How to feed turkeys at home

In order for the bird to remain healthy and develop well, it is necessary to provide it with high-quality, nutritious, varied food, which includes a sufficient amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and microelements. It is worth figuring out how to feed adult turkeys and small turkeys before you start raising these poultry. Breeding turkeys at home requires the farmer to be fully aware of the rules for feeding and keeping poultry. Depending on the purpose that you pursue in breeding, breeds, feeding methods, living conditions differ.

Delicious dietary meat, omnivorousness and rapid weight gain are the main advantages of turkeys, thanks to which the breeding of large poultry is becoming more and more popular. However, this does not mean that you can completely not think about what to feed the birds.

Types of meat breeds

The breeds bred for the sale of meat are most in demand in households. They should have several main features:

  • Massive fleshy body with an attractive appearance for sale;
  • A large percentage of fertilization;
  • Comparative unpretentiousness in the content.

Chicks of such breeds quickly gain weight and begin to lay at a relatively early age.

Bronze broad-breasted

The most common breed is large birds with black-brown plumage, giving off a green-bronze tint. The weight of adult males breaks records - about 14.5 kilograms, in turkeys - up to 8 kilograms. Females begin laying at the age of 10 months. For a year, 1 individual is capable of producing about 100 eggs.The breed is distinguished by high vitality and activity at an early age, a large percentage of fertility.

White broad-breasted

The breed was bred in the second half of the twentieth century - it has improved qualities for breeding. The oval body is complemented by an extended sirloin. The advantage of the breed is the ability to choose the type (cross) for breeding: large (10-25 kilograms), medium (7-15 kilograms), small (5-8 kilograms).The bird adapts well to different climatic conditions, unpretentious in care. From the age of nine months, females begin to lay eggs - they are capable of producing up to 120 eggs per season.

North Caucasian bronze

Outwardly, it resembles a bronze broad-breasted, but has a more elongated body with plumage a couple of tones lighter. The bird is perfectly adapted to the pasture type of walking and feeding.The average weight of females is 7 kilograms, and that of males is 14 kilograms. From the age of seven months, within six months, 1 bird is capable of producing about 80 eggs.

Breeding benefits

Turkey meat is in great demand in the market. It is not as fat as pork, has better taste compared to chicken, is allowed in all religions, unlike beef. Initial financial investments begin to pay off within six months - around this time, the sale of the first large individuals among young animals and eggs begins. And if you sell only half of the flock in the first year, leaving a part for the formation of the parental backbone, the next year you can save on buying chicks.

Delicious dietary meat, omnivorousness and fast weight gain are the main advantages of turkeys.

Features of keeping turkeys

Turkeys are considered unpretentious birds, for the successful breeding of which, however, simple rules must be followed. First of all, they relate to the places of keeping - the poultry house:

  • The size of the room should be added up at the rate of 1 square meter for 2 adults;
  • The room must be well ventilated by natural or artificial means. At the same time, there should be no drafts;
  • House lighting is optional. Enough natural light from windows and one medium-power lamp for night-time operation;
  • It is advisable to cover the wooden floor with hay, regularly changing the litter.
An interesting fact. Turkeys are able to survive even in extreme conditions of low temperatures - down to -10 Celsius they can be safely walked outside. However, inside the enclosure in cold weather, it is better to set the mode not lower than 5 degrees above zero Celsius.

Free grazing will allow the birds to breathe fresh air every day, feed on lush grass and pasture, thereby avoiding many diseases. It is enough to fence a small walking field near the poultry house with an area of ​​at least 1 square meter per adult. With a quality balanced diet in a comfortable room, the bird does not require much movement. Nevertheless, it is better to equip small troughs with sand and ash within the reach of pets so that they can "swim" in them, cleaning the feathers from parasites and dirt.

Feed useful for turkeys

  • grain legumes and cereal fodder (especially oats and buckwheat) provide up to 70% of the protein requirements of birds and at the same time serve as a source of fat;
  • meal and cake are rich in essential amino acids, soybean meal is very close to animal feed in the composition of amino acids;
  • meat and bone, meat, blood and fish meal - the most valuable protein feed, rich in calcium, phosphorus and amino acids necessary for poultry;
  • turkeys receive carbohydrates from fresh and dry green feed;
  • pine, fir and spruce needles serve as a source of vitamin C in winter;
  • hay and straw, as fiber-rich feeds, improve food digestion (small turkey poults can only be given fresh, finely chopped greens as a source of fiber);
  • acorns, nuts, bacon, vegetable oil provide the necessary amount of fat in the diet of birds and make turkey meat more tender and juicy.

