Turkey farming is one of the profitable farming businesses to venture into because of lots of profit gotten from it from more than one source which includes its eggs, meat, the feathers and droppings that can be used in the production of organic manure for crops.
This type of farming business may be easier for those that are into poultry business already.
Free-range turkey farming is the type of farming business where the bird's movement is not been restricted to a confined space like their cages but can freely move about at some part of the day.
This kind of farming is open for both those who want to practice commercial farming, as well as subsistence farming.
It helps in making the birds function well in terms of fending for them, feeding naturally, not depending on anyone and also promotes organic farming.
The below tips will guide you on how you can start up a free-range turkey farming business.
1. Acquire Training
It is important that you undergo training and get knowledge about free-range turkey farming business and it takes to start up the business.
This will greatly help you to know the best feed for them, to know the best time for them to move around and also the best security for them.
It is essential to know about farming before you can engage yourself in the business, most especially if you have not had the experience before.
You can also visit other established turkey farming business and make enquires about everything about the farming business when you must be done all this, it will help you to how to establish your own and how to take proper care of them.
2. Determine your purpose of raising Turkey
It is very essential to determine the purpose of raising turkeys before starting it. Turkey can be raised as a pet or commercially for business.
So you need to ask yourself why you should raise turkeys. Do you have the required facilities for raising turkeys?
And whether you can easily sell your products in the market and make a profit from it. These are the questions you need to ask yourself to know why you really want to engage in the farming and then pursue it.
Turkey farming is one of the best farming business if have enough facilities required for its growing and marketing. If you already have the experience of raising chickens, ducks, etc. for meat and eggs then raising turkey will be easier for you. Ensure that you the purpose of raising turkey before setting it up, in order to know the right step to take in making it a successful farming business.
3. Get a Land
Free-range turkey farming business requires a suitable land with enough space that will accommodate the number of birds you intend to raise and also will enable you to practice the free-range turkey farming business.
You can plant grasses or crops in some parts of the land, which will serve as food and shelter source to them and will also attract all kinds of insects.
As free-range farming, you have to ensure that there is enough security to prevent your birds from wandering about at the wrong time and wrong place, which will also protect thieves and intruders from your farm.
4. Choose Turkey Breeds
There are various turkey breeds available, but most of them are not good enough for commercial meat production. For profitable meat production, it is advised that you use some modern turkey breeds that are raised for commercial production.
This type of turkey has high level of feed to meat conversion rate. They eat less and transform their feed to meat with a very short period.
The broad-breasted white is a modern turkey breed that is good for commercial production. It produces a lot of meat that is very tasted with flavor.
So if you are planning to set up a commercial turkey farming, it is important to go with this turkey breeds such as white Hollands, Broad-Breasted Whites, Standard Bronze and white, etc.
Therefore before starting up a turkey farming business, ensure that you decide on the kind of breed you want to rear.
Good housing equipped with all the required facilities is very essential for commercial turkey farming production.
You have to create a permanent house just like chicken house and also make sure that all the needed facilities are available. It is good to make the fencing of the house high and very strong enough, in order to protect to your birds.
Turkeys are very large in size and can be very strong too. You need to consider the following while making housing and fencing for your turkeys;
- Ensure that there is sufficient space in the house.
- You must that there is proper protection from all types of predators and other harmful animals.
- Ensure a suitable ventilation system.
- Make sure that there is proper flow of light and fresh air inside the house.
- Do not allow your turkey to graze in the pasture, until they get to the stage of grazing.
- Ensure that you make the fencing with strong materials, because are very strong than other birds.
- Make sure that your fencing are very high, it is should be at least four feet above the ground.
- Ensure that you clean the house regularly.
The turkey house should be able to protect them during unfavorable weather conditions such as heavy rainfall, wind, etc. It should be well ventilated, clean, with enough space that will help in controlling diseases and flu-associated with poultry birds.
Turkey farming requires good and nutritious feed that will help in keeping them healthy and productive.
So it is important to learn to properly feed the turkey because it will in preventing problems associated with turkey farming and also reduce the feeding costs. In the first few weeks, they need to consume foods that are rich in protein.
You can start with chick starter which contains 28 percent of protein and feed them for the first six weeks, then after you can feed them with grower feed.
The grower feed should have at least 20 percent of protein. The quantity of protein found in turkey feed is bigger than chickens or other poultry bird feeds.
While providing them with nutritious food, it is also advisable to provide them with an adequate amount of clean and fresh water.
About 65 liters of water daily will be suitable for 100 turkeys. Automatic poultry feeder and waterer are good for turkey feeding and also for watering. Make sure you clean the waterer and the feeder always.
7. Preventing Turkey Diseases and Other Health Problems
Diseases and other health problems can be seen in turkey farming like other poultry farming. And sometimes, the turkey might develop some issues and you need to learn how you can prevent the diseases and other health problems before they develop to a major problem.
In order to prevent your birds from being infected by diseases, you must ensure the following such as adequate ventilation, good housing, proper flow of fresh air, providing clean and freshwater.
It is important to raise turkey separately from chickens and other poultry birds. Provide enough space for your free-range turkey farming. Ensure that you protect them from predators.
8. Marketing Strategies
Marketing is very essential part of the business because it is important to know what your customers want and then try as much as possible to satisfy their needs, which may be difficult if you have conducted a good about the product you are venturing into.
Conducting market research about your business is very essential, in order to know your market target and know what is expected from you and what you should also expect from them as well.
Once you have an understanding of the market you want to venture into, it will be easier for you to create good marketing strategies that will guide your business in the short or long run.
It is also good to monitor your marketing strategies from time to time, in order to remove some strategies that are ineffective and also put in more effort. For commercial turkey farming, the turkey is good for marketing from 12 to 20 weeks.
Turkey farming business is a very profitable farming business you can think of. Free-range poultry farming is mostly preferred by the consumers due to its meat and eggs gotten from it.
It is very nutritious and has a very good taste because it feeds on natural diets. Therefore, engaging in this business will yield more profit to you, if you can follow the steps listed above on how to start up a free-range turkey farming business.
It is also necessary to visit other established turkey farming before starting up your own so that you can learn more about the farming business.