This is what a typical Wild Turkey’s nest looks like – anywhere from 4 to 17 eggs in a shallow depression in the ground. Sometimes, however, turkeys engage in a practice referred to as “egg dumping.” A hen turkey comes along and lays a few eggs in several other turkeys’ nests, in an effort to maximize the number of her offspring that will survive. Up to 26 eggs have been found in a single Wild Turkey nest. The hen turkey that built the nest doesn’t reject the additional eggs, but rather, welcomes them to her brood, incubates them and treats them as her own. All of the precocial chicks are out of the nest within 24 hours of hatching and follow the hen, who feeds them for a few days until they learn to find food on their own.
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