Green feed, feed rich in animal protein, sprouted grains and yeast serve as a source of vitamins A, B, E, H. It is very important to ensure that turkeys do not have a prolonged deficiency of these vitamins, otherwise the egg production and quality of eggs will decrease in adult turkeys, and the young will grow poorly.

Video about feeding and features of turkey poults

Meat breeds feeding methods

Fattening differs from the classic feeding of turkeys in that during this period the bird is gaining meat and fat mass intensively. Most often, such a procedure is resorted to in advance of slaughter. There are several methods of feeding.

Forced way

It is based on increasing the daily food volume for 1 bird several times. At the same time, if the turkey stops eating due to satiety, it is fed, independently pushing food into the goiter, but not overfilling it.The forced feeding process is organized gradually. Initially, the individual is weaned from pasture range, leaving in the poultry house. In the final stage, the bird is locked in a large individual cage, restricting movement. The amount of food consumed per day during this period can reach 700-800 grams. Increase the amount of feed given out with an emphasis on proteins and fats. For forced pushing into the goiter, softened food is used, such as mash, rolled into balls of crumbs, so as not to damage the digestive system of the bird.

With this method, a poultry carcass is able to increase the recruitment rate by 2-2.5 times in 2 decades of the month.


The method is similar to forced feeding, but she accepts food voluntarily. In addition, walking is not prohibited with samoklyev - grazing is practiced on the harvested fields of sunflower, wheat and other cereals, melons.

Nutrition is increased by adding grain and wet mash to the diet.

Fattening of adults

The preparation of adults for slaughter differs from the daily exercise of young animals.Since the turkey spends most of the time when fattening in the closed space of the poultry house, it is necessary to provide it with comfortable conditions:

  1. Clean up the floor litter daily by clearing the faeces or replacing it with a fresh one;
  2. Establish regular ventilation to avoid high humidity or heat in the room;
  3. Provide round-the-clock access to clean, cool drinking water - it is better to install the drinker a little distance from the trough so that food debris does not contaminate it.

In order to get the most tender and tasty meat, it is better to carry out intensive poultry fattening 20-30 days immediately before slaughter. Despite the fact that during this period cereals, wet mash predominates in the diet, animals also need to be given green food, such as alfalfa, in order to avoid diseases of the digestive tract.

Feeding small turkeys

Most of all, novice poultry farmers are afraid of the difficulties with feeding small turkey poults. In reality, everything is not so scary: it is enough just to pour the food on paper so that the young animals do not hurt their delicate beaks on a hard surface, to give clean warm water and suitable fresh food.

In the first three days of life, the birds are given a steeply boiled porridge from various grain crops, adding grated carrots, boiled eggs (finely chopped) and greens to it. Feeding is done every three hours, in small portions, gradually reducing the number of feedings. By the age of two months, it is enough to feed the turkeys four times a day.

Feeding is performed every three hours, in small portions, gradually reducing the number of feedings

From the fourth day, you can start feeding with wet mash in fresh milk with the addition of chopped greens. Dairy feed in the first two months of life is very important for young animals, buttermilk, cottage cheese, reverse, curdled milk will do. Also, in the daily diet of turkey poults, finely chopped greens (dandelion, clover, alfalfa, plantain, nettle) must be present. Chopped green onion feathers are recommended to be fed to young animals in order to prevent intestinal diseases.

With intensive rearing of poultry for meat, feeding turkeys in the first four weeks is based on complete feed with a protein content of up to 28%. Subsequently, the amount of protein in the feed is gradually reduced.

Feeding adults

Turkeys need more vitamins and protein, they are prone to obesity with a sedentary lifestyle

How is turkey feeding different from other poultry? They need more vitamins and protein, and are prone to obesity with a sedentary lifestyle. All this should be taken into account when breeding.

