chicken eggs, it’s going to require a little bit more time for you to cook them. 

Whenever you bake with turkey eggs, you only have to use one of them. Substituting a chicken egg for a turkey egg when making baked goods can double the portion of the recipe while simultaneously adding a creamier taste to your dish. 

Using turkey eggs when you cook can be a good start to trying out a new dish with a whole new taste.

Which Breeds of Turkeys Are Best for Eggs?

You’re probably thinking, “Why does it matter where I get my turkey eggs from? They’re all gonna taste the same, right?” The answer to this question is no. There are different breeds of turkeys that can lay eggs that can produce a different taste. 

Beltsville Whites are some of the best egg layers, but may have trouble with fertility without sufficient daylight hours. This is similar to chickens, who often need a light in the coop to continue producing eggs.

Bronze and Jersey Buff turkeys are good egg-laying options as well.

If any of you want a turkey egg that will be relatively large in size, the best breed to go with is a heritage breed. Since it hasn’t been modified through breeding and selection in any way (which typically was done to produce larger carcass sizes for the Thanksgiving Day table), a heritage breed can lay larger eggs compared to their familial counterparts.

Another factor that plays a role in laying a good batch of turkey eggs depends on the turkey’s health. As long as they are being raised and cared for properly – no matter the breed – they can produce great quality eggs that will be enjoyable for everyone.

How Often Do Turkeys Lay Eggs?

Turkeys do not lay eggs the same amount of time that chickens do. In fact, turkeys lay less eggs in a year than a chicken does. The average turkey will only lay one or two eggs within a week. The most times that turkeys lay a full batch of eggs to hatch will only be once per year.

This is quite a bit less than the amount that chickens can lay, which is once per day. Within a year, chickens can lay over 300 eggs per year compared to that of a turkey, which we will discuss a little later.

How Big Are Turkey Eggs?

do turkeys lay eggs

Another factor between turkey eggs and chicken eggs is the difference in size. Turkey eggs are bigger than chicken eggs and they are just a tad bit pointier at the end, too.

Keep in mind that the size of a turkey egg can vary depending on the mother hen and her wellness. The average egg can be between 2 and 2.7 inches in size with a circumference that averages 5 inches. 

As for the inside of the egg, the interior could possibly have between 65-115 grams of material. Because turkey eggs are bigger than chicken eggs, you’ll be getting a bigger portion size when you’re cooking with these. 

Another difference between them both is the thickness in the shells. Turkey eggshells are thicker than chicken eggshells, so it might take a tad bit more work to crack them when you get ready to cook them for your next meal. Here’s a tool that can help with smaller eggs.

How Many Eggs Do Turkeys Lay? 

Compared to chickens, turkeys lay fewer eggs within a year. 

Cumulatively, farmers can expect their turkeys to only lay 100 eggs each year. Keep in mind that this is one of the reasons (among others) why we hardly see turkey eggs in grocery stores – something we will talk about later on.

What Color is a Turkey Egg?

As you can probably imagine, the color of a turkey is different from that of a chicken egg. Turkey eggs are typically off-white with tiny brown speckles on them. 

As for the inside of a turkey egg, the yolk will look similar to that of a chicken egg, yellow with the egg whites being a clear color. 

Do Turkeys Lay Eggs Year Round?

Turkeys do lay their eggs year-round, but it is done sporadically and not on a consistent basis. As stated earlier, compared to their chicken counterparts, turkeys lay eggs less often. Their clutches can contain anywhere between 2-14 eggs. 

Imagine them doing this at different times throughout the year. Because their batches include such little numbers, they can’t produce as many eggs as chickens can. 

However, the consolation here is that you’ll get bigger eggs overall – so it’s a wash.

So imagine how many eggs you can save on a rainy day when you can just substitute them for turkey eggs instead? That’s a great bonus to consider if you want more bang for your buck!

Turkey Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs

do turkeys lay eggs

We’ve already compared turkey and chicken eggs in several different areas, particularly in the size and frequency of laying. 

From their size to their color, there are different features that each one comes with that make them unique. However, there are a few other differences between the two types of eggs that are worth mentioning.

Nutrition Facts: Turkey Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs

You may be concerned with the health benefits of a turkey egg in contrast to a chicken egg. Comparing the two, the turkey egg proves to be a little less healthy in terms of its nutrients. 

