Breeding turkeys is a profitable and promising business that even inexperienced farmers can master. A little theoretical training, a small initial capital - and you can buy young for fattening. If you get it right, turkeys will provide you with a stable income.
Turkeys differ from other poultry:
- absurd disposition;
- gluttony - they eat a lot, but their meat productivity is enviable;
- strict hierarchy - only one, the most important turkey, has the right to fertilize females;
- slow growth - they reach marketable weight in 6 months, and broiler crosses in 3 months;
- low egg production - turkeys carry about 120 eggs per year.
Differences between males and females
You can determine the sex of the chick in a day old. Males have even outlines of wings because feather lengths are the same. Then this sign disappears, and then it will be possible to distinguish “boys” and “girls” in two months.
Differences between males and females:
- Male turkeys have a characteristic nasal process. It is located on the head and hangs down to the chest. Nasal growths look like large, fleshy warts.
- The male does not have feathers on his head at all.
- Males are almost twice as heavy as females.
- In males, feathers on the chest are stiffer, there are blotches of brushes. The turkey fluff is so soft that they stuff pillows.
- Feet of males are decorated with spurs.
The egg production of turkeys is influenced by their age, physical condition and living conditions. The turkey reaches a peak egg production by one year. In the second year, egg productivity drops by 30-40%. For laying eggs, farmers usually select the most physically strong one and a half year old turkeys.
Eggs for brood of turkeys are laid in the spring - in late March or early April. Therefore, before the onset of spring, females of the appropriate age should be selected.
How much do turkeys weigh?
The weight of turkeys varies widely - from 10 to 35 kg. Poultry farmers distinguish three classes of turkeys:
The maximum weight of turkeys is 10-15 kg.
Advantages and disadvantages of breeding
The egg-bearing abilities of turkeys are in the background. The main purpose of breeding this bird is a delicious dietary meat. Moreover, in large quantities, as carcasses of turkeys are much heavier than that of other poultry.
When the time comes for slaughter - after 6 months of cultivation, the carcass contains 80% of the valuable dietary meat, which in many respects is more valuable than rabbit and chicken.
When breeding turkeys, the largest investments are associated with the purchase of eggs, incubation and the first month of the life of the chicks. Further costs are reduced by switching to more affordable feed. The benefits of breeding turkeys are obvious:
- Obtaining valuable dietary meat with excellent taste. Turkey meat is in demand.
- Breeding costs quickly pay off.
- In addition to meat, the sale is subject to fluff and feather.
- A quick set of meat mass.
- Unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention and nutrition.
Turkeys were domesticated on the American continent - about a thousand years ago, and they were brought to Europe in the 16th century.
The disadvantages of breeding turkeys, because of which many refuse to profitable business:
- low egg production;
- high risk of death of chicks;
- exactingness to water - it is necessary to use only fresh water warmed up to room temperature;
- a tendency to disease in violation of the rules of hygiene and sanitation during care;
- turkeys are prone to obesity.
When the decision to breed turkeys is made, the first thing you need to choose a breed. The choice should be influenced, first of all, by the goals and conditions of detention, and only then personal preferences. The most popular breeds of turkeys bred in Russia are in table 1.
|Description||Weight turkey, kg||Weight of turkey, kg|
The number of eggs per year
|Bronze||Feathers are red and brown, with stripes. Males with a black neck. They love walking, unpretentious.|
up to 100
|Moscow bronze||They are characterized by increased endurance. Suitable for home and mass production. Love pasture walking.|
|Bronze broad-chested||They look like a bronze rock - from which they originated, but have a larger body. Not suitable for walking, egg production low. Most often used in industrial content.|
|North Caucasian Bronze||Bred in the USSR in 1946 - this is one of the most popular domestic breeds. Large bird, well adapted to different conditions.|
|White broad-chested||They are distinguished by large breasts and wide backs. Luxurious plumage and strong legs.|
|North Caucasian White||Hardy and productive breed. Fast weight gain. Feels good in pasture conditions. Unpretentious in matters of nutrition.|
up to 180
Productivity and Purpose
When breeding turkeys, depending on the goals set, farmers are interested in productivity in two ways:
- Egg production. Turkeys rush from 8-10 months. Usually they carry 80-100 eggs, but the result can reach 180-200 pieces per year. In one clutch - 10-20 eggs. Each 60-70 g.
