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How Many Eggs Do Hen Turkeys Have?

hennyI know that human females are born with all of the eggs they will ever have, and I’m wondering if the same is true of wild turkeys. — Tom Hudson

Editor’s note: We posed this question to turkey biologist Lovett Williams. Here’s his response.

It is also true of turkeys. A hen has cells in her ovary that can develop into ova (eggs), and they are finite in number. Most birds have only one ovary. Mammals have two.
Everything about a bird has to be lightened for flight, and considering the relatively brief lives of birds, dispensing with one of the ovaries was a choice nature made when birds evolved eons ago.

A few bird species — some hawks, for example — have two ovaries, but only one is functional at a time.

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