Turkey farming is the process of raising turkeys for the purpose of producing meat or eggs for food or money. Turkey, chicken, guinea fowl, duck and quail are all domestic birds that nutritionally and economically contribute to any country.
Turkeys are kept or reared for meat purposes. Their meat is recognised as the leanest of all poultry species. Additionally, they are consumed by almost every country across the globe.
Turkey farming is popular in countries like the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK and Netherlands. This post is a beginner guide for those who want to start turkey farming.
Terminologies in Turkey farming
Tom: Matured male turkey
Hen: Matured female turkey
Poult: Very young turkey
Snood or Dew bill: Fleshy protuberance close to the base of the beck
Caruncles: Fleshy protuberance on a turkey’s head and neck. It is usually red or pink.
Dewlap: Large flap skin is seen immediately below the chin
Beard: Tuft of hair attached located in the upper chest region
Strut: Male turkey’s mating behaviour
Other important information about turkeys are described as follows:
Debeaking: This is the reduction of the beak’s length to prevent cannibalism and feather picking. It is carried out at 4-5 weeks of age. While debeaking, the tool must be very hot and should not be too close to the nostrils.
Desnooding: This is the removal of the snood or dewbill to prevent the head from getting injured while fighting or picking. By pressing the snood at a day old using the thumbnail or finger would remove it. A sharp scissor can be used to cut off the snood when the poult is 3 weeks old.
Detoeing or toe clipping: This is the removal of the toenail and it is usually done at day old.
A mature female turkey should start laying in the 30th week of age and the egg-laying period lasts for 24 weeks starting from the day the first egg is laid. Under proper artificial lighting and feeding management, a female turkey will be laying around 60-100 eggs every year. Turkeys usually lay their eggs in the afternoon, and their eggs are tinted and weigh around 85 grams. The eggs are also pointed at one end with a very strong shell.