Making and Placing an Irresistible Nestbox

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by PatS, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, my BR girls are still that, little girls. They are taking no interest whatsoever in our male turkey, despite the fact that he shows off for them quite a bit. I'm assuming (hoping) that things will change come spring.

    So my question is, how to make a perfect nest box? One that will call out to the girls, "Lay your eggs here. Get broody here!"

    We have a fenced-in yard, but I'm not foolish enough to think that the six foot no-climb fence deters possums, raccoons, owls, and hawks, though it does keep just about everything else out. I would like to place the nest box inside a wire (and tarp over part of that) covered dog kennel, I'm thinking of the one we have that is 6' x 11' and about 4 ' tall. Sometimes we shoo the turkeys in there if we are doing something dangerous (to them) in the yard, and sometimes they go in there now just to hang out.

    So how do I make an alluring nest box? What are good turkey sized dimensions? Do you think if I place it in this sheltered area that the turkeys frequent that the girls will get the idea? And when one decides to set, I can just close the door to the kennel and she'll be safe. Does that sound like a workable plan? I guess I'll need two nest boxes, then, for when I close the door on Miss Broody-to-be.

    If you have dimensions or pictures of your nest box, please share!

    Thank you in advance,
    Pat
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck. I have a variety of nest boxes. Large, small, enclosed, not enclosed. This is what my hen prefers:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that is what I'm afraid of. They aren't like chickens, are they? Meaning you can't just do anything you want to them after dark and have them happily setting on their eggs in the morning in a new place, right?
     
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never tried to move a broody turkey. I do know someone who has tried a number of times and those attempts have never been successful though so I'm going to go with no, you can't.
     
  5. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, then I guess the bright side to that is you can easily break a broody turkey if you want to. Unlike some of my chickens!
    If my turkey hen picks a terrible place to set, I can just give the eggs to a broody chicken, right? Will she figure out they're poults at some point and reject them or will she be just as happy as if they were real chicken-chicks?

    I would still like to know about appropriate nest boxes, though, in hopes that they'll use them to lay in and I won't have to go on a hunt every day. Should I put wooden eggs in it like I do for my young hens?
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    They will definitely attempt to search out the most dangerous location possible. They'll lay at that location but will return to forage with the flock until the magic number of eggs is reached. Even cursory attention to what the hens are up to will lead you right to the secreted clutch.
    [​IMG]

    Make as `turkey friendly' nesting location you can come up with and move the eggs from the nesting location to your digs (completely destroy the original nest - put a log or something over it) and keep the hen locked up in the area of the preferred site.
    Ours have always caught on:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    We have 18 inch square nest boxes in the chicken house, they like an out of the way spot to lay and sit. Since you have a fenced in yard you can pick a spot and make a turkey hide out. A dog house type thing with some brush over it would work. When they start laying put a couple eggs in the spot you want them to lay in and show them where they are. turkeys are creatures of habit and you can use that.

    Steve
     
  8. kangababy

    kangababy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Turkey boxes... Good Luck.. we tried that last year and ours laid in two areas and some just dropped them anywhere!
     
  9. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:I tried moving a broody turkey hen and almost got my hand chopped off, eyes gouged out, teeth knocked out and suffered temporary paralysis in my arm. I will never do that again. [​IMG] I let them be. They can nest wherever they like, including the top of the house.
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Quote:That is really a very nice picture. If you took it then well done!

    I don't have a nest box shot of my turkey tractor, but it's essentially the same as my chicken tractor here.

    [​IMG]

    My birds seem to find it cozy enough. I seldom get ground eggs unless the Dragon Queen is broody and won't let anybody into the box (it's big enough to comfortably hold two hen turkeys at once). She's a fierce customer when she's in the mood that both my wife and daughter face with trepidation if they have to get eggs out from under her! And she's only a White Midget. If she were a full sized bird I think I'd put on welder gauntlets before crossing her.
     

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