- Meat. It contains a lot of protein, vitamins and minerals. The net meat yield depends on gender, the male gives 7-10 kg, the female 3-6 kg.
To obtain a large number of eggs, egg breeds are chosen. There are broiler breeds that reach marketable weight by three months, but if left on their eggs, they will carry 200 pieces a year. Such crosses include Canadian turkeys, Khidon and BIG-6. The most popular egg breeds are in table 2.
|Features||Weight of turkey, kg|
The number of eggs per year
|Virginia (Dutch)||love free walking|
|Bronze||females are twice lighter than males|
up to 100
|White Moscow||unpretentious, easily adaptable to new conditions of detention and a sharp change in climate|
up to 140
|Tikhoretskaya black||Compared to other breeds - increased maternal instinct|
Special meat breeds are bred for meat - crosses, which are obtained by selection. A feature of such breeds is weight gain in the shortest possible time. The bird is ready for slaughter by 3-5 months. For example, Cross Khidon weighs 9-10 kg in 3 months. It makes no sense to keep such heavyweights longer than 6 months - if the mass grows further, there will be a load on the bones, they will begin to deform, the bird will hurt. Popular meat breeds are in table 3.
|Features||Weight turkey, kg|
Weight of turkey, kg
|White broad-chested||a relatively new breed, bred in America, unpretentious to the content|
|Hybrid Converter||differs in the highest ratio of weight and meat - 85%||22||12|
What conditions are required for breeding and maintenance?
Turkeys are unpretentious in maintenance, and most importantly, they can tolerate frosts up to -15 ° C without damage to their health. And yet, the most important requirements for their breeding are to provide them with a dry and warm room.
When creating a comfortable house, the following points should be considered:
- For every two birds, there must be at least 1 sq. Km. m square. Ideal conditions - 1 sq. m per individual.
- The optimum summer temperature is 20 ° C, in winter the room temperature should not fall below + 5 ° C.
- For lighting the house, a conventional 60-watt electric bulb is suitable.
- Regular ventilation should be present.
- Turkeys do not like dampness - there should always be a dry litter on the floor, which should be changed twice a week, at least.
- In each pen there should be boxes with sand and ash - against parasites.
- There should be no drafts.
- Perches are equipped according to the number of birds - how many turkeys, so many perches. The distance between adjacent perches is at least 60 cm. Removing the perch from the floor is 70-80 cm. The width of the perch is 5-7 cm, the height is 8-10 cm.
In the pen for 5 females, there must be one male, so that all mother hens are covered.
When breeding young animals, the content requirements are increased:
- temperature not lower than 36 ° С;
- the presence of constant lighting.
The first days of a turkey’s life can be spent in a cardboard box or box. When the chicks grow up, they are transferred to a common stall.
Walking positively affects the physical condition and productivity of turkeys. Walking turkeys is necessary to prevent obesity. Here the bird is looking for nutritious food - worms, beetles, plant seeds. The best place for walking is a dry area with grass and shrubs.
If there is no free grazing, it is necessary to equip the corral in the fresh air. The enclosure is enclosed by a net to protect the bird from predators. It is recommended to arrange walking so that there is free movement between him and the house - then the turkeys themselves will move from room to street. On the walk equip feeders, drinking bowls. Here you can throw food directly to the ground.
Temperature is the most important factor in turkey productivity. If it is cold in the room, the food eaten is constantly used for warming, and not for the formation of eggs or fat mass. However, excessive heat also negatively affects egg production - the quality of the shell deteriorates, the weight of the eggs decreases. For adult turkeys, the ideal temperature is 12-16 ° C, turkeys need warmer conditions. Optimum temperatures for turkey poults, depending on age - in table 4.
|Age||Optimum temperature, ° С|
|up to 4 days||22|
|up to 26 days||gradually normalizes and reaches 12 degrees|
How comfortable turkeys are in the created microclimate can be determined by their behavior.
- If the temperature is suitable, turkeys are mobile, eat well and drink. Birds are evenly distributed throughout the room.
- If the bird is cold, they have feathers loose - in this way they increase the protective air layer. Birds hold in a heap - they warm themselves, as a result of some individuals they can choke.
- If it is hot in the room, the birds breathe faster, often drink a lot, their beak is open and their wings are spread. The appetite is reduced or do not want to eat at all.
