Turkey farming means ‘raising these birds for their meat, eggs or feathers‘. It is not a traditional business and many people are doing this from the ancient time. It is a very easy business and even the beginners can also start this business easily.
Actually, commercial turkey farming is a profitable business idea. Turkeys grow faster like broiler chickens and become suitable for marketing purpose within a very short time.
Turkey farming for meat production is more popular than egg production from turkey. Although some people keep one or several toms (a mature male turkey) as pet.
Caring and other management for turkeys are just like many other common poultry birds. But the main difference is the size of turkeys. They are relatively larger poultry birds, as compared to chickens, quails, ducks and similar birds.
Today, commercial turkey farming is a very popular business. And it’s popularity is increasing gradually. So, it can be a good business for you for making profits.
Commercial turkey farming is even gaining popularity in many Asian countries. And it can be a good business for the beginner poultry farmers.
What are the Advantages of Turkey Farming Business?
Commercial turkey farming business has many advantages. That’s why many new and existing poultry farmers are planning to start this business.
Many people are trying to start this business for making profits. Here we are trying to describe more about the top advantages of turkey farming business.
- Commercial turkey farming is a very profitable business. And you can take this opportunity for making profits.
- Raising turkeys is relatively easy. It’s just like raising other poultry birds such as chickens, ducks etc.
- It’s not a new business, and many people are already doing this. So, you don’t have to worry much about this business.
- If you have backyard or vacant land, then you can start this business easily for utilizing your space.
- Commercial turkey production is very profitable, and it has high return of investment ratio.
- You will get your invested money back within a short period of time.
- Caring the turkey birds is relatively easy, so you will probably be able to raise these birds even if you are a beginner.
- Turkeys are just like other domestic poultry birds. And you don’t need to have any license for raising turkeys.
- Turkey products, especially meat is very popular throughout the world. So, you don’t have to worry much about marketing your products.
- Commercial turkey farming is a good and profitable business. So, it can be a good business for the educated but unemployed young people.
- You can also start a small scale production and utilize your family labor.
- You can apply for bank loan if you want to start in large scale.
- Turkey meat and eggs are very nutritious. And you can enjoy fresh eggs or meat if you start your own turkey farming business.
Essential Steps for Starting Turkey Farming Business
It’s really very easy to start commercial turkey farming business. Here we are trying to describe more information for starting commercial turkey farming business.
Step 1: Learn Practically and Complete Training
First of all, we will recommend you to learn practically about this business from any existing turkey farms. You can also complete short training about raising turkeys. Try to visit as many farms as you can before starting your business.
Step 2: Make An Effective Business Plan
Making an effective turkey farming business plan is very important for starting and operating a successful production. Try to include everything in your business plan from starting to marketing. And work according to the plan. You can ask for help from an expert for making the business plan, especially if you are a beginner.
Step 3: Select a Good Location
Selecting a good location is very important for starting and operating a commercial turkey farming business. You can also use your existing land if it fulfill the following criteria.
- Try to select the land far from residential areas.
- Ensure good water source.
- Ensure the availability of electricity.
- Good transportation system is a must.
- Try to select a calm and pollution free place.
Step 4: Determine the Products
Before starting, try to determine the products you want to produce from your farm. You can can produce either meat or eggs from your farm.
Step 5: Determine Your Turkey Farming Methods
Turkeys can be raised in many different methods. Most common and popular turkey farming methods are:
Free-range: In free-range system, the turkeys are raised in outdoor areas. In this system, they generally have more space and less confinement. They may have a diet supplemented with foraged food, and the uses of antibiotics and hormones are limited. The free-range turkeys tend to be more expensive due to space and care requirements.
Intensive Farming: In this system, the turkeys are generally raised indoors with limited outdoor access. They are kept in controlled environment with constant access to water and feed. Antibiotics and hormones my be used, and they are primarily fed commercial feed for rapid growth.
Organic Turkey Farming: Organic method produces the best quality and most expensive products. In this system, the turkeys have have access to outdoor spaces with strict guidelines. Use of antibiotics is limited and no hormones used. They are generally fed organic, pesticide-free and non-GMO feed.
Step 6: Choose Turkey Breeds
There are several turkey breeds available around the globe. But all those breeds are not suitable enough for commercial meat or eggs production.
You can raise only a few of these breeds in your farm for profitable meat or eggs production purpose. For profitable meat production purpose, you have to use some modern turkey breeds that are raised for commercial meat or eggs production.
Turkey breeds used in commercial production have a maximum feed to meat conversion rate. They consume less food and convert their feeds to meat within a very short time.
Broad-breasted White is such a modern turkey breed for commercial meat production. Meat produced by this breed on pasture on a small farm, will be more tasty and flavorful than the meat produced from commercial farm.
Broad-Breasted Bronze and Whites are just non-standardized commercial strain used for meat production (they are not actual breed).
