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Growing turkeys on small farms
Largest meat producers
Turkeys are known among poultry as the largest meat producers. Turkey meat is of very high quality because it contains 30-34% of proteins and essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition. In addition, turkey also contains vitamins from the group B complex, minerals, with a small percentage of fat, so it is suitable for a diet.
The turkey is very suitable for growing in backyards, meadows and pastures.
Little turkeys are sensitive
Inexperienced producers can solve this problem by buying 2-month-old turkeys that have already “burst”, because then the turkeys lose a flake on their head and get red, white and blue skin berries.
Up to 2 months of age, turkeys must be kept closed with an adequate temperature, which in the first days must be 36-38 0C below the artificial hen, in the facility around 26 0C, so that with the increase of turkeys, the temperature decreases by 3 0C every week and at the end of the 6th week. reach a temperature of 21 0C.
That is why small producers usually plan to start growing in the spring.
In addition to the temperature, it is necessary to provide strong light, so that the turkeys can see the feeders and drinkers. Turkeys differentiate the color well, so red corn grains can be added to get used to eating, and to get used to the water, put drops of water on the edge of the drinker, which they will take immediately.
In the first days, the supervision of man-breeders is very important, primarily due to temperature control, as well as the habituation of turkeys to taking water and food, because some turkeys that are progressing poorly should be separated and practically taught about food and water. Special attention should be paid to the mat and it should always be dry and clean, because turkeys are bothered by high humidity.
The space must be well ventilated, and it is necessary to take into account the occupancy of the building. In the first days it is 12 turkeys per 1/m2 of floor area, and later up to 4 heads / m2.
Inadequate housing conditions and nutrition of turkeys in this period can lead to cannibalism.
The first food for turkeys should be rich in protein (26-28%). It is best to buy a ready-made, balanced mixture, and pelleted food is more suitable than flour.
After the end of this sensitive period, turkeys are more and more resistant and can be released into drains, meadows and pastures, in nice, dry and sunny weather.
They are sensitive to strong sun, so they need a canopy or natural shade from the trees. Until they get used to grazing, give them the same food that they used in their upbringing, and then switch to grain mixtures (corn, barley, sunflower, sorghum).
It is best to graze on land that is drained, dry, with overgrown trees and shrubs. It can also be a garden, but there must be a fence in that part so that the turkeys do not cause damage to vegetable gardens and orchards.
On the pasture of turkeys, they find seeds and insects, which are excellent food for them.
If the grazing is not good, monitor the growth and supplement their daily meals with concentrated mixtures, preferably only in the evening.
It is calculated that the average daily consumption is 250 grams / head, and a total of about 55 kg of fattening food is consumed per head.
Concentrated nutrients should be given with a certain percentage of protein shown according to the scheme in the following table:
Age in weeks – % protein in turkey mix
I – IV – 28%
IV – VIII – 24%
VIII – XIV – 20%
From XIV to the end of fattening – 16%
Fattening of turkeys lasts up to 5-6 months of age with final weights of 6-9 kg, and even up to 20 kg in turkeys, which depends on the hybrid.
If you grow for resale, the producers have found the optimal weight of the cleaned turkey of 4-6 kg, because due to the lack of money, such heads are the easiest to sell.
Also, chack this site about Food Preservation Methods and Guidance