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How to Raise Turkeys in your Backyard? Step by Step Process

Detailed Guide on How to Raise Turkeys with Step by Step Process: People are getting more interested in learning how to raise turkeys because of their multi-functional utility. By raising free-range turkeys, you can harvest meat and eggs and the most delicious Thanksgiving meal is a bonus. Raising turkey might seem crazy but requires a very low investment because it is nothing but a big chicken. If you are thinking about ways to raise turkeys for meat or becoming a commercial farmer, you should know the different methods and the right ways to do it.

Raising turkeys is a lucrative business not only because of its multi-functional utility but also as a healthy option to get fresh eggs and meat for your family. Also if you got a hand for it, you can earn a handsome amount by selling eggs, meats, or even selling full-grown turkeys. Some people raise turkeys only on holidays or during the Thanksgiving season because every single family will buy a turkey for dinner. As a result, the price will spike and they can earn more profit by selling the turkeys.

Though turkey is one of the best animals to raise for meat and profit but dealing with a bunch of turkeys can be a matter of headache especially if you are a beginner in this field. Between raising chicken and turkeys there is not much difference apart from some significant concerns.

Before starting your journey with poult, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Buy or Breed Your Own Turkeys
  • The Cost of Purchasing Poults
  • Choosing Turkey Breeds
  • Flock Management
  • Housing Options (Coop, Barn, or Shed)
  • Brooder Area and Environment
  • Breeding Naturally or Artificially
  • The Timing of Hatch
  • Poultry Fencing options
  • Caring of Poults
  • Feeding The Chicks
  • Cost of Raising Turkeys
  • How Long It Takes to Reach Butchering Weight
  • The Right Way How to Raise Turkeys in your Backyard
  • Bedding for turkeys

Breeding your own turkey and raising turkeys from poults requires a particular setup. You need to keep the baby turkeys warm, protected from outdoor elements, and contained in a manageable area. You should use fresh flakes pinewood Shavings as bedding for turkeys. It incredibly absorbent to make messes more manageable and will not cause slipping and injury to your baby turkeys. Ensure well ventilation and lighting inside the coop to keep your turkeys healthy.

Step by Step Guide how to raise turkeys in your Backyard:

How to Raise Turkeys in your Backyard

1. Make a Plan for how to Raise Turkeys:

Before jumping onto turkey farming, you need to plan on several things depending on your climate and housing availability. A turkey takes about 15 to 22 weeks to reach the desired market weight. So you can pick the time of summer to start with raising poult and you will have full-grown turkeys to sell when there is a high demand for them in thanksgiving. Note down the resources you have available and the things you need to buy or arrange before bringing the baby turkeys in. For raising the turkeys in a coop you will need approximately 3 to 4 square feet per bird at least.

The outside space is also required to keep the food and other things. Another important factor is to plan your budget. Determine a fixed budget for the whole season and divide it into subcategories on where to spend how much money. Contract with some local or online suppliers beforehand to provide you the feed ration and supplements from time to time.

2. Choosing a Breed:

If you are a beginner in this and trying to learn how to raise baby turkeys, then knowing about breeds is crucial. One of the initial decisions is to pick one of the breeds that you want to raise on your farm. There is a selection of breeds available, including heritage turkeys and the traditional Broad Breasted type. For meat production, you can raise any one of these kinds.

Heritage turkeys are a little bit smaller in size and defined by their historical origin. These breeds including the Royal Palm, Narragansett turkey, or Bourbon Red turkey are gaining popularity nowadays because they are unique in taste and considered a healthy option. Raising free-range heritage turkeys requires more space as they need to walk freely all around unlike the Broad-breasted ones. If you go for that extra hassle for 4 to 5 months you can sell them at a far higher rate than other turkey breeds.

Broad-breasted turkeys are the modern turkey; the kind you find in the meat section at the grocery store. These traditional turkeys are known for their fast growth, larger size, and high production. Within five months Broad Breasted turkeys can grow between 30 to 50 pounds. It will be your best option if you want to raise turkeys for meat You can raise both Broad Breasted White or Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys commercially for meat production.

3. Brooding Poults:

Like other farmers, if you are starting with day-old poults in the spring, you need to prepare a brooder area just the way you do while raising chickens. The brooding process is similar so you can easily raise turkeys with chickens. The required brooder space per poult is approximately 1 square foot.

Constructing a brooder is pretty simple. Just prepare an area with solid walls made with cardboard boxes, plastic tote, or even an empty water tank.  Hanging a heat lamp is necessary to keep the area warm and suitable for the poults. The temperature of the brooder area needs to be around 95 degrees F. You can slowly lower the temperature by 5 degrees each week for 6 to 8 weeks. Within this time the poults will be fully feathered and you can move them to their larger permanent housing

4. Housing and Fencing Turkeys:

Any turkey breeds can be raised anywhere Depending on how you want to raise them. You can raise turkeys in a coop, barn, shed, pasture, or even fully free-ranged if you have space. Whichever housing option you choose make sure the ventilation process is suitable and the area is protected from other outside elements. For free-range turkeys, you need to be extra cautious because they are more exposed to predators and thieves. Try using fencing options according to your convenience. There are affordable wire mesh fences, wooden picket fences, and even portable electric fences to keep your livestock safe from hunters.

5. Feeding and Watering Turkeys:

With the physical growth of your turkeys, their diet and feeding need also changes. A male turkey requires as much as 1000 pounds and a female turkey requires approximately 60 pounds of feeds by the time they reach the required market weight. If you are raising dozens of turkeys altogether then they will need a minimum of 2 gallons of water per day. So you can build an automatic waterer and a good-sized wooden range feeder with a little shed on top.

6. Preventing Turkey Problems and Diseases:

While raising backyard turkeys you need to learn how to keep them safe, healthy, and free from diseases. To make that happen you need to clean the bedding in timely, give them fresh food and water. The right temperature and environment also play an important in this. Give them sufficient space for their legs and enough roosting space and pasture. Ensure you have given them a vaccine if necessary. Keep the nesting area dry with good ventilation.

7. Processing the Turkeys on the Farm:

With time you might grow an attachment with the folk of turkeys, but the time will come when you have to process them. If you are selling the meat, then you have to slaughter them like the chicken but this time you will need a bigger cone. Make sure the scalding pot has enough space to hold the largest turkey.

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You can also contact some dealer or local super shop, so you can sell the whole turkeys and won’t have to go through the hassle of processing. If you have a plan of continuing the turkey business you can keep one or two male turkeys and a few hens. In this way, the turkey folk will expand naturally and you will be able to breed your own turkey.

Conclusion: How to Raise Turkeys in your Backyard?

With the least investment and maintenance, you can earn a handsome profit from raising turkeys. Throughout this article, we have tried to discuss the step-by-step process of how to raise turkeys from breeding the poults to processing the full-grown turkeys. Hopefully, you have found some inspiration to start your turkey adventure.