Turkey Farming – A complete guide with facts for beginners

turkey farming - how to start turkey farming business

Usually, it is a problem for beginners to get quality information that will help them to succeed in the turkey farming business.

While some farmers may be hoarding the main facts about turkey farming, others are not really as clear as possible for easy understanding.

In this comprehensive turkey farming guide for beginners, you will learn the fundamentals of commercial turkey farming that will help you to excel.

It is very important that you calm down and read through this guide to learn all the tips that will help you to be profitable in turkey farming.

First, you will get to know what turkey farming is all about.

Then you’ll move on to learn about the advantages of keeping turkey as meat or for egg production.

Next, you will learn the step by step process of starting your own turkey farm and then we’ll discuss other relevant facts you need to know.

If you are already excited about learning about turkey farming like I am, then let’s get right into it.

What is turkey farming?

In simple terms, turkey farming is the practice of raising turkeys for the purpose of meat and egg production. 

Though turkeys lay eggs, they are more popular for their meat than egg production.

Their popularity for meat production is due to the fact that turkey grows very fast like broiler chickens and become ready for the market within a very short time.

Turkey meat is one of the leanest of all poultry species and it is consumed in almost every country across the globe. 

The world’s top turkey producing countries include the United States, Brazil, Germany, France, and Italy.

Besides meat and egg production, there are people who keep toms (a mature male turkey) as a pet.

So, whatever purpose you have in mind when starting your turkey farming business, ensure that you do proper market research.

We’ll talk more about market research when we get to how to start a turkey farm.

What are the benefits of starting a turkey farming business?

Starting a turkey farming business comes with a lot of benefits for the farmer.

That is why more and more people are trouping to start their own turkey farm.

In this session, you will be seeing some of the advantages of turkey farming and why you should start yours.

Here they are;

1. Turkey farming is very profitable:

No one wants to start a business that will not generate profits that’s why turkey farming is a go-to agribusiness for beginners.

You can seize this opportunity to learn about this business and make awesome profits.

Commercial turkey production is very profitable, and it can give you a high return on your investment within a short period of time.

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This is partly because turkeys grow very fast.

2. It is relatively easy to raise turkey:

When you compare the task of raising turkey with other livestock, you will find that growing turkey is easier.

Caring for turkey is relatively easy, so you will probably be able to raise them even if you are a beginner.

The process is just the same as raising other poultry birds such as chickens, ducks etc.

So if you already know how to raise chickens, then you probably have an idea that will help you in rearing turkeys.

3. There are many people in the turkey farming business:

You may want to ask, how does this benefit me?

The fact is that you need to learn practically how to rear turkeys so that you will gain experience.

So, having many people in this business means that it is easy for you to locate a farmer whom you can learn from.

4. Turkey products are high in demand:

It is a known fact that turkey eggs have the highest protein content when compared with other poultry eggs.

For this reason, turkey eggs are high in demand and are usually more expensive.

Which means you can make more money selling turkey eggs.

Also, turkey meat is very popular throughout the world. 

Ever heard of “Thanksgiving,” a day celebrated in the US just before Christmas?

On that day, a lot of turkeys are slaughtered for the occasion all over the world.

Besides that day, a lot of people consume turkey meat every day.

So, you don’t have to worry much about marketing your products.

5. Turkey farming is not capital intensive:

Just like poultry farming, turkey farming is not capital intensive as you can start with what you have.

So, if your backyard is available or you have vacant land, then you can start this business easily using that space.

Now we will go ahead and talk about how you can start your own turkey farming business.

How do I start a turkey farm? 

The process of starting your own turkey farm is really simple.

Follow the step by step process of turkey farming below and you are well on your way to success in this business.

1. Learn how to run a turkey farm:

Starting a successful turkey farming business begins with knowing exactly how to manage the birds.

You don’t just go to the market and buy any quantity of turkey for breeding.

So, to become successful, you must learn from an expert.

You need to glean from their experience so that you will not make the mistakes they made.

While some farmers may charge you for the training, you can apply to work on their farm as an intern.

By doing this, you will have the requisite knowledge to build your own turkey farm.

2. Do proper market research for turkey demand:

After learning how to successful rear turkey, the next thing is to do a market survey to know where to plant your turkey farm.

Market research is very important because it will give you insight into whether there is demand for your turkey products in that area.

Also, it will help you to ascertain the cost of delivery and how much you should price your turkey products.

Remember that in turkey farming, you can sell either the eggs or grow your turkeys to maturity and then sell them or butcher them as meat.

Whatever the purpose of your turkey farm will be, that would be determined by the market research.

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3. Select a good location for turkey farming:

Selecting a good location to set up your turkey farm is another important step in the turkey farming business.

This is where the results from your market research will be of value to you.

