Nest for my free range turkey???

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Wyogirl, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Wyogirl

    Wyogirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Cody, WY
    I have a red bourbon hen and a Narrangasett tom. I had to let them free range around the hen house as they were being aggressive to my hens. Anyway they stay near and Redred our hen had been laying eggs but stopped, and now that they are out of the hen house need to have a nesting area for her. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Ayda
     
  2. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    I'm reminded that most hens of most species (if they aren't unhealthy) will lay and set if they have a dark, sheltered, unoffending place to lay. Personally, I have doubts the free-range turkey hens will lay in winter, it's seems their reproductive systems shut down when they 'know' that it's futile to try to reproduce. I would fashion a box; snug, but not cramped; with a with one end open, (4 walls, and a bottom, tipped on it's side) with a very low, small doorway; basically, you want the hen to think she is the only think that can get in there. Of course, I also suggest placing decoy or dummy eggs, to fool the hen into thinking: 'this is a safe place, otherwise, the hen that laid these wouldn't have laid here'. (chicken, duck, goose, etc. pretty well any large eggs will probably work) Hope this helps.

    Banny
     
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    ND
    You can provide a nest, but she might not use it... you'll need to keep an eye on her and watch when she sneaks off to lay an egg. Then you can try to move the nest to a better place, or build something around her where she is to protect her from predators. I had a hen that someone gave me (she looked like a red palm) and she disappeared. I found her when my dog was running through some weeds and she stood up and started hissing. I put an enclosure around her and put a few straw bales beside her with an old truck tail gate leaned against the bales so she was under the tailgate. Then I put a food and water dish where she could reach it and left her there. She hatched out 7 poults and I moved them into an empty horse stall until they feathered out, then I turned them loose. The mom could have flown out of the stall easily but she stayed because her babies were there. I think it works better to add protection where they build their nest than to try to move it after the fact. Or you can find the nest and collect eggs to put in an incubator.

    Editing to add: If you have lights going to keep your hens laying, that would make the turkey hen lay too. If that is the case, she will probably quit now and start when the days start getting longer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  4. Wyogirl

    Wyogirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Cody, WY
    Thank you both. I have a BIG dog house that I can use for her??? I will put straw etc in their and will also keep track of her. Maybe I will enclose them in a run??? Will see
    Ayda
     

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