Jersey Buff turkey farming is popular and common. Because it is a beautiful breed of domestic turkey which is raised mainly for meat production purpose. It is named and noted for it’s beautiful buff-colored plumage and the breed is also known just as Buff turkey.
The Jersey Buff turkey was developed from the mid Atlantic region. After the development, the breed never widespread and it was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1874. The breed was used in the development of the Bourbon Red variety in the late 1800s (which was selected more purposefully for performance and was promoted more widely).
The Bourbon Red turkey gained prominence, and that resulted the Jersey Buff turkey’s numbers to decline. The Jersey Buff turkey breed was not extensively selected for other performance qualities, even though the breed’s color was advantageous for processing because of the nearly white pinfeathers. And the variety become rare by the early 1900s.
Interest in the Jersey Buff turkey was revived again in the 1940s. And a new strain of the breed, called as the New Jersey Buff was developed. The Buff variety is still rare today, and the Broad Breasted White turkey is continuing to edge out all other heritage turkey breeds.
According to The Livestock Conservancy the Jersey Buff turkey is critically endangered. The breed has also been included in Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste. Today, the breed is most popular in the United States, but it is also found in some other countries throughout the world.
However, as these birds are good for meat production, so starting commercial Jersey Buff turkey farming business can be profitable. And at the same time, you can help the breed to recover it’s total population.
How to Start Jersey Buff Turkey Farming
The Jersey Buff turkeys are just like many other domestic turkey breeds. They are very strong and hardy birds. So, starting commercial Jersey Buff turkey farming business will be relatively easy. Here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating a successful Jersey Buff turkey farming business from purchasing birds to caring and marketing.
First of all, you have to purchase very good quality, healthy and active birds for starting your Jersey Buff turkey farming business. Purchasing good quality birds is very important, because good quality birds always ensure good production and maximum profits.
You can purchase either mature birds or day old poults depending on the price and availability in your area. The mature birds are generally sold at very high prices in the market. While the day old poults are much cheaper. So, we recommend starting with day old poults.
You can purchase the poults from any of your nearest turkey breeding centers, turkey poult suppliers or from any existing Jersey Buff turkey farms (if there is any). You can also consider searching your local online classified website. Just ensure that the poults are strong, hardy and active.
Arranging good housing facilities for your birds is important for commercial Jersey Buff turkey farming business. Because, a good housing system not only help the birds to stay healthy, but also helps them to stay free from all types of predators and adverse weather conditions.
The type of the house can be any depending on your budget and also on the availability of materials. The house can be of full concrete setup or you can build the house with low cost and easily available materials such as bamboo or wood. Just ensure that the house is secure and comfortable for your birds.
Like many other domestic turkey breeds, the Jersey Buff turkeys also require a clean environment and comfortable housing system. So, ensure all the required facilities are available inside the house. You will also need to provide the birds with a good roosting area with a roof. And the roosting area must have to have good protection against predators.
Allowing your birds to access fresh pasture will be good. They also require a place to dust bathe and a roosting place for flying up into at night. The Jersey Buff turkeys are classed as a medium to large sized breed. So on average, a mature bird will require around or up to 10-12 square feet of housing space.
Feeding your birds with very good quality, healthy and nutritious food is the most important part of Jersey Buff turkey farming business. Because good food not only helps the birds to grow better, but also helps them to stay healthy and produce more.
You can feed your birds either with commercial poultry feeds or turkey feeds depending on the availability in your area. But the turkey birds generally require more protein in their diet that the chickens. So, ensure availability of adequate amount of protein in their diet.
The starter feed of the poults should contain at least 28% protein. And the mature bird’s food should contain at least 20% protein. You can also feed your birds with gamebird starter or chick starter feeds for the first 6 weeks. And then gradually move to a grower feeds after 6 weeks.
Like most of the turkey breeds, the Jersey Buff turkeys also reach marketing size within their 6 months of age. And on an average, a tom will require around 100 pounds of feed, and a hen will require approximately 60 pounds of feed for reaching marketing size within 6 months.
The Jersey Buff turkeys are good for raising in both confinement and free range system. But they generally do very well in free range system. And allowing your birds to roam freely in the pasture will help you to reduce feeding costs. And at the same time the free range birds will produce better quality products.
Never feed your birds with contaminated feeds. And always try to provide them with enough clean and fresh drinking water as per their demand.
Like many other domestic turkey breeds, the Jersey Buff turkeys are also naturally very good breeders. They will breed easily and produce fertile eggs for hatching if you keep good ratio of hens and toms in your flock. Generally one mature and healthy tom is enough for breeding around or up to 8-10 hens.
The Jersey Buff turkeys are very strong and hardy birds. So they generally require less caring and other management. Although taking additional caring will help the birds to grow better and produce more. So always try to take good care of your birds.
Monitor your bird’s health on a regular basis for any signs of diseases or illness. And take necessary steps if you notice anything uncommon. Vaccinate them timely and always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.
Marketing turkey products is not a problem. Because turkey meat has very good demand and value in the market. So, you will probably be able to easily sell your products in the local market. Although you should set your marketing strategies before starting this business.
These are the steps and ways for starting and operating a successful Jersey Buff turkey farming business. Raising Jersey Buff turkeys is very easy and simple, even the beginners can also raise them. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!