Heat transfer is greatly affected by room humidity. At low humidity, moisture evaporates quickly, and the temperature rises. But if the humidity drops below 50%, the mucous membranes are irritated in birds, the feather breaks, and breathing is disturbed. High humidity is also harmful - the litter dampens and mold appears.
If the region does not have extremely low temperatures, turkeys can wintered with a canopy or a light wooden building to winter. But in severe frosts, such conditions will not be enough. A reliable structure is both protection from frost and from predators who are especially active in hunting for prey in the winter.
Features of the winter maintenance of turkeys:
- Temperature condition. Turkeys can tolerate frosts down to -15 ° C - if they are short-term, but they hate dampness. Therefore, in cold weather it is recommended to maintain the temperature within minus 3-5 ° C, this will help to avoid dampness in the room. If the straw litter - it is changed at least once every 10 days, and sawdust and peat - once every 3 weeks.
- Lighting. If the house, where the young bird is kept, is equipped with windows, you can turn off the lights. If there are no windows, the lights are turned on for 5-7 hours a day. For adults, the light is turned on for 14 hours - otherwise there will be problems with oviposition and fertilization. To save energy, you can let birds out on sunny days.
- Diet. In winter, the bird is fed three times a day. In the mornings and evenings they give dry food, and in the afternoon - a mash. The winter diet is based on wheat, barley and corn. Be sure to give juicy food in the winter - grated carrots, beets, steamed alfalfa or clover cut.
During the day, you can also feed with ground chestnuts and acorns. Also give branches of conifers - they have a lot of vitamin C and carotene. The needles are crushed and left in the trough for an hour, then added to the mixers. To supplement the vitamins, rowan berries, dried nettles and dried birch leaves are also given.
- Walks. Since turkeys are prone to obesity, they can not do without walking. In normal weather, without extreme frosts, walking lasts from 2 hours. The enclosure for walking is placed on the sunny side. Snow is preliminarily removed at the site - legs in turkeys do not tolerate cold very well.
- Prevention Birds spend a lot of time in the winter indoors, so parasites can start from them. Indoors, during the wintering, boxes with crushed shell or charcoal, chalk must be standing.
Puberty and breeding
Turkeys become sexually mature, reaching 8-10 months. Turkeys begin laying eggs at 10 months. Many females lay on eggs, so you have to drive them to pick up the clutch. Racing females need to be fed 5 times a day, in winter, add succulent feed.
After mating, the female is able to lay up to 17 eggs. They are checked whether they are fertilized or not. To make sure that the eggs are fertilized, they are alternately immersed in water. Sinking eggs - fertilized - they are placed in a nest or in an incubator. Those that have surfaced are not suitable for breeding turkey poults, but they can be eaten.
One brood turkey hatches and grows, in addition to its offspring, foreign turkey poults. On her account can be up to 80 grown turkey poults.
The brood hens hatch for 4 weeks. It is important that she receives food on time. You need to feed her in the morning. It is best to give her soaked oats. While the turkey is eating, the eggs need to be covered with something warm - so as not to get too cold.
Great mothers are made of turkeys, they perfectly hatch offspring, are engaged in his upbringing, protect from any danger. In worries, such mothers even forget to eat - you have to force them to remove them from the nest in order to feed them.
Instead of hens, you can use an incubator. Eggs are promptly removed from under the turkeys, and put away for storage. In an incubator, eggs are placed with sharp ends down. Hatching occurs approximately 28 days after placing the eggs in the incubator.
To hatch turkey poults, it is necessary:
- for 22 days, turn the eggs over 12 times a day - that is, every two hours;
- strictly observe the temperature regime.
The terms and temperature and humidity regime of incubation are in table 5.
|Incubation period, days||Temperature ° C||Humidity%||Number of turns|
|15-25||37.5||65||4 times + 15 minutes of cooling|
Feeding according to age
The diet and frequency of feeding is determined by the age of the birds and the goals - hens, young animals, adults are fed differently. Consider an example menu and nutritional standards for birds of different ages and purposes.
Chicks are often fed - this helps to increase the survival of young animals. During the first 6 days, turkeys are fed with an interval of 2 hours. And at night, too. And for the birds to show a desire to eat, the light in the aviary must be turned on.
Gradually, the frequency of feeding is reduced, reaching up to 6 times a day - by this time the chicks are one month old. Two-month-old turkeys are fed 4 times a day.
