Turkey Nesting Boxes

Our turkeys got to laying stage and needed something besides finding piles of hay or straw to lay eggs in so we used up a variety of the scrap bits we had around to set up a 2 seater nesting box. The back is screwed into the barn structure, so there are only legs on the front.

 

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Installing the frame
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Roof on, ready for hay

The front of the nesting box has a 2×4 step up rail to give the girls an easy way to get in and out of the nests and has worked quite well.

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all ready for turkeys when they are done in the dust bath!

Now we are ready for eggs! We did note that we should have installed the back rail to keep eggs from rolling out the back when the hens got carried away, but that was an easy fix and we are now in business.

 

Items to remember if you build your own:

  • A nice sloped roof that overhangs the nest by a few inches discourages pooping in the nest.
  • Make sure you have the nests high enough to reach in comfortably without too much bending.
  • The girls need a roost bar to get in more comfortably, but it is not required.
  • Hay is better than straw inside as it is softer and makes a nicer nest

Chicken (and Turkey) Ladders

20150227_112545One of the first things we made when we got birds, was a little entertainment for them. They like to roost, even as babies. Jessica looked on line and we were both surprised at the costs for these little accessories. I whipped up a few models in my shop to see how they worked and the birds really seemed to go for them.

These were very effective when they were little and we scaled the idea up as the birds grew, from just a couple of inches off the ground, to about 18 inches and now we have birds roosting in the rafters of our barn!

I tried a few ideas as you can see here, from blocking on a 45, to ladder cutting like a stringer for stairs. They all worked well, but the ladder approach seems best for the small applications.

20150227_112604Lessons learned:

  1. Leave plenty of room for each bird to roost on a level without interfering with the one below it.
  2. Ensure there is sufficient off set to avoid raining poop
  3. A poop tray under the roost is a great addition for clean up.
  4. Ensure the ladder is balanced with a ground extension to prevent tipping, unless it is otherwise fastened down.

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