Do you know that rearing turkey or turkey farming business is a good and lucrative business to venture in Nigeria?
We might have been hearing a lot about chicken farming, broilers farming, and layers farming but little efficacy has been placed on turkey farming.
Though some people who might have heard about how lucrative this business is do not really make moves on how to gain and maintain this hidden treasure instead, they rear it seasonally, or for a very short period of time, and then stop.
How about if I tell you that, you can set up a turkey farming business in Nigeria, and make this business as a normal business which can solve your daily needs and still save for futures expenses.
Now, it might be interesting to know that there is no special way to start up a turkey farming business. The same method for rearing broilers or layers can also be used.
How high is the demand of turkey meat in Nigeria?
Or how profitable is turkey farming business in Nigeria?
It might be pleasing to inform you that poultry production in Nigeria is really an advantageous and a profitable business in Nigeria, more than you even imagined.
Since the Federal Government placed a ban on the importation of frozen food, Nigerians have been producing turkey locally to meet the demand of turkey consumers in Nigeria.
Yet, the turkey meat being produced is still not sufficient to those who need it. So, you see, you don’t need to wait for the approaching Esther or Christmas to rear your turkeys; turkey farming in Nigeria needs more investors.
Though, most turkey farmers do complain that after rearing their turkey, it is difficult to find buyer because some buyers might not want to purchase it because of the high price (most times ranging from #10,000- #15,000-#25,000 depending on the sizes or weight) Let me inform you that aside, direct buyers, you can also sell your turkey to those who are into frozen foods or you can process your turkey into frozen food and sell them to local buyers or market sellers, all you need to do is to make a market research to know the prices in other not to differ.
What are the other benefits of rearing Turkey in Nigeria?
Aside just setting up a turkey farm, there few but profitable byproducts which one can gain from rearing turkey;
Turkey Egg; when you rear turkey, you can also gain when the turkey lays eggs, sometimes they might not be in numerous quantity like the popular layer birds which main aim is to produce eggs but at least the quantity it might produce can be a gain .
Know the market prices of eggs in the market and sell your eggs when you have them.
Turkey’s Organic Manure; we all know that the feces of birds can serve as fertilizers for farm crops. Some farmers do prefer this to some chemical fertilizers. Heaps your turkey feces in sacks and sell them to farmers when they come for it.
Hatching of new turkey; Some turkey farmers do hatch the eggs of their turkey to produces new turkey. This prevents them from purchasing new turkeys and they can also sell to other farmers. You can use a hatchery to hatch the bird, if you don’t have a hatching machine, you can pay farmers who have it to hatch your birds or you can manually hatch them with the mother.
Just make sure you prevent the turkey from drinking its egg, (you can de-beak the beck). If you still not sure about the method to use, you can ask a veterinarian for better understanding.
Turkey Feathers; as simple as it might look, turkey feathers are marketable. Some companies purchase them for recycling into fibers for making clothes. While some companies need them for art products like bag, shoes, clothes, hats or other beauty accessories. Know who they companies are and sell them to them.
Steps to follow when setting up a Turkey farming Business in Nigeria
Below are the effective steps to follow when you want to set up a turkey farm or rear turkey in Nigeria;
Plan your business Strategy; every good business should have a plan and so should your turkey farm business. Make a plan for the duration of time you want to rear your turkey, the amount you want to put into it, which includes the feeding, housing, and medication, your estimated gain or loss.
When you look into all these, then you will determine if you really want to enter into this business.
Knowledge of turkey farming; I previously stated that the method which we use in rearing other birds like broilers or layers can be used to rear your turkey but it is also advisable for you to be knowledgeable in turkey farming. You should seek the advice of others farming or most especially the advice of an experienced veterinarian. It aids you in knowing when to administer medication to your turkey.
Building your turkey pens/Housing and fencing; Before you purchase your turkey you should construct a permanent chicken house for them. Keep in mind that the structure another farmer have, may not be suitable for you, you may seek advice from a veterinarian or an experienced constructor.
Items like woven wire fencing, electric poultry netting, metal T-posts or wooden posts can be used.
The essential things you should bear in mind when constructing your turkey farm are;
The turkey pens should be well fenced, tall and strong because as your turkey grows, they become taller and stronger.
Most importantly, the house should be well ventilated to avoid bad odor.
You must