At first, the chicks are reluctant to eat, so you need to attract their attention:
- pouring feed in a thin stream;
- tapping the feeder;
- sprinkling food with chopped green onions, dandelion leaves.
Up to a week old, 10 g of food per day is sufficient for chicks. By the 30th week, the feed volume increases to 280 g, one-year-old individuals eat 400 g of feed.
In the early days, chicks should receive high protein feed (up to 22%). Feeding rates for turkey poults, depending on age - in table 6.
|dry food of animal origin||-||0.5||3||7||nine||fourteen||14.5||20||19|
|low-fat cottage cheese||1,5||ten||nine||-||-||-||-||-||-|
These are the conditional norms of feeding - it is not necessary to feed all the products listed at the same time. They can be mutually replaced, making the bird menu varied.
Weekly turkeys can be given greens and waste from the kitchen. But gradually - so that there are no health problems. Also give mixers.
Here is a basic recipe for a 5–10 day old turkey poultry stirrer:
- ground wheat groats - 35%;
- corn grits - 35%;
- wheat bran - 8%;
- chopped boiled eggs - 10%;
- fresh cottage cheese - 10%;
- shells and chalk - 2%.
Features of food depending on age:
- From 10 days of age , ground nettle, clover and onions can be added to the mash. Knead the mash on the skim milk or on sour milk. Mixers are given around noon, in the evening - dry food. From 10 days, chicks can also be allowed into the wild - on the grass.
- From a month old , roughage and salt are included in the diet. By this time, the chicks' digestive system has already grown stronger and will not reject coarse food.
- From two months of age , a full diet of adult birds can be given, but in the softened version - grated, ground, crushed.
- At three months, you can give the turkey bran and ground corn. When switching to a 4-time diet, the bird is given - grain waste, dry food, yeast bread, grass, herbs, foliage.
Young adults are transferred to an adult diet at 4-5 months of age.
In order for the bird to grow evenly and have a good physical condition, it needs a certain diet:
- cereals - 65%;
- ground grass - 5%;
- feed yeast - 4%;
- limestone - 3.5%;
- fishmeal - 3%;
- chalk - 3%;
- sunflower meal - 1%;
- bone meal - 1%;
- premix - 1%;
- salt - 0.5%.
In order for the bird to gain weight better, they are given mishmash. One of the basic recipes:
- crushed grain of corn, barley and oats - 20, 40 and 20%, respectively;
- wheat bran - 15%;
- sunflower meal - 5%.
The mixture is salted, 100 g of boiled potatoes or other root vegetables are added, the broth is poured and mixed. Give a mash for lunch.
The diet of adult birds varies during oviposition and during the period of unproductive. The usual daily diet of unproductive turkeys:
- For breakfast - cereals, whole or ground.
- For lunch - a mishmash with root vegetables, pumpkin or kitchen waste.
- For dinner - similar to breakfast.
Additionally - walking. Here the bird is additionally saturated with various herbs, insects, seeds.
Feeding rates for adults, depending on the time of year - in table 7.
|Feed, g||feeding period|
|meat and bone meal||8-10||7||6||5|
|shredded hay, grass meal||50||-||-||50|
|ground shell, chalk||ten||ten||ten||ten|
In winter, instead of grass, turkeys are given hay and brooms that have been harvested since summer. Brooms suitable poplar, aspen, birch, linden, nettle. Bunches are simply hung around the enclosure - so that the bird feasts on dry leaves.
During egg laying, the bird needs a lot of energy, so the nutrition should be as complete as possible. Males during this period do not eat well, therefore their mass must be maintained by adding root crops - carrots, boiled beets, potatoes to the feed. It is also useful to feed them with cottage cheese, legumes, cereals.
The egg laying rate of females will help to support:
- cottage cheese;
- yeast products;
- red carrots;
- compound feed.
Fattening for slaughter begins at the age of 4-5 months - by this period the bird is already gaining 8-10 kg. Slaughter is usually carried out from August to October. The feeding mode is introduced a month before the alleged slaughter. Fattening activities for slaughter:
- increase walking time;
- flour mixers and compound feeds are introduced into the diet;
- the daily norm of nutrition for one individual is 800 g.
It is important that during fattening a meat rather than fat mass grows, which reduces the quality of turkey meat. For this, the bird is organized walking.
