ARGH! My hen doesn’t like the nest I got her!😩

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
145
168
122
Hi everyone! It’s frustrating when the hen has her own idea for a nest! 🤯. This is the problem.

I have a pair of Narragansett’s. I’ve raised them from poults from last spring and they free range. I have an enclosed safe area for them and bought Her a dog igloo house for nesting. I’ve been waiting patiently for her to approve of the arrangements and start laying eggs. Nada inside the nest but I’ve seen her disappearing to the next door neighbor property that has some underbrush and returning to our yard and property later. This has been going on for a couple of weeks every 1 or 2 days. Today I followed her and guess what? She has a nest on the ground under the brush I could barely tell the location she was so well camouflaged. I left her alone hoping to come back later and find several eggs but I could only find one! Some predator must have been taking the eggs. So I am sorry for her but, she deciding where to have a nest is not going to work! What should I do? How do I “explain” to her that it’s safer for her and eggs and future poults inside her fenced area? I am including pictures. All suggestions are welcomed. I did order fake eggs that are just like theirs to place in the nest. That works with my hens.
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Maybe the fenced area is to open? Maybe I should cover more of it. They have perches inside. Thank you ahead for the help.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,988
43,810
1,191
Natrona County, Wyoming
Hi everyone! It’s frustrating when the hen has her own idea for a nest! 🤯. This is the problem.

I have a pair of Narragansett’s. I’ve raised them from poults from last spring and they free range. I have an enclosed safe area for them and bought Her a dog igloo house for nesting. I’ve been waiting patiently for her to approve of the arrangements and start laying eggs. Nada inside the nest but I’ve seen her disappearing to the next door neighbor property that has some underbrush and returning to our yard and property later. This has been going on for a couple of weeks every 1 or 2 days. Today I followed her and guess what? She has a nest on the ground under the brush I could barely tell the location she was so well camouflaged. I left her alone hoping to come back later and find several eggs but I could only find one! Some predator must have been taking the eggs. So I am sorry for her but, she deciding where to have a nest is not going to work! What should I do? How do I “explain” to her that it’s safer for her and eggs and future poults inside her fenced area? I am including pictures. All suggestions are welcomed. I did order fake eggs that are just like theirs to place in the nest. That works with my hens.
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Maybe the fenced area is to open? Maybe I should cover more of it. They have perches inside. Thank you ahead for the help.
Turkey hens tend to choose their own nests. They don't like their nests messed with. They do like to feel that they are hidden when on the nest.

The tom should not have access to the nest area.

Seed the desired nest spot with fake eggs. Keep her penned in until after she has laid her daily egg.
 

GotCoop

Songster
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
251
605
212
Baker, Fl
I take the first couple eggs, "X" them with a marker and put them in the desired nesting box. Then limit their free range...usually they will adopt the box. I remove all the eggs each evening then replace X eggs back in the box the next morning. After 5 days I rotate in new "X" eggs.
 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
145
168
122
Thank you for your responses. They bring up more questions.

If I isolate the hen, how will the Tom fertilize her?
My turkeys free range. And at night they have the enclosure to protect them from predators.

How long are the turkey eggs fertilization viable?

How often do they lay eggs?

Maybe I should let her out in the morning and enclose her at sunset? Without the Tom? And just keep collecting the eggs and place them in the nest? I have fake eggs on the way which I’ll also use.

Their enclosure is in the same area I keep the chickens. Maybe I should move them further away with more privacy?

Is a ten by ten enclosure big enough for two turkeys or should I enlarge it?

Can people that raise turkeys successfully post pictures of how they keep them? I am definitely new raising turkeys and it’s definitely very different from chickens. Thank you.
 

R2elk

Magical, perfect creature
Premium member
7 Years
Feb 24, 2013
12,988
43,810
1,191
Natrona County, Wyoming
If I isolate the hen, how will the Tom fertilize her?
You don't have to isolate her from the tom, you need to isolate the nest from the tom. One way to do this is to make the entrance to the nest big enough for the hen to get through but small enough to prevent the tom from getting through.

Once the hen is fertilized, she can lay fertile eggs for up to two months. If she goes broody and hatches a clutch, she will need to be fertilized again before she can lay new fertile eggs.
How often do they lay eggs?
It depends on the hen. Some will lay daily until they have their clutch amount met. Others may lay every other day or 2 out of three days.
Their enclosure is in the same area I keep the chickens. Maybe I should move them further away with more privacy?
There are reasons that it is best not to keep turkeys penned with chickens.
Is a ten by ten enclosure big enough for two turkeys or should I enlarge it?
Technically it is big enough for two adult turkeys but the bigger you make it, the better it will be for them. The run my turkeys are kept in is 50'x100' allowing 500 to 600 sq. ft. per adult turkey. Except at the start of laying season, they also get to free range daily in an approximately 2 acre fenced area that has lots of vegetation, shrubs, trees and water.
 

SuperK

Songster
5 Years
Mar 9, 2015
191
57
137
Big lsland of Hawaii- Puna District
Joann and I have been raising turkeys for three years now and our hens lay roughly 5-6 days out of 7 starting in March. Well, that is, the Bourbon Reds do. Our three Royal Palms are lagging behind with Zero eggs so far this season, but we are hoping they'll be starting soon. Our hens don't usually go broody since we gather and incubate artificially for best hatch rates. Our hens didn't start laying in the nest box we provided until they felt safe. now every egg is there so don't give up hope- Oh, Our nest box is way more open than the Igloo- Ours do not like the closed in boxes we tried. We inverted a large plastic storage tub and cut out all four sides to leave just the corner 'supports'. We made this when they were free ranging but once we got them in under a big roof, they took to it since it was already familiar.
Good luck and hang in there!
 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
145
168
122
Joann and I have been raising turkeys for three years now and our hens lay roughly 5-6 days out of 7 starting in March. Well, that is, the Bourbon Reds do. Our three Royal Palms are lagging behind with Zero eggs so far this season, but we are hoping they'll be starting soon. Our hens don't usually go broody since we gather and incubate artificially for best hatch rates. Our hens didn't start laying in the nest box we provided until they felt safe. now every egg is there so don't give up hope- Oh, Our nest box is way more open than the Igloo- Ours do not like the closed in boxes we tried. We inverted a large plastic storage tub and cut out all four sides to leave just the corner 'supports'. We made this when they were free ranging but once we got them in under a big roof, they took to it since it was already familiar.
Good luck and hang in there!
Hi. Thank you for all your info. It’s very helpful but I can’t picture your nest box in my mind. To stop the Tom from entering the nest I’ve covered half of itheir nest, (see picture,) but I think that’s not working. If you don’t mind sharing some pictures it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you could include a picture of the area where you keep them that would be great. Just to get an idea of what a working set up looks like. Please.
Right now the female has been laying eggs under the neighbor’s bush and I just keep collecting every afternoon. So far she has laid about 15. Lucky for me one of my hens isbroody and i am letting her hatch that clutch. Every time I keep the turkey pair in their enclosure, instead of letting them out to free range, she lays an egg, on the ground, but it’s either scratched or damaged. I think is the Tom so that is not working. Their set up here is an open kennel. Maybe I should enclose it on two of the sides so she feels more protected? I was told that the Tom should not have access to nest, how does an open nest achieve that? Maybe I should keep Tom outside the enclosure always, he will sleep on a tree, and only allow the hen to be in the protected enclosure? I’ll be waiting for your advise. Thank you. I’ve included some pictures. I also ordered some fake eggs and placed them in the nest but that’s not working either.
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