Breeding Turkeys Raising Turkeys
Turkeys can be an enjoyable profitable sideline for a small farm . Turkeys are typically raised for the meat although some farmers like to keep a turkey in the coop as a pet. Before you decide to add turkeys to your farm, here are the basics on raising them the right way.
Should You Raise Turkeys?
This is definitely the first question to think seriously about. Are turkeys the right thing for your home? If you've raised chickens for their meat, you will find turkeys are just as easy - but they require a bit more babying, especially as young turkeys. They are also very friendly with humans, so you'll need to be to spend some time with your birds during the day.
Choosing a Breed
Broad-breasted Whites are the "modern" eating turkey, similar to the ones you find in the store (but even this breed, raised on pasture on a small farm, will taste far more delicious than the big box bought variety). Standard White Holldand and Bronze varieties are also popular breeds for delicious meat production. Heritage turkeys include Bourbon Reds and Narragansetts, which are impressive medium-sized that are great at pest control and foraging. .
Most often you will be starting with newly hatched turkeys in the spring, called poults. You will need to set up a brooder area . There are lots of do-it-yourself ideas for brooder area . You have to keep the hatchery between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first 5 days then carefully lower the temp by raising the lamps, cooling it by 5 degrees each week.
Housing and Fencing Turkeys
Many farmers let their turkeys live outside on range in a huge fenced pen with a movable brooder area . The best pasture for turkeys is short grass, four to six inches long. Red clover and Kentucky bluegrass are especially good grasses to have on the pasture . For a herd of a 12 turkeys, plan to build a fence of roughly 75 feet square, or one-eighth acre. Make sure your fence is secure from coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and even bears
Keep the range fresh by moving the portable coop to clean ground every 7 days.
Feeding and Watering Turkeys
For a dozen turkeys, you'll need at least 2 gallons of water every day, so consider an automatic waterer connected to your outdoor water line. A four-foot-long waterer will be plenty for adozen birds. Many turkey owners build a wooden range feeder. A feeder that can hold 100 pounds of feed is a good size for 12 turkey poults,.
Preventing Turkey Problems and Diseases Diseases
Knowing how to cure health issues before they spread - with new pasture, movable coop , and clean water and food - is the easiest way to handle raising turkeyshealth issues.
If you're keeping turkeys to eat, the time will come to kill and process them. Raising Turkeys
If you want to try to breed your own turkeys, keep one male bird for every 10 hens. In the early summer your turkey clutch will naturally expand.