Ready-made feed can be replaced with home-made mixtures, in which such components must be present:
- milk and cottage cheese;
- cabbage leaves and root crops;
- chopped greens;
- flour mixtures;
- meat and fish waste;
- crushed eggshell.
Experienced houses also give dumplings and dumplings to turkeys - 250 g daily. They are carefully placed in the beak of a bird.
When slaughter is near, turkeys are limited in movement. And in the last 3-5 days, they completely exclude movement by locking the bird in aviaries. 12 hours before slaughter, feeding is stopped. They transfer the bird to a dark room and give plenty of water.
Meat feeding methods
For forced fattening of turkeys, pellets are prepared. They knead for them:
- barley and corn flour - 20% each;
- wheat flour - 15%;
- bran - 15%;
- oat flour - 25%;
- salt - 1%;
- yeast - 5%.
For 100 g of the mixture - 150 g of water. Knead the cool dough. Sizes of reels: length - 6 cm, thickness - 2 cm. The prepared reel, soaked in water, put the bird in the esophagus. The beak is opened with one hand, the food is laid with the other. Slowly pressing on the lower part of the neck, push the reel into the goiter. Fattening begins with 2 times a day and brought up to 30% of daily feed. Forced feeding lasts up to 2 weeks.
Birds are released into the fields where sunflower, grain or gourds were harvested. Feeding is arranged 2-3 times a day directly on a pasture. Give an unlimited amount of water - better cool. Change the water several times a day - so as not to heat up.
On a pasture it is necessary to build a hut and a canopy - for shade. This method of feeding involves the presence of large areas, but a little feed is consumed, and weight gain is fast.
Fattening Adult Turkeys
A preliminary inspection of the birds - you may not have to fatten everyone. If the skin is thin, without fat, and the bones bulge strongly - the bird must be fed. Fat birds are also selected for fattening. But well-fed turkeys with rounded body shapes, and subcutaneous fat, which is well palpable, can immediately be sent for slaughter. After examining and selecting the birds, some are slaughtered, others are sent for fattening - in order to obtain the missing kilograms.
Disease and Prevention
Turkeys can become infected not only from each other by different viruses and infections, but also from other animals. Turkeys can get sick:
- Respiratory mycoplasmosis. This is a runny nose caused by high humidity. An unbalanced diet can provoke the disease.
- Tuberculosis. It affects the upper respiratory tract, lungs, and other organs. Infection occurs through water, eggs, dirty straw, dishes.
- Histomoniasis. Damage to the cecum. It may appear in birds placed in the aviary, where hens or geese were previously kept.
- Worms. The digestive organs and even the respiratory system are affected. This is the most common problem. It is easy to get infected - through water, earth. From infectious birds.
- Smallpox. Incurable disease. The dead bird must be burned. It can be transmitted through water, land, from infectious birds, as well as some insects that transmit the infection.
To prevent diseases, it is necessary to feed the bird with a verified feed, keep it clean, conduct a routine inspection and vaccinate on time.
Prevention of newborns:
- In the early days, turkey poults are given glucose and ascorbic acid dissolved in water.
- From the 2nd to 5-1 times a day, they are watered by Rex vital or Amino vital.
- Disinfection of the cell or house is carried out weekly.
How profitable is breeding?
Breeding turkeys attractively high payback and low competition. It is more profitable to breed turkeys than chickens - they are larger, and their meat is tastier and more nutritious. From one individual, you can get 100 eggs and 600 kg of meat - if you feed offspring. But if you are breeding turkeys for profit, you need to consider such points:
- We need initial capital - big investments.
- The first months are constant investments, as young stocks must be fed.
- Profit will cover expenses in six months - when the meat will be sold.
- Now you can buy a new livestock. If you buy 30 chicks and several adult turkeys, then after six months you can get 150,000 rubles. arrived.
Well, breeding turkeys for yourself - as a meat "help", is certainly a profitable occupation. Your family will be provided with delicious meat - turkey carcasses will be enough to feed a large family for a week.
If you decide to engage in breeding turkeys, then in order to maintain livestock and not lose profit, you must adhere to three important rules:
- Cleanliness and cleanliness again. Not only in the house, but also on the paddock.
- Optimum microclimate. Dampness and drafts can cause livestock death.
- Feeding the bird occurs at one time. This not only helps to preserve the herd, but also increases the rate of mass gain.