Commercial foreign turkey(Nicholas) farming is another profitable poultry production venture. Turkey grows fast just like broilers and become ready for market in four to five months. Turkey production is mainly for meat, though we have very few people into turkey production for eggs.
HOW TO START TURKEY PRODUCTION/FARMING
Turkey is reared majorly for it’s meat, it is also very easy to raise compared to other poultry birds, this is because they are highly resistant to diseases and they have low mortality as soon has they past the brooding stage(0-4 weeks). They could be raised in a free-range setting, that is letting them out from their cage to an open surrounding area and there is the semi-intensive, where they are kept in a cage/room throughout the rearing process. The first system is very economical as they could fend for themselves most of their dietary needs but the latter system enables them to grow faster and bigger because of the attention they will get.
Basic steps to follow:
Choose a suitable breed like the Nicholas breed:
Especially if you are choosing the foreign breeds, for profitability you have to choose a breed that consume less feed and convert this feed to meat within a very short time.
Housing & Fencing:
Good housing with all types of essential facilities available is very necessary for commercial turkey production. The house must protect the birds from adverse weather conditions, predators and theft, ensure proper ventilation and the floor should be covered with wood shavings.
Floor Space – The required space for a fully grown turkey is at least one square meter per bird. So for ten birds they will need a minimum of 10 square meters. Avoid overcrowding the birds to prevent trampling and to ensure that each bird had enough to eat.
Floor Covering – Saw dust, wood shavings and other similar materials should be used for the floor covering. It should be about 2 inches thick and gradually increased to 4 inches and it should be raked regularly to prevent caking.
Feeding: Feeding should be done during the cooler part of the day i.e morning and evening. Their feeds are similar to that of chickens, mostly grains and occasionally even feeds on greens and vegetables. Their diet requires about 25% proteins and a good amount (1%) of calcium because of their large size. When it comes to consumption of water they require an around-the-clock supply of clean water, and the water troughs should be filled even more regularly during the hot season.
Debeaking And Toe Clipping: Cutting of the beak and clipping of their toe is essential to prevent them from injuring each other. Consult a veterinary.
Vaccination & De-worming: it is important to always vaccinate your birds from viral infections, especially between 0-10 weeks.
- You can start marketing you turkey birds at about 12 weeks upward.