Today, raising turkeys for many people is quite a profitable occupation. These birds are quite unpretentious in terms of growing, and at the same time they will be an excellent solution if you are going to monetize the process of growing them, because they grow very quickly and after a short time they can be sent for sale. We will talk about the various aspects of this process, as well as the characteristics of this turkey breed.
Broiler turkeys are usually quite large. They have a large beak, under which is a red appendage, often called a chin. Broilers have a muscular body that allows them to fly over obstacles up to 3 meters high. And when running, the speed of their movement can be up to 50 kilometers per hour. At the same time, some farmers are not very fond of working with broilers due to the fact that they require specific nutrition. The fact is that broilers are the only type of poultry that can die if there is synthetic food in its diet . So it is not surprising that turkey meat is highly prized on the market.
The mass of an adult broiler, according to the description, can reach from 20 to 30 kilograms, and if we are talking about females, then they can weigh up to 15 kilograms. The weight of a particular bird will depend on many factors, including feeding conditions and the diet of the bird and its breed.
It should be said that the main feature of this type of broiler will be a set of meat in large quantities and in a short time. One adult bird can produce up to 20 kilograms of pure meat. The weight of turkeys can vary depending on the category, of which there are three:
Turkeys that belong to the first category weigh up to 10 kilograms, to the second - up to 16, and to the third - from 18. It should also be understood that they are ready for slaughter at different times. The first can go for slaughter as early as 16-20 weeks, the second - at 23-24 weeks, and the third - as early as 16 weeks. It should be noted that a longer keeping of poultry can cause fragility and deformation of the skeleton and negatively affect the quality of meat. Also, during the growth of the bird, you should carefully monitor its health so that it does not get sick.
In most cases, broiler turkeys are raised for high quality meat. Although the ability to lay eggs is also important in this case, it is still secondary. Despite the fact that the eggs of turkeys are quite large, much will depend on the breed of the female, because different breeds have a mass, the number of eggs per year and the beginning of egg-laying will differ significantly.
Pros and cons
Now let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages of breeding broiler turkeys. The fact is that the decision on the purchase and further breeding of such a bird should be made as carefully and balanced as possible, after analyzing all the arguments "for" and "against". The reason is that these birds require the formation of the correct diet and certain care, although everything will depend on the goals of the owner.
If we talk about the advantages of breeding just such birds, then you need to name a few points.
- Dietary characteristics of turkey meat. In terms of organoleptic properties, such meat surpasses any other, including pork and beef. It contains many amino acids, is well absorbed, and also increases hemoglobin levels and will be beneficial for people of all ages.
- Large meat yield from one carcass and its excellent taste.
- The possibility of obtaining huge turkey eggs, which are considered dietary and delicious.
If we talk about the shortcomings, then here we can note:
- serious financial costs for arranging a poultry yard - such a bird requires more room than ducks and chickens;
- the need to purchase more mixed feed and constant monitoring of the quality of the ration;
- long period of growing poultry - up to 6 months;
- late puberty - usually about nine months of age.
At the same time, experienced breeders say that difficulties arise only in the initial stages of breeding, and they are quite easy to overcome. Soon, all financial and labor costs are paid off.
It should be said that under the phrase "broiler turkeys" it should be understood that not one particular breed of birds is represented here. There are several of them, and all of them are united by the possibility of fast growing. This includes the following breeds of turkeys:
- highbridge converter;
- Canadian broad-breasted;
Now let's talk a little more about each of the mentioned breeds of turkeys.
The Hybrid Converter is a peaceful breed that looks rather heavy on the outside. Already at 22 weeks, an individual of this breed will reach a weight of 25 kilograms and will be ready for slaughter. Of course, it can be done in such a way that the individual gains a large mass, but, in the opinion of most farmers, this is no longer very profitable from a financial point of view. This breed is also called Indo-Strauss due to the fact that turkeys can run fast. By nature, birds of this breed are friendly and non-conflicting. They are calm and well trained. Converter meat is an important element of baby food, because it contains a complex of trace elements and vitamins. In particular, it contains the entire B group, selenium and a large amount of protein.
If we talk about the external signs that distinguish this breed, then we should name the following:
- a small head and an enlarged chest;
- a large beak with a red or scarlet growth;
- predominantly white plumage.
Canadian broad chested
Canadian broad-breasted turkeys are among the fastest growing, and are ready for slaughter as early as 6 weeks, when the bird weighs 5 kilograms. The most intense growth is observed until the third month of life, after which the rate of weight gain decreases. For these reasons, birds rarely live longer than 15 weeks.
This breed of turkeys is distinguished by excellent disease resistance and good health. She easily tolerates low temperatures, and a high percentage of fertilization is also observed. Usually the plumage of such birds is black, with a bronze tint. An important feature of the breed will be that the maternal instinct in females is poorly developed, which is why an incubator is needed to breed offspring.
Another breed of broilers is BIG-6. It is considered interesting in terms of rapid weight gain. For 4 months of life, an individual can "grow" up to 20 kilograms. In the opinion of poultry farmers, it is better to choose individuals with white feathers, since such birds have a softer skin and have a better color, which will be important for the attractiveness of the carcass and increase consumer demand. Real birds of this breed have a small black spot in the chest area, which is a peculiar feature of the breed.
Despite the ability to lay eggs with a high rate of fertilization, there is no guarantee of what the offspring will be, and whether the chicks will look like their parents at all. The advantage of this breed is also fast growth and unpretentiousness to what they eat. Big-6 is grown both at home and in poultry farms. If we talk about the appearance, then these birds are distinguished by shiny outer feathers, dense underfills, large wings that allow turkeys to fly, a convex and rather developed chest, powerful muscular legs, and a shallow head.
