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Raising turkeys: tips for starting a turkey farm outdoors or in the country shelter. Recommended diet and breeds.
Theturkey(scientific name Meleagris gallopavo) is a domesticated animal for several centuries. Currently there are many breeds, the best one to breed in our climate is theItalian turkey, rustic and resistant.
Why is the Italian turkey the best to breed?
Because it is a medium-small breed that, precisely because of its "unimportant size", has not captured the attention of industrial farms while maintaining its rusticity. Those who prefer a more flashy turkey, could aim for the turkey of the Euganean Hills. Other Italian breeds:
- Italian Chestnut Turkey
- Ermellinato di Rovigo
- Brianzolo turkey
- Black of Italy
Regardless of the breed, be sure to buy hardy, slow-growing turkeys. They are more resistant to diseases in outdoor farming.
THEturkeysthey need ample grazing space. If you are thinking ofraising turkeys outdoors keep in mind that each specimen needs 25 square meters for grazing! This surface may seem excessive to you, but it is used both for feeding and not to burden the turf excessively. Turkeys, like poultry of the same size, produce a lot of manure and adding a number of animals in small surfaces would be inconvenient.
Forraise turkeysyou will need:
- A large area for grazing
- A shelter with perches
- Siphon drinker
- Rack for fresh vegetables and fodder
- Nests for the laying ofturkey eggs
The "chicken coop for turkeys", or rather, the shelter, must be equipped for 50% by perches and for the rest, the surface must be covered with a layer of at least 10 cm of wood chips. The hospitalization room must be well ventilated.
When calculating the amount of perches to add to the "turkey house", make an estimate of at least 35 linear cm for each specimen.
For the litter, new material should be added every week and the wet part of the old litter removed. The siphon drinking trough must be placed so as not to wet the litter.
Raising the American turkey
Raising the American turkey is more difficult. The famous Thanksgiving turkey is alarge turkey. It is known as "American turkey" and is difficult to find. It is difficult to breed because the specimens available are those used in large industrial farms, difficult to adapt for outdoor breeding or in small domestic breeding. In fact, they require very particular environmental conditions and power supplies.
If you can find a American turkey (perhaps purchased at a local farmer's market) you will need to be prepared to administer a large number of meals daily. They need a high protein diet (26-28% protein) and mild temperatures (so they must be placed in sheltered shelters that are well insulated from the cold).
Feeding for raising turkeys
Those who live in a country house may want to raise guinea fowl, goose, pheasant, as well as farmed duck and turkey. All these poultry have one thing in common: they need space for grazing and proper nutrition.
Compared to chicken and the common laying hen, theturkeyit needs a more protein diet. The food mixtures must be integrated with vegetables of various kinds and fresh vegetables.
The diet must be diversified in the various phases of thebreeding. Turkeys should also eat grains such as corn, wheat, barley, oats and millet in addition to the classic turkey feed. Only from the second month of life it is possible to add fodder in the racks, herbs and fresh foods such as vegetables and greens.
Thepastureit must be granted gradually: only when turkeys are two months old can they begin to go out and get used to grazing outdoors. During the summer the females can carry on the hatching naturally.
Turkeys are great grazers: they scratch about insects, worms, larvae… Even when the hours of grazing are abundant and the turkeys use the shelter only to shelter at night, food must never be missing.
A typical diet? It is possible to add 15% soy and 25% game feed to the mix of grains (a typical turkey feed).
In theraise turkeyyou will have to pay attention to excrement. If the turkey is debilitated, inappetent and weak, it is clear that the vet must be alerted. There are, however, some cases in which the disease is asymptomatic and stools can be useful indicators. If a turkey has chronic diarrhea with yellow-green or even blood-streaked discharge, it is imperative to alert the vet. Intestinal parasites can be a real problem, especially for younger turkeys that have not reached the fourth month of age.