Commercial turkey farming is a profitable business idea. Turkey grows faster like broiler chickens and become suitable for slaughter purpose within a very short time. Turkey farming for meat production is very popular than egg production from turkey. Although some people keep a or several tom (a mature male turkey) as a pet. Turkey farming is similar to other poultry birds farming like chickens, ducks, quails etc. Turkeys are also very social with humans and raising turkeys is really very fun and enjoyable. Here I am describing some basics steps for starting commercial turkey farming business.
There are several turkey breeds available around the globe. But all those breeds are not suitable enough for commercial meat production. You can raise only a few of those breeds in your farm for profitable meat production. For profitable meat production you have to use some modern turkey breeds that are raised for commercial production. This type of turkey breeds has a maximum feed to meat conversion rate. They consume less feed and convert this feed to meat within a very short time. Broad-breasted White is such a modern turkey breed for commercial production. The meat produced by raising this breed on pasture on a small farm, it will be more tasty and favorful than the meat produced from commercial farm. White Holland and Standard Bronze are other two popular meat producing turkey breed. This two breeds are not actual breed. Broad-Breasted Bronze and Whites are just non-standardized commercial strain used for meat production (they are not actual breed). Along with this there are some other breeds available that are beautiful and different looking birds. Bourbon Reds, Narragansetts, Royal Palm etc. are such turkey breed. For commercial meat production, you should go with Broad-Breasted Whites, Standard Bronze and White, White Hollands etc.
Housing & Fencing
Good housing with all types of essential facilities available is very necessary for commercial turkey production. In this regard, you have to make a permanent house like chicken house and ensure availability of all necessary facilities. For fencing, make the fence as high as possible. Turkeys are large in size and become very strong. So, the fencing must have to strong enough to protect the birds. You can use electric poultry netting, woven wire fencing, metal T-posts or wooden posts. However, while making housing and fencing for turkeys, keep in mind the followings.
- You must have to make proper protection from all types of predators and harmful animals.
- Ensure availability of sufficient space inside the house. Generally, 75 feet * 75 feet space is suitable for accommodating for up to 12 birds.
- Never let the turkeys to graze in the pasture until they reach grazing age.
- Using wooden litter is very effective for turkey farming.
- Make sure sufficient flow of fresh air and light inside the house.
- Make proper ventilation system.
- Make the house suitable enough for cleaning it regularly.
- In case of fencing, make it as high as possible. The fencing must have to be at least four feet above the ground.
- The turkeys far very strong and big than other birds. So, make the fencing with strong materials.
Feeding & Watering
Good and nutritious feed keeps the bird healthy and productive. So, it would be better to learn how to feed the turkey birds and this will help you to prevent problems in turkey farming and reducing feeding costs. Turkey needs more protein in their food for first few weeks than other domestic birds. The protein in poultry feed should be at least 28 percent. You can go with chick starter which contain about 28 percent of protein. Feed the turkey, chick starter for first six weeks and after that period you can feed them grower feed. Grower feed should contain 20 percent protein. The amount of protein in turkey feed is higher than chickens or other poultry birds feed. Along with providing nutritious food, always serve them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water. Generally, 2 gallons of fresh water is necessary for one dozen of turkeys.
Care & Management
Always try to keep your birds in healthy environment and learn more about turkey farming and how to prevent health problems. Never feed your birds contaminated or outdated food. Always provide them clean and fresh water. Keep sufficient space inside the house. And lastly, take good care of your birds.
In commercial turkey farming, the birds become suitable for marketing within 12 to 20 weeks. Sell all the birds when they reach the slaughtering age.
Turkey farming business is really very lucrative and enjoyable. If you are thinking about setting up commercial turkey farming business, then try to learn more about them and visit many turkey farms.