The Chidon variety came to us from the Netherlands. These turkeys are also characterized by such a rapid weight gain that they are ready for slaughter by the 30th week of birth. The breed has an extremely high meat productivity. Adults can reach a mass of 20 kilograms when it comes to males. Females - up to 10 kilograms. The meat of these turkeys is extremely tender and dietary. Eggs of this breed are also very useful, their female can lay from 90 to 110 in one calendar year.
Conditions of detention and care
Now let's talk about how to keep such birds in order to gain their mass as quickly as possible. After purchasing turkey poults, they should be kept for the first month in an incubator or turkey brooder, and only then transferred to the common area. It should be noted that turkeys can be grown in two ways:
- free grazing;
- content in cells.
The first option will be preferable due to the fact that the birds will have a more nutritious and natural diet, they will not start to fatten up rapidly, and the meat fibers will be thinner. This breeding option will be suitable for heavy and medium subspecies, but lighter turkeys can be kept in cages. Slaughter age will be minimal. Note that in the first months of life, turkeys should be raised especially carefully so that they do not have any developmental abnormalities or diseases.
There are also many requirements for the poultry house; a lot of points should be taken into account when building it. N We begin with the fact that broilers - is not only large, but also powerful beings, but because the foundation of the house must be reliable, and the walls - strong to building collapsed. Also, strong walls will not allow various predators to get inside: rats, snakes, and so on. One bird should be allocated 1 square meter of area. If there is not enough space, this will cause the birds to fight for territory among themselves and, as a result, inflict injuries on each other. In addition, it will negatively affect psychologically, and the turkeys will be poorly oriented in space.
If we talk about temperature, then turkeys should be grown at 18-20 degrees throughout the year. To get large birds, you need to think about lighting. It should be constant so that the length of daylight hours is about 14-15 hours a day. Also, a source of not only artificial but also natural lighting will not be superfluous. For this, you can use large windows. In addition, a walking aviary should be set up next to the poultry house, where chicks should be released more often. Moreover, regardless of the weather. This will significantly speed up the weight gain process.
You also need to think about dividing the space into zones, which is very important for turkeys. For example, there should be a food trough in a separate area. The capacity for it should be selected on the basis that 25 centimeters of its area should be allocated for 1 bird. A rack with containers is also made, where wet food and feed will be poured. There should always be fresh water here.
It is better to cover the concrete base with natural materials. They should be excellent at regulating temperature and absorb moisture well. It is also required to build a roost. It is made of logs, which are rounded at the ends. In addition, the house should have a resting area. It is done in the depths of the structure, where the light does not reach. A waste tray should be installed under the perches to make daily cleaning much easier. Precisely daily, since the ammonia vapors contained in the feces can simply kill the birds while they sleep.
It is imperative to make a walking area in winter, located between the dining room and the bedroom. The most important attributes of this zone will be chalk, pools filled with ash, and shell rock. If it is required to hatch chicks, then it should be determined how this will happen: by laying the females or using an incubator. If using the first option, then you need to equip the area with nests with the following calculation: 1 piece measuring 60x60 centimeters for 4 individuals. Also, the poultry house should have an isolation area where especially conflict or sick birds will be placed. In general, as you can see, there are a lot of requirements for the conditions of keeping turkeys.
Now let's talk about how to feed turkey poults so that their daily rations maximize growth and help them gain weight faster. The first two weeks turkey poults must be fed with a special feed, which is also called "zero". It contains everything that is needed for a young and immature bird's body. After this period, you can switch to mixtures that are made specifically for the chicks. It will not be superfluous to add chopped wheat and oats to your food.
As a delicacy, you can give various mash of bran, yogurt and boiled potatoes. The latter should be cut as finely as possible so as not to clog the airways of the babies.
Chalk, crushed shells and river-type sand will be very useful for turkeys.
By the age of 3 months, they have already formed a diet, which should include the following foods:
- compound feed and oats - 10 percent each;
- corn - 10 percent;
- wheat - 50 percent;
- barley - 20 percent.
It is also necessary to give fresh herbs, which are good for all poultry. Best of all, if it is chopped nettle, green onions, tops of various crops, cabbage leaves, dandelions. And in winter, all this can be replaced with coniferous branches or hay.
As mentioned above, you can breed turkeys using an incubator or a turkey that acts as a brood hen. But usually, farmers prefer to incubate eggs, because hatching will be higher. When laying, the eggs are marked to avoid confusion during hatching.
Turkey poults are bought in special places. The following factors can affect the quality:
- seller's reputation;
- how long has he been doing this;
- conditions of keeping parents;
- the distance of the farm from the client.
It is best to make sure that the transportation of chicks takes a minimum of time so that they do not die on the way.
Consider how exactly you can raise chicks of broiler turkeys.
- Broiler chicks are positioned under the lamp until their feathers are dry and they stand on their own.
- After that, they should be placed in a large box or basket, and maintain a constant temperature of +25 degrees. Each individual must have 15 square centimeters of space.
- Daylight hours should be provided for 14-15 hours, as for adults.
- Chick boxes should be removed daily.
- In the second week, you can already let broilers go outside, giving them a little run in the wild. And every day the time spent in the sun increases.
In general, as you can see, growing and breeding broiler turkeys is a rather complex process that requires patience, knowledge, increased attention to detail, but the result is worth it.
See the following video for tips on raising broiler turkeys.