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 versatile 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 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.