If the demand for turkey products is very low in your area, you will have to look for ways to reach new markets.

Mostly, the demand for turkey meat and eggs is higher in cities.

But normally, your turkey farm should not be in residential areas in the city because of air pollution.

So, if you are citing your turkey farm, you have to consider distance away from your customers and accessibility to the farm.

Once the distance is too much, you will lose profits because of the high cost of delivery.

Also, if your farm is not accessibly because of bad roads, customers may not want to come to you.

4. Provide good housing for the turkeys:

Now that you have selected a good location, the next step is to set up good housing for the turkey.

Good housing is such that contains all types of essential facilities necessary for commercial turkey production. 

The housing for turkey is not so different from the general housing for chicken farming.

If you are going to use a fence to secure the birds, then ensure that the fence is as high as possible. 

Also, the fence must be strong enough to protect the birds since turkeys are large in size and become very strong. 

For the fencing, you can use materials like electric poultry netting, woven wire fencing, metal T-posts or wooden posts.

But in all, the housing for your turkeys must meet certain requirements as the ones below.

Features of good turkey housing:

  • The housing must be able to protect the turkeys from all types of predators and harmful animals.
  • You must ensure that there is sufficient space inside the house. The space requirement will vary as the birds grow older.
  • Supply enough wooden litter material in the turkey housing.
  • Ventilation is very vital in turkey farming. So, ensure that the birds have enough fresh air and light inside the house.
  • For an intensive turkey farming business, ensure that you make use of a good ventilation system.
  • The turkey housing must be clean at all times to ensure biosecurity.
  • If you are going to use fencing materials, then make sure that it is high and strong enough to protect the birds.

5. Buy some turkey farming equipment:

Now that you have set up your turkey housing, it’s time to furnish it with all the necessary equipment for turkey farming.

The equipment for turkey farming include feeders, waterers, nests, brooder and waste disposal system.

All these pieces of equipment are necessary for the smooth running of your turkey farm.

6. Get good turkey breeds from a trusted supplier:

Alright! By this time, your turkey farm is set for your birds’ arrival.

But don’t just jump into buying any type of turkey you find in the market.

It is important that you buy from a trusted supplier who will provide you with healthy turkey breeds.

If you don’t know how to identify a healthy turkey, then you may want to use the services of a veterinary doctor.

Getting healthy turkey breeds for your farm is very vital so that you don’t bring a dangerous disease into your farm.

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7. Feed the turkeys properly:

Just like most other livestock, feeding takes a major chunk of the cost of growing turkeys.

That’s because turkey needs good and nutritious food to stay healthy and productive. 

Besides that, the feed requirement of turkeys is different from other birds.

The birds require more protein in their food for the first few weeks than other domestic birds. 

During this period, the turkey feed should contain at least 28% protein.

A good feed that meets this requirement is the chick starter feed which contains about 28% of protein. 

You can feed the turkey, with the chick starter feed for the first six weeks after which you can then feed them grower feed.

The grower feed should contain about 20% protein. 

Along with providing nutritious food, always ensure that the turkeys have constant access to fresh and clean drinking water.

Water will help in the digestion of food as well as quench their thirst.

8. Maintain a proper turkey health management program:

Health management in turkey farming is very vital because having a sick bird on your farm may lead to a disease outbreak.

As a result, you must always try to keep your birds in a healthy environment.

Also, you must never feed your birds contaminated or expired food. 

In addition, you must ensure that you always provide them with clean and fresh water. 

If you have a large flock, then ensure that there is sufficient space inside the turkey house. 

When you find a sick bird on your farm, always isolate them immediately.

In the case of a widespread disease outbreak on your farm beyond your control, don’t hesitate to call a vet.

The vet will diagnose the birds and treat them immediately.

9. Market and sell your turkey products:

By following all the steps in this turkey farming guide, you will be able to produce healthy turkey products that are suitable for the market.

The products may be turkey eggs, turkey meat or live turkeys.

Whichever one you produce on your farm, it is important that you have done your market research and ascertain the demand for those products.

So, when it is time to sell, you will not have problems.

Some facts about turkey farming

  • Turkeys are social animals and they like themselves very much.
  • Young turkeys will naturally lose their baby feathers and grow adult feathers.
  • There is usually no antibiotics stored on the farm, therefore turkeys need prescription each time they fall sick.
  • Turkey farming is a full-time job that you can do 365-days a year.
  • Generally, turkeys are not vegetarians, but omnivores. Therefore, they will peck on vegetables as well as eat bugs while grazing in a pasture.

Conclusion

Turkey farming is a very profitable business venture.

However, you need proper guidance to be successful in the business.

In this article, I have outlined all the necessary steps that you need to follow to attain success in the business.

Make sure to share this article to help more people to learn about turkey farming.

References:

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