Adult birds are fed three times a day: in the evenings they give whole grain in the form of a flour mixture, and the rest of the time they are fed with wet mash with the addition of chopped green mass. Compound feed for turkeys can be added to mash or given as a flour mixture. Just keep in mind that dry mixtures should be poured into separate feeders in small portions, adding as they are eaten. Cook wet mash for a maximum of 20 minutes before feeding, otherwise they will sour and become unusable.

Turkey feeding videos

Males during the breeding period are reluctant to eat during the day. So that their weight does not decrease, feed them in the evenings with cheese, carrots and sprouted grains, and also introduce more legumes, grain minerals, juicy feeds into the diet. Females at this time are given yeast, sprouted grains and feed rich in B vitamins to improve the incubation qualities of eggs. It will also be useful to add root vegetables, grass flour, red carrots, and combined silage to the diet.

In summer, grazing birds on pasture will allow you to significantly save feed, and the turkeys themselves will find vitamins from fresh greens very useful. In winter, brooms from poplar, birch, acacia, linden, harvested from the middle of summer, can be added to the feed. Brooms can be hung in the house for birds to reach, or they can be rubbed and added to the mash. As a source of vitamin C and carotene in winter, pine and spruce needles are added to the mash, chopped as finely as possible immediately before feeding.

Material updated on 07.02.2018

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How to feed your turkeys for weight gain?

How to feed turkeys to gain weight? This is the main question that concerns poultry farmers and household owners. This topic is diverse and requires patience and detailed study. Of course, there are many nuances that provide healthy, full growth to turkey poults. Let's talk about them.

A healthy turkey normally weighs between 11 and 20 kg. Females - from 9 to 11 kg, but sometimes this figure increases depending on the breed. By sticking to the correct diet, you can fatten birds to more weight. To help the birds gain weight well, they are fed a variety of nutritious and balanced foods.... So you can protect yourself from the loss of chicks and raise healthy galgans.

Breed selection

For home breeding, breeders often choose representatives of the following types of breeds:

  • Meat... They are distinguished by their large size and average egg production. Females of meat breeds are recognized as good brood hens.
  • Egg... They have a small mass - on average up to 2.5 kg, but differ in increased egg production. Among the shortcomings, it can be noted that chickens of egg breeds are often exposed to various diseases.
  • Meat and egg... Not as prolific as egg breeds, but they are heavier and are also excellent brooders. They do not require special conditions of detention and are excellent for breeding at home, since they have a calm disposition and are rarely exposed to diseases.

To breed chickens at home or in the country, you must initially purchase chickens. To do this, you should immediately contact reliable suppliers who sell individuals of productive breeds. The most popular of them can be found below:

Chick survival rate is high - 99%. When walking, they begin to lay eggs from 4 months. Chickens lay large eggs - weighing 70 g.

It is better to purchase a batch of day old chicks at a poultry farm with a guarantee that the livestock is thoroughbred and healthy.

How many turkeys grow for meat

The slaughter age of poultry has an impact on the speed of return on investment. It depends on the breed and line of the cross, as well as on the feeding. Usually, light type turkey poults are slaughtered in 110–120 days, the medium type is slaughtered in 150–160 days, and the heavy type of these birds is slaughtered in 200–210 days.

In industrial cultivation, turkey poults are slaughtered before the age of 120 days, when they reach a weight of 4–4.5 kg. This takes into account that females are actively gaining weight up to 150 days, and males - up to 180-200 days.

Pig fattening periods

The life cycle of pigs from the beginning of fattening to meat production is divided into three stages:

  1. From birth to 8 months. The development of organs, bone tissue and muscles is observed. At this time, the feed that will constitute their nutrition in the next period is introduced into the diet of young pigs for fattening.
  2. From 8 to 14 months. The growth of muscles, bone tissue and the development of organs stops, and an active increase in adipose tissue begins. During this period, the amount of feed in the diet increases, it becomes more nutritious. It is necessary to increase the costs of pumpkin, potatoes, beets and concentrates.
  3. From 14 months to slaughter. The development of organs and bone tissue is completely completed. It is necessary to maintain a normal metabolism in pigs, which is done by introducing proteins and minerals into the diet. However, their number should not be excessive in order to avoid animal obesity. Often, culled individuals are selected for fat formation. After feeding is complete, they gain weight quickly (these pigs are fattened for 23 months).

