How to choose and raise turkeys

Turkeys can be a fun, gainful expansion to a homestead or farm. They are normally raised for meat but sometimes, people love to keep a male turkey (Tom) around as a pet.

Would it be a good idea for you to Raise Turkeys?

If you have kept chickens for meat or eggs in the past, turkeys are much the same- however, they require more coddling, particularly as poults young turkeys). They are likewise social with people, considerably more so than chickens, so you should be willing to spend some time with them every day.

Picking A Breed

Broad-breasted Whites are the “cutting edge” eating turkey, like the ones you find in the market (although the breeds raised on pastures around small farms taste way much better than the supermarket variant). Standard White Holland and Bronze breeds are likewise mainstream breeds for producing meat.

Raising Turkeys From Poults

Normally, you will begin with day-old turkeys in the spring, called poults. Much the same as starting chicks, you should keep the broader territory somewhere in the range of 90 and 100 F in the coming weeks, and then lowering the temperature by means of lamps bringing it down by 5 F weekly. You can purchase poults in pretty much same places you purchase chicks.

Lodging And Fencing Turkeys

Most farmers prefer to have their turkeys live outside in an extensive fenced pen with a mobile roost assembly, much like a best chicken coop. A short grass range of 4-6 inches long is ideal for turkeys. Ensure your fence is secure from bears, raccoons, foxes and coyotes – all of whom would delight a nice meal of free-range turkey dinner. Electrified poultry netting and woven wire fences are great methods of securing them.

Watering And Feeding Turkeys

For twelve turkeys, you’ll require somewhere around 2 gallons of water each day, so consider an best automatic waterer installed in your outdoor water spigot. A four-foot-long waterer will get the job done for 12 of them. A lot of turkey farmers assemble a wooden range feeder with a little rooftop on to hold the feed. 12 turkeys should do well with a decent feeder that holds around 100 pounds of feed but as they grow older, they will require at least a pound of feed each day.

Anticipating Turkey Diseases And Problems

Figuring out how to anticipate medical issues before they emerge – with fresh water and food, a clean field and mobile roosts – is the most effortless approach to handle raising turkeys. In any case, certain problems arise and you should be prepared to deal with them as they come. Give turkeys enough perching space and field. Do not raise them together with your chickens if you have both. Secure them from predators and provide them with adequate ventilation.

Processing The Turkeys On The Farm

If you are keeping turkeys for meat, a point will come when you’ll have to slaughter and process them. The process for this is much the same as that of chickens. You will just need a bigger killing cone and ensure the scalding pot is big enough to house your biggest bird.

Common turkey problems and diseases

Turkeys can be really nice to raise for meat and to keep as a reproducing flock, however, there are a few issues and illnesses you ought to know about as a small time farmer, so you can avoid the heartbreak of losing them all.

Preventing Turkey Diseases

The easiest approach to preventing turkey illnesses is to graze them in natural air and range in a large pen with roosts and to move the turkey house or perches every now and again to a fresh ground so poop doesn’t heap up in one area.

Blackhead is a disease common in chickens can affect turkeys as well. Hence, it is recommended that you don’t begin infant chicks and turkey poults together and that you house mature turkeys and chickens independently. Also, when you make your turkey house, put it in an area where that chickens have not been previously.

There are a few medications you can feed your turkeys to prevent blackhead if it is impossible to keep them away from the chickens.

Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is an illness that can cause absence of “thrift” or great growth and cause diarrhea in poults. Medicated feed contains drugs that can get rid of coccidiosis. Keeping litter dry is additionally vital, as this parasite spreads and develops in wet, filthy litter. Likewise getting poults out onto field by about two months of age, and moving roosts to new ground as often as possible, will help avert coccidiosis. You can also get vaccination shots for your chick against coccidiosis for a little expense. For this situation, try not to feed them medicated feed as it will deactivate the immunization.

Airsacculitis

This is a respiratory disease that attacks the turkeys’ air sacs. Airsacculitis cannot be treated. The disease, however, can be prevented by purchasing poults from an incubation facility that tests for the disease in their hens and toms. The disease is transmitted via the egg, so the poults get it before they even hatch.

Cannibalism

This may not be classified as a disease but it is very common in turkeys. Giving them enough space for them to graze freely can fix this issue. Additionally, ensure they generally have adequate water and feed. Guarantee that they have enough ventilation if their house is indoors because overheating can also prompt cannibalism.

Predators

Everyone craves a delicious meal of free-range turkey, any day. You’ll see that pretty much every wild critter – and some trained ones, as well – wants to take a swipe at your turkeys. Keeping them safe is quite a task.

Making roost available for your turkeys makes them happy and also discourages predators who cannot climb to get to the birds. In the wild, turkeys perch securely, high in trees. The higher you can make the roosts, the more secure your turkeys will feel.

Ensuring that the fencing around your turkey pen is secure will help stop predators too.

If you are breeding your turkeys in a permanent turkey house, then it is a good idea to run a single strand of electric wire along bottom of the outside of the fence to prevent burrowing from predators.