Many beginner poultry farmers are considering breeding turkeys on their farms. First of all, they are attracted by lower competition in this segment and higher profitability of such a business, compared, for example, with keeping and raising chickens. Indeed, a turkey weighs much more than chicken (the weight of a large breed male aged 1-1.5 years can reach 30 kg). With intensive rearing of young animals and multiple picking of the parent herd from one bird, you can get an average of 200 eggs per year and more than 600 kg of meat when feeding offspring. Turkey meat has excellent taste and nutritional properties, it is easily absorbed by the human body and contains a large number of healthy amino acids and high-grade proteins.
However, there are certain points that must be taken into account even at the stage of planning the organization of a turkey farm. The main three problems that you will encounter in the process of work are diseases, food supply and marketing of finished products. In general, turkeys have good health, are resistant to various diseases, tolerate frost and heat relatively well, and are not demanding on the conditions of detention. But all this is true only for adult birds. Poultry, on the contrary, have poor health. Therefore, if you do not have much experience in poultry farming, it is better to start with breeding and raising chickens. Turkeys are not omnivorous birds, quite picky in feed. Although the feed consumption per individual is relatively small (especially taking into account the weight of the bird), nevertheless, the cost of purchasing feed is ultimately very significant, which should also be taken into account when planning.
As for sales, the turkey meat is really tasty and healthy, but so far it has not received such distribution on the Russian market as abroad. In Europe and North America, turkeys produce a large number of different dishes - from smoked meats to pate. In Russia, the first place in terms of consumption is cheaper chicken meat and dishes from it. Although, in general, experts note a positive development trend in this market segment, for turkey poultry producers the issue of marketing their products is very important. If you are ready to spend a lot of effort, time and money to “make your way” to the shelves of retail chains, negotiate cooperation with wholesale companies on mutually beneficial terms, and organize your own retail outlets in the markets in your city and / or region, then your turkey the farm will bring high and stable profits. True, do not forget that the investments in this case will be considerable.
Choose a specialization
First you will need to decide on the specialization of your farm. There are three main options. You can deal with the sale of eggs and chicks, rearing young stock until the commodity age, with subsequent resale, production and keeping of breeding birds. In the first case, if you are going to produce eggs, you will need to complete the herd at the rate of one male for 6-8 females. Turkey reaches the testicular age at the age of 6-8 months. One turkey per year can bring up to two hundred eggs. You can sell both the eggs themselves and young turkey poults. This direction is the most profitable. Experts believe that the most effective implementation of young animals at the age of 3-6 weeks. Given the optimal consumption of very expensive feed and the high selling price of turkeys of this age, the profitability in this case can be up to 50-70% on farms, and up to 100% on homestead farms.
If the areas are limited, experts advise entrepreneurs to engage in the production of daily young animals during the spring-summer period (from March to July). Its cost is determined by the cost of hatching eggs, transportation costs for their delivery and the results of incubation. Moreover, the cost of eggs reaches 85-90% of the total cost. To calculate the cost of daily turkey poultry, the costs of electricity, staff remuneration, the cost of veterinary drugs, depreciation of equipment used and other operating expenses are also taken into account.
If there is sufficient production space and investment, you can do fattening turkey poultry for meat. The main expense items in this case are the purchase of daily young animals and feed. Young growth reaches commodity age by 20-26 weeks. The optimal timing for fattening females is the age of 154 days (20-22 weeks), males - 182 days (26 weeks). During this period of time, females gain up to 14 kg of weight (on average, 5.8 kg), and males - up to 21 kg (on average, 11.4 kg). In these terms of slaughter, the turkey carcass reaches its presentation, and indicators such as the average daily gain in live weight and feed costs per 1 kg of gain are in the optimal ratio. Full evisceration of poultry of this age makes it possible to obtain 60-65% of meat yield from live weight, and half evisceration - up to 80%. In total, turkeys grow up to two years of age, but with further periods of fattening (from 26 weeks), feed costs per unit of production increase sharply, so poultry farmers replace expensive high-quality feeds with cheap ones. The option of seasonal poultry rearing in the spring-summer period with subsequent full sale of products with the onset of cold weather and freezing production for the winter is optimal for the northern regions. In severe frosts, high energy costs lead to a sharp decrease in the profitability of such production and make it unprofitable during year-round operation.
The most difficult, costly and inappropriate for beginners in this business option is associated with the maintenance and breeding of breeding birds. To do this, young animals are selected from the most healthy females and males in the above ratio (one male for 6-8 females). For incubation, eggs of medium size and regular shape are preferred. It is recommended to purchase eggs and young animals not at poultry farms, but at private farms from trusted breeders.
