How to encourage turkey hens to lay in the nest?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ninjapoodles, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    My Narri turkeys are just dropping eggs wherever they happen to be! [​IMG]

    I have a large octagonal doghouse fixed up as a nesting box, but they're ignoring it...if I take the top half of the house off, would that perhaps make the nest more inviting? Would hay be better than shavings for nest material?
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Try the hay/straw. Make a depression in it. I don't know about Narri's but our RP and Slate went through the random egg drop for a couple weeks and then went into the `I want to nest mode', walking off into the woods as if in a trance, making forlorn sounding `whooting' calls (as if the perfect location would call back) and starting nests in the most dangerous locations. Once they reached this phase it was relatively simple to start placing their eggs in a safe location with plenty of straw and sticks to further arrange around the moved eggs. Then they would lay daily but would continue to roost until the egg count was perfect, at which time they began brooding and woe to any hand that came near.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  3. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, Do you have any brush or plants growing in there run for them, If you plant some small pines or some other bush type plants in clumps in a corner of the pen they may use that spot if they are confined to that particular area.

    Here is some natural growing brush and plants in my pens, the hen has a clutch of eggs under her in the first pic..




    experienced Hens with some of there growing poults they hatched

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  4. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    mine lay all over too. in fact one of them gets into a 5 gallon bucket that the chickens lay in and squishes in to lay. it's bizarre.

    how she does it is a mystery. and they don't even lay up high, usually on the ground. weird!
  5. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    LoL, when I had the Narri Hen, she was searching for a nest, so I took an old snowmobile windsheild (like everyone has one of these! Doh... but I then put a handful of twigs over that, long sticks around it also, then placed an old grain bag over the top. She loved it.
    Good luck!
  6. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2008
    SW IA
    I have a few andalusian hens that insist on going in the rabbit shed and laying in a rabbit nest box, they are stacked on top of some carriers in there. A few days ago I come in to find my slate hen pacing back and forth with that 'where do I want to put this thing' look on her face. Sure enough next am there is a turkey egg in the next box! I have no idea how she fit in there let along got the egg in there! So yesterday am I go out and there is a turkey egg on top of the rabbit carriers next to the nest box, I am guessing on of the andalusians must have been using it when the need struck! So I put it in with the other and removed the chicken eggs, I am hoping she will decide to hatch them. It is in a a relativly safe area and she won't get rained on in there.
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  8. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks, guys. I've saved the eggs from the last few days, so I'll pile those in the nest, and make a nest of hay and some twigs.

    Do most of you provide a cover for the top of the nest, or leave it open?

    Charlie, my turkey pen HAD some brush and grass and weeds in it when we built it, but they've denuded it since then. What can you plant in there that they won't destroy? Most of the pen gets full sun, so theoretically I should be able to plant there.
  9. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well i have wild huckle berry bushes in my pens they are 4 ft tall plants and have been in there now for almost 6 years, there are a few other types of native plants but I'm not sure what they all are besides the fern which they do not eat and the winter berry bush..

    I'm going to add some of these this year to my turkey and pheasant pens, will keep the under part trimmed on most so nobody is hiding eggs under them..

    Russian cypress (Microbiota)
    Widely spreading conifer w/bright green, feathery, scale like foliage that turns copper in fall - 18-24 inches tall spreads 4-6 ft - Prune or shear at any time

    Taxus (Yew) Repandens
    Spreading plant that grows 2-4 ft tall and 12ft wide and as a flat top-sort of- Prune or shear at any time to shape yew plants and keep them compact. Some other yews to consider are 'Adpressa Aurea' has golden yellow foliage - 'Brevifolia' 2-3 ft - 'Compacta' is a dwarf - and 'Pendula' is a spreading plant with drooping branches and no berries, Both of these can take sun or partial shade

    These should look great and have functionality in nice big runs. however i must do more research on the plants them selves to make sure nothing is poisonous..

  10. Struttn1

    Struttn1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Southern Illinois
    Put the top on the doghouse then cut some leafy tree limbs and turn the doghouse into a brushpile. If you have a cane thicket nearby cut some cane to pile on it and it should work.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by