See also: Premixes for piglets: choose the right one, use it right


Turkeys are colorful, majestic and at the same time, poultry of different sizes. They love space and freedom.... From the first days of life in the turkey community, a hierarchy begins to build.

Turkeys walking in the yard

A brave and cocky male appears and gluttons are already visible - applicants for fattening for meat. In flocks of male turkeys, the right to fertilize female turkeys belongs to only one turkey, which is at the top of the hierarchy.

Variety of meat breeds of turkeys

Growing broiler turkeys for meat production takes place in a shorter time than ordinary turkeys, since fast-growing and actively gaining mass hybrids have been selected for these purposes. The profitability of growing turkeys at home as a business largely depends on this.

Tip: Females of hybrid breeds are slaughtered at sixteen weeks of age, males live to twenty-two weeks.

Growing highbread converter turkeys will bring tasty quality meat in abundance as the breed is a heavyweight. Turkeys grow up to 24 kilograms, females weigh less, only 11 kilos.

Broiler turkeys of the new heavyweight species BYuT 8 weigh 27 kilograms, if they are males, females grow up to 10 kilograms of weight.

Big 6 turkeys have a high rate of weight gain. Turkey meat of this breed is excellent in its taste. Turkeys weigh 24 kilos, turkeys 11.

Broiler universal turkeys are quite viable, the breed is early maturing. Turkeys grow to a mass of 18 kilos, the weight of turkeys fluctuates within ten kilograms.

White wide-breasted turkeys have tasty protein meat with a minimum of fat and cholesterol. Early maturing poultry is one of the best among meat turkeys.

White broad-breasted turkeys are divided into three subspecies. Heavyweights already weigh 7 and a half kilos by the fourth month. Adult males weigh about 25 kilos, turkeys weigh no more than 11 kilos.

The average cross of a bird weighs 5 kilos by three months. Males reach a maximum of 14 kilograms, and females reach 8. In individuals of light cross, by 3 months the weight reaches 4 kilograms. Males manage to reach a maximum of 10 kilos, females only 6.

Victoria turkeys were bred in Russia in the North Caucasus. The regional experimental station for poultry farming is still engaged in the crosses. The vitality and productivity of crosses is higher than that of their parents, there are practically no difficulties with breeding, so it is profitable to deal with them. This is a great option for home growing.

Sexual maturity in males begins at 22 weeks, in Victoria females at 20. At this age, turkeys reach 13 kilograms of weight, turkeys gain a maximum weight of 9 kilos. The shoes are externally characterized by a compact build, well-developed pectoral muscles and legs. The breed has a high fertility of eggs. Chicks mostly survive, are stress-resistant and not capricious in food.

Canadian turkeys reach the largest mass, they can weigh as much as 30 kilos, turkeys are found in weights of 15 and 17 kilos. A white or black bird with a white striped tail has a rather wide chest, the body becomes narrower at the rear. In excited turkeys, the size of the hanging baggy chin of the appendage increases, it can be about 20 centimeters in size.

The Canadian breed grows rapidly up to three months of age. The quality of meat is assessed at the highest level, its tenderness and health benefits are especially noted. The breed is very egg-laying.

Pros and cons of breeding home turkeys

It is known that turkey provides a dietary meat product that does not cause allergic reactions, which is perfectly processed by the intestines. Almost all important vitamins, amino acids and trace elements are concentrated in turkey meat.

The liver of turkeys contains vitamin K and folic acid. Turkey meat needs to be eaten by pregnant and lactating mothers, children, people whose work is associated with high physical and mental stress, athletes.

Taste and dietary qualities of turkey eggs are in third place after quail and guinea fowls, chicken eggs are in fourth place. The downside can be considered a smaller number of applied testicles per year than in chickens.

But some poultry farmers are wary of raising turkeys. A tender age is always risky, not everyone is ready to direct a lot of their attention to the bird and spend time learning the rules for growing and caring for special domestic birds.

Growing turkeys at home for beginners in the first couples can have some difficulties, therefore, compulsory planning of the case, financial costs, ration for birds and other things will be required. It should be borne in mind that you will have to deal with the sale of the farmed livestock. A competent business plan for growing turkeys, drawn up in advance, will help to cope with the work.

Profit can be obtained not only from meat and eggs, but also from down, feathers, from the trade of young animals and newborn chicks.

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