If you already have your own private household, if you are not sure that the business will go, or do not have special knowledge in raising turkeys, you can start with a mini-farm. Of course, in this case it is better not to count on substantial income, but at least you will pay back all your initial expenses and gain valuable experience. To keep turkeys you need a separate, dry and clean room. For turkey poultry, you can even use an insulated barn or sheds on fenced land, if you live in the southern regions. Turkeys tolerate temperatures well up to –10-15 ºC, but experts still advise providing birds with more comfortable conditions for keeping. This primarily concerns young and egg-bearing females. For chicks of the first week, the recommended temperature is 32-35 ºC when placed in cages and 28-30 ºC when kept indoors. Then gradually the temperature drops to 17-20 ºC. As in the case of many other birds, it is most profitable to grow and raise turkeys all year round in regions with a warm climate (southern part of Russia), since in the northern regions in the winter, up to 75-80% of all costs will be associated with heating turkey poultry. Accordingly, the cost of finished products also increases.
The area of turkey poultry depends on the conditions of keeping and livestock of the herd. When birds are kept in cages or enclosures, livestock density standards are up to 15 first month poultry per square meter, up to 10 second month poultry per square meter and up to five birds older than two months per square meter. At the same time, adults should be kept separately from young animals, otherwise they can trample or kill chicks. Regardless of the form of keeping turkeys, it is necessary to exclude any possibility of their contact with wild birds. To avoid drafts, the cells are wrapped in plastic wrap, leaving enough room for ventilation.
The turkey pit must be dry and well ventilated. Ideally, it is better to use a ventilation system that eliminates the possibility of drafts hazardous to the health of the bird. Perches, as a rule, are made of wooden bars with a width and height of about 8-10 cm. They are placed at a level of about 80 cm from the floor at a distance of half a meter from each other. One bird should have about 40-50 cm perch. Nests are equipped at the rate of one for four individuals. They can be placed on the floor or suspended at a low height. A sand bath for sand baths is installed near each nest. When keeping turkeys in the room, it is necessary to equip a walking platform, which is enclosed by a high fence from the net. As experience shows, the more mobile the bird leads, the higher the quality of the meat. The floor in the turkey turkey is lined with hay, shavings or husks of sunflower, while the litter must be changed regularly so that it always remains dry and clean. Do not forget to clean the room and cages daily, wash and sterilize feeders and drinking bowls. This will help to avoid the occurrence of various diseases that turkeys are so susceptible to. For the same purpose, feeders and drinking bowls must be protected from droppings, carefully monitor the nutrition of birds, and prevent stress.
Turkeys, unlike chickens, are quite selective in terms of feeding. The main part of their diet is wheat grain and various flour mixtures. At the same time, they are also given root crops (usually boiled potatoes, as well as carrots and beets), cabbage, dry animal feed, wheat bran, cereals and herbs (corn, barley, millet, oats, alfalfa). Various vitamins and minerals are added to the feed mixtures for the full development of the bird. Turkey is also recommended to add cottage cheese, vegetable oil and salt to the feed. The amount of daily feed intake depends on the age of the bird. Young animals eat about 30 grams of feed, and an adult bird - up to 400 grams. Feeding troughs and drinking bowls are installed in the cool part of the cage or house. Turkeys are fed with fresh clean water. In the early days, young animals are given boiled water at room temperature with a small amount of sugar to improve digestion.
Breeds of turkeys are divided according to the weight of an adult bird. Thus, there are three main forms (or cross):
lungs (females up to 4.4 kg, males up to 9 kg);
medium (females up to 8 kg, males up to 16 kg);
heavy (females up to 14 kg, males up to 30 kg).
On small farms, it is recommended to give preference to light and medium crosses. Heavy crosses are suitable for home maintenance or, conversely, for large industrial enterprises. Specialists, as a rule, recommend to acquire young growth in private farms, but not at poultry farms. Although, objectively speaking, there are cons in the first and in the second case. Birds purchased in industrial enterprises, as a rule, have good immunity and are more protected from various diseases. However, the quality of the breed often leaves much to be desired. In addition, do not count on a large selection of breeds. Private breeders have the opportunity to better monitor the livestock, engage in breeding of various breeds and even breeding work. However, they cannot afford to maintain a stationary veterinary service and veterinarians, therefore, buying young animals in an unchecked farm, you risk acquiring sick birds.
