How to Build Turkey Nest Boxes

By Louise Lawson

Turkeys have been a fixture in human society for centuries. Valued for their meat and feathers, turkeys are raised year-round by farmers around the globe. Turkeys are fairly easy animals to raise, requiring nothing more than food, water and simple shelter to thrive. Nest boxes are an essential feature for laying turkey hens, and can be simply built with just a little time and effort.

Lay your plywood sheet on a flat surface to determine where you want to place your nest boxes. A standard 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of plywood will easily accommodate four nest boxes, so place four evenly spaced marks on your board where you will attach your boxes.

Wash out your buckets thoroughly. Your turkey hens will spend many hours in their nests--starting with clean buckets is important for optimal health of your birds.

Set one of your buckets down on a flat surface and measure up 8 inches from the bottom of the bucket, marking the measurement. Turkeys are large birds, but enjoy a cozy nest, so 8 inches of nesting room is more than enough to make them feel comfortable.

Cut off the top of the bucket with your saw, taking care to trim evenly around the entire bucket. Cut as evenly as possible to prevent any rough edges that might injure your hens. Measure and trim your remaining three buckets to complete your nest bases.

Hold one base on its side over the first mark on your plywood and attach it firmly with two screws placed toward the upper rim. Be sure to drive the screw heads fully into the bucket to keep your hens from injuring themselves on the metal while in the nest.

Mount the rest of the bases to the plywood. Pull down firmly on each after you mount it to make sure it is secure and will not fall or shift when your hens build their nests.

Attach the plywood sheet--with nest boxes oriented upward--to an empty wall in your henhouse. A single screw in each corner is enough to keep your nest boxes secure, and allows you to move the nests without much trouble if necessary.

Fill each nest box with clean, fresh straw. The straw will help insulate fragile eggs and will help keep your hens comfortable in their new nest boxes.