Friday, 2 October 2015

Encouraging Turkeys To Lay in Nest

Getting turkey hens to lay in the nest sounds easy. In fact I never considered it as an important subject during my early years of raising these wonderful creatures. When I finally realized that my hens are laying, each had laid about 8 eggs by then. I was lucky the foxes did not see the eggs first.

Turkeys are very gentle creatures. They are highly intelligent creatures, aspect of the turkey's life which many people get wrong. They are pretty good learners. Ironically, that can be the problem with raising turkeys. They virtually have to be taught EVERYTHING!

To get your turkeys to lay at the right place, you first need to teach them how to do it. Getting a nice nest available is no guarantee either. Through my years, I have identified ways to teach the turkeys exactly where to lay the eggs.
    1. Get the sex right: This may sound trivial but you will be surprised how many people get this wrong. Sexting turkeys is not a trivial topic. It is covered extensively in the post here. You need to determine that the turkey is a hen. It will start laying between 6 to 9 months depending on the breed. With that done, you are ready to go!
    2. Look out for the signs: Laying is the final result of several signs of a matured hen. The signs are discussed in this post. If the hen is positive on all the signs, then it is time to start your own preparation!
    3. Location is vital: Like many other birds, turkeys absolutely love their privacy when they are laying eggs. They prefer a bushy area with moderate temperature. In preparing the nest this must be considered. The nest should be away from the general population to give the hen the privacy it needs.
    4. Observe the laying time: Turkey hens generally lay every other day when they start laying. They may break once every week from the cycle. Observe the creature and notice the time that it will lay. It is important not to disturb the hen a this stage. With the laying time determined, move the turkey to the prepared nest the next day.
    5. Confirm acceptance of nest: It is sometimes possible that the hen may not accept the nest. If this happens, repeat steps 2 to 4. If the hen however lays in the nest then that is it. 
Congratulations! You just successfully coached your turkey to lay in the nest.

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