A single turkey egg contains 135 calories, 11 grams of protein,and 9 grams of fat. A turkey egg contains more than twice as much cholesterol as a chicken egg, too, which makes sense, given the size.

By contrast, here are the chicken egg nutrition facts:

Calories75
Protein7 grams
Fat5 grams
Saturated Fat1.6 grams

Chicken eggs tend to contain more nutrients (and in a more concentrated form) than turkey eggs. These include iron, minerals, vitamins, and carotenoids. 

Keep in mind that even though the nutrients in turkey eggs may be higher than chicken eggs, this does not mean that they are unhealthy to eat. As long as you eat them in moderation, you can still capitalize off of the health benefits you receive from them.

Why Can’t I Find Them In Grocery Stores?

do turkeys lay eggs

We see other products for turkey in grocery stores, such as turkey meat and an actual turkey. But how come we can’t find turkey eggs in stores?. The biggest reason in particular is due to basic economics.

Due to the fact that the laying process for turkeys is slower than chickens, this stops factories from distributing them to groceries as needed in a faster amount of time.

It can take seven months for the average turkey to lay her first egg. Chickens, particularly those bred for commercial egg production, usually lay around four to six months of age. This means that a single turkey egg costs much more money to produce – just one turkey egg would cost you $3, the same amount you can pay for a dozen organic chicken eggs.

Due to the time it takes to produce the eggs and the scarcity, you would be paying more for those than you would chicken eggs. It’s simply not economical for most grocery stores to carry turkey eggs on their shelves – they stick to roasters and breasts instead.

The Difficult Process of Selling Turkey Eggs

Another factor that makes it difficult to sell turkey eggs, not just from grocery stores but from farmers as well, is the production time for laying the eggs.

Raising turkeys for eggs is simply not efficient because of the time it takes to get the ball rolling on production. The market also isn’t much of an advocate for selling turkey eggs in grocery stores. 

Some farmers (and grocery stores alike) believe that it will be too time-consuming to go through a process that is so slow when there’s a window of opportunity to bring in more profits at a quicker pace by selling chicken (or even duck) eggs instead. 

An Alternative to Getting Turkey Eggs

For anyone out there who is really willing to do the work to get turkey eggs, you could always raise your own turkeys for meat.  

It can be an expensive process, but if you find a market for your turkey eggs, your birds can pay for themselves. 

Not only that, but there’s a market in other aspects of raising turkeys, too. You can sell turkey eggs for hatching (or hatfch your own and sell poults – you’ll need an incubator like this). 

If you want to raise your own poults but don’t want to buy an incubator, you can always keep a tom and a hen together. You can sell the fertilized eggs or you can let them hatch their own. Of course, you can always raise and sell turkeys for meat, too.

Check out this video of all of the basics and tips that come with raising turkeys:

Turkey Egg or Chicken Egg: Which One is Better Overall?

After everything that we’ve covered, some of you are probably still trying to analyze if the turkey egg or chicken egg is better. In some aspects, such as costs, nutrients, and production, the chicken egg is better than the turkey egg. 

But in other aspects, however, like size, the turkey egg obviously wins that one. 

Truthfully, it should not be a competition on which one is better. At the end of the day, it’s all about a matter of what you have a taste for. 

Do Turkey Eggs Taste Different From Chicken Eggs?

Some of you may be wondering if turkey eggs will taste different from chicken eggs. No, they don’t taste any differently. In fact, when eating a turkey egg, you can hardly tell the difference.

People who have backyard turkeys say that the taste of the eggs is almost identical to the taste of chicken eggs. Due to the membrane in the shell being thicker, the yolk in the turkey egg will add extra texture and make your food creamier as well. 

So other than the difference in costs and appearance, this proves that turkey and chicken eggs are pretty much the same. 

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Where Can I Buy Turkey Eggs?

do turkeys lay eggs

There are a couple of different places that you can buy your turkey eggs from. Start with a farmers market first. You can also reach out to the local farms that raise turkeys and ask them if they’re selling their eggs.

Now knowing all of the facts, from the nutrition to the costs, consider giving turkey eggs a try. Here’s a list of some fun recipes to get you started!

What do you think? Will you give turkey eggs a try? Let us know your favorite recipes in the comments!

Want to learn more about farming? Be sure to take a look at these other articles.

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Author: Rebekah PierceI'm a writer and small farm owner, and lover of everything outdoors. I'm hoping to share my passion for farming, gardening, and homesteading with you on my blogging journey.

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