Turkey production is a profitable agribusiness
that is now attracting the interest of farmers, agropreneurs and investors due
to success stories of some turkey raisers. Government effort at curtailing or
stopping importation of frozen foods has further boosted local production in
Nigeria. Turkey is a fast growing bird like broiler chicken hence they are often
raised for meat rather than egg production. The demand for turkey meat is not
only in December but all year round due to its meat quality, quantity and
flavourful taste. Turkey farming is rated number one (1) agribusiness opportunities
for livestock sector. The turkey meat is a premium meat being sought after in
hotels, big events/occasions, restaurants/eateries and big cities. The risk involved
in turkey farming is less compared to broiler farming. Turkey management is not
totally different from other poultry birds’ management. A matured local turkey can be sold for at
N10,000. Four to six weeks poults
can be sold for N2,000 per poults. A
foreign turkey collected by July can be sold by December for N15,000 per one. If you now keep up to 500
poults, you will be making close to N7,500,000
in 6 months.
To start with, it is important to
determine the target market (potential customers) for your turkey products (Poults,
Live Turkey, Processed Turkey or Grilled Turkey) which is part of good business
planning. Note that production is not the first thing in agribusiness but a viable
business plan which can then translate into viable agribusiness. Turkey needs
good housing with proper ventilation like chicken. Deep litter system is mostly
used to raise commercial turkey; semi-intensive system which allows grazing is
also good for turkey production but should be in a fenced environment. It has
been shown that turkey that is allowed to graze or fed with pasture supplement
produce more tasty meat. It is important to note that turkey require more
protein feed than any other poultry birds in early weeks (from 1-6 weeks).Turkey
vaccination programme should be followed accordingly, note that Fowl pox
vaccine is very important for turkey.
Basically, there are three major breeds
of turkey and they are; Local Turkey, Foreign Turkey and Hybrid Turkey (Crossbreed).
They are all good for commercial production however; the foreign turkey has the
greatest ability to convert less feed to more meat in short time (short maturity
period) that does not mean they don’t consume much feed in fact they are very
voracious. Local turkeys are more hardy than foreign turkeys and even good grazer,
in fact they like water leaf and pawpaw. Despite the fact that turkey share
same management characteristics with chicken, they require proper care
especially during brooding because of their fragility and early days sight
problem. Male turkey is called Tom, female turkey is Hen while day old turkey
is called Poult. Breed selection, source, vaccination and good feeding are
critical to turkey business success.
“If you want to get less mortality in
turkey brooding, serve them milk the first day, this has not gone through empirical
study but it works for me. Add some chicks that will allow them eat fast” said Ameachi
John, a poultry farmer in Portharcourt. Another poultry farmer by name Emelone confirmed
that chick addition helps poult eat faster.
Femi also said “I serve them Glucose D
by mixing it with 3 litres of water and provides a very strong lightening. I
also mix them with chicks”
According to Mrs. Oni Helen, CEO, Blessed
Farms, "I always raise turkey with cockerel because they are very smart, they
will be the one to guide the cockerel. If you are raising local turkey, five
(5) hens with one (1) tom is a complete family for multiplication. Never have
two (2) tom with hen, it’s going to be a serious fight between the toms. If
well handled, at maturity within one year the five (5) hens can become 100 or
more. One hen can lay up to 15 eggs and hatch it. Collect the poults and raise
them, then isolate the mother and feed her very well, after four (4) weeks introduce
her to male again and she starts off again".
If you are thinking of setting up turkey
farm, the right time is now and do explore more.
Leave your comment or inquiry below!!!!