When buying new birds, choose only healthy and active individuals. With any signs of ill health, isolate sick birds from healthy birds in a timely manner. Take care in advance of the availability of drugs on your farm (these include lugol solution, ash liquor, creolin, bleach, etc.). Make arrangements with a good veterinarian.
On small farms, the first twenty days after birth, young animals are kept in cages in a warm room without drafts with constant access to drinking bowls and feeders. Fine gravel is poured into a separate feeder. Three weeks later, the chicks are transferred to a well-ventilated room, letting them out in the warm time for a walk twice a day - in the morning and in the evening.
In large poultry farms, a bird aged 1-4 weeks is kept on the floor under brooders or in cell batteries, and then also released into the house with the possibility of access to walking areas. Bunker feeders and drinking bowls are placed at the level of the back of the bird and gradually raise them as the chicks grow. This reduces feed and water consumption. If feeding troughs and drinking bowls are located on the floor, then turkeys often knock them over, sprinkle feed and pour water from the drinkers.
Recently, a progressive scheme of growing turkeys of light and medium crosses from a day to slaughter using cell batteries has gained widespread popularity. This technology has long been proven to be effective. The content of chicks in cell batteries allows you to optimize the labor costs of maintenance personnel, reduce the cost of expensive feed per kilogram of growth, increase live weight, increase the safety of young animals, make rational use of every square meter of the area of the house. They are metal frames divided into cells. From the ends of the frame are the front and rear racks on which the feed distribution and droppings removal drives are installed. Each tier of the battery is equipped with tape for cleaning the litter. Thus, such a cell battery allows you to automate almost all processes for growing birds - from feeding and drinking to cleaning cells. Thanks to the special design of the mounted hopper feed dispenser, it is possible to selectively dispense feed to feeders of any tier. In this case, a single adjustable dose of feed can be from 50 grams per linear meter to 2000 grams per linear meter. For drinking, a nipple system with droplet eliminators is used.
You can learn more about the method of intensive rearing of turkey poultry in cell batteries on the websites of breeders who offer both raw materials (eggs and daily young animals), as well as feed and all necessary equipment. The use of cell battery technology, as manufacturers promise, allows you to get up to 190 kg of live weight per square meter of usable area. Take into account the fact that cell batteries are generally designed to grow turkeys for up to eight weeks, after which they are transferred to adult bird cages or to a floor holding facility.
Costs and income of a turkey farm
So, we will calculate the main costs of organizing a small turkey farm. Turkey hatching eggs can be purchased from breeders at a price of 50-60 rubles apiece. Daily turkey poults will cost from 100-120 rubles per head. For the equipment of a simple turkey poultry for several dozen, it will take from 0 to 25-30 thousand rubles, depending on the area, condition of the room, the availability of the necessary equipment (drinkers, feeders, etc.). Additional costs associated with the purchase of feed, incubators, veterinary products, salaries for staff, etc. Do not forget about registering your business. The optimal legal form in this case will be a limited liability company or an individual entrepreneur, if you are not going to work on a large scale in the near future. In addition, you will need to obtain documents from the veterinary service confirming the quality and shelf life of your products.
The retail price of turkey meat is 200-250 rubles per kilogram. Of course, it is most profitable from the very beginning to find regular customers, which can be cafes and restaurants, retail chains, as well as various entrepreneurs working in food markets. In addition to meat, you can also sell turkey eggs, which also have various valuable properties and are superior to chicken in many ways. However, here you may encounter certain difficulties that are caused, on the one hand, by the novelty of this product for the Russian market, and on the other, by the high cost of products. Fortunately, turkey poults will not surprise Russian consumers, but few people know that turkey eggs are not only edible, but also very healthy. So this niche is empty and there is no competition in it, as well as demand. But thanks to a competent marketing policy and active ways to promote turkey poultry producers, the situation in this market may soon change for the better. Some turkey farms also sell bird droppings, which is a good fertilizer. Никакой ценности не представляют разве что только перья индеек, которые после ощипывания тушек просто утилизируются.
В зависимости от региона и ряда дополнительных факторов рентабельность бизнеса по выращиванию и разведению индеек может составлять от 60 до 80 %. В случае с небольшими хозяйствами этот показатель редко превышает 55 % (например, если речь идет о семейной ферме, где трудятся родственники, что позволяет значительно уменьшить расходы на оплату труда).Sysoeva Liliya (c) www.clogicsecure.com - a portal to small business business plans and guides