For commercial meat production, you should go with Broad-Breasted Whites, Standard Bronze and White, White Hollands etc.
Step 7: Arrange Good Housing & Fencing
Good housing with all types of essential facilities available is very necessary for commercial turkey production. So, try to make a good and secure housing system for your birds and ensure the availability of all necessary facilities.
And in the case of fencing, try to make the fence as high as possible. Turkeys are large in size and become very strong. So, the fencing must have to be strong enough to protect these birds.
You can use electric poultry netting, woven wire fencing, metal T-posts or wooden posts. However, keep in mind the following criteria while making housing and fencing for turkeys, .
- You must have to ensure 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.
- Ensure 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 are very strong and bigger in size than other poultry birds. So, make the fencing with strong materials.
Step 8: Ensure Nutritious Feeding
Good and nutritious food keeps the bird healthy and productive. So, it will be better if you learn how to feed the turkey birds (and this will help you to prevent problems in turkey farming and reducing feeding costs).
Turkey birds need more protein in their food for first few weeks than other domestic birds. The protein in turkey 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 about 20 percent protein. The amount of protein in turkey feed is higher than chickens or other poultry bird’s feed.
Along with providing nutritious food, always try to serve them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water. Generally, 2 gallons of fresh water is necessary for one dozen of turkey birds.
Step 9: Proper Caring & Other Management
Taking good care of the birds is very important. Always try to keep your birds in healthy environment and learn more about turkey caring and how to prevent health problems.
Provide them with good shelter/housing system. And always try to clean their house on a regular basis. Ensure enough light and install good ventilation system.
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.
Step 10: Learn About Their Diseases and Treatment
Turkeys are relatively strong birds. They generally get affected by diseases or other health problems less than other poultry birds. But you should learn more about turkey diseases and take necessary steps.
Step 11: Marketing
In commercial turkey farming, the birds become suitable for marketing within 12 to 20 weeks. Marketing turkey products is very easy. Because these products have very good demand and value in the market. Hope you will be able to easily sell your products.
Some Interesting Turkey Farming Facts
Here are some basic facts about turkey farming business:
- Raising turkeys is not a new idea. People started raising turkeys a long time ago in Mexico. But today, most of the turkeys are kept in the United States.
- Commercial turkey farming business is also becoming popular in some Asian countries.
- There are many different kinds of turkeys available throughout the world. But the most popular breed is Broad Breasted White. This breed grow big and fast.
- The United States has the most big turkey farms. Minnesota, North Carolina, and Arkansas are the top turkey producing states.
- Turkeys on big/commercial farms don’t live very long. They become ready for marketing when they are about four months old.
- Turkeys generally eat a mix of corn and soybean meal with special vitamins and minerals.
- Turkeys today are much bigger than they used to be, because farmers have changed how they grow. A big male turkey can weigh between 16 to 24 pounds!
- Organic turkeys are most expensive, but are of very good quality.
- Turkey farms sometimes face some problems like diseases. And it can result serious losses.
These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful turkey farming business. Its really very easy and the beginners can also start raising them. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
People ask many questions about turkey farming business. Here we are trying to list the most common questions about this business, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.
Is turkey farming profitable?
Yes, commercial turkey production is a profitable business. That’s why it is popular throughout the world, and the popularity is also increasing gradually.
How to start turkey farming business?
Starting turkey farming business is just like starting and operating any other poultry farming business. You just have to select a good location, prepare a business plan, select breeds, purchase the birds, feed them with nutritious food and take good care of them.
How long does turkey take to grow?
Turkeys generally take more time to grow than many other poultry birds. Modern turkey breeds generally take between 14 and 18 weeks to reach market weight.
How much money do turkey farmers make a year?
It’s not possible to tell the exact number, because it depends on numerous factors. But the earnings are good.
Is turkeys hard to raise?
No, turkeys are not hard to raise. Raising them is very easy and simple like many other domestic poultry birds.
How do they farm turkeys?
If you want to farm turkeys then you have to select a good location, prepare a business plan, select breeds, purchase the birds, feed them with nutritious food and take good care of them.
Is turkey farming humane?
Not only turkey but also all other poultry farming are excluded from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
Which feed is best for turkey?
A mix of grains, seeds and greens are considered best for turkeys. But today, most of the commercial producers used to feed the turkeys with commercial feeds.
What climate can turkeys be raised in?
Turkeys can tolerate a wide variety of climatic conditions. And they are raised in many countries around the world.
Where are the largest turkey farms?
The largest turkey farms are in the Minnesota, United States.
Where are most turkey farms located?
Top turkey producing states in the United States are Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa and California (according to USDA).
Are turkeys high maintenance?
Yes, turkeys are relatively high maintenance as compared to many other poultry birds such as chicken, quail, ducks etc.
What is the most popular turkey breed?
Broad Breasted White is the most common and most popular breed of turkey. The breed is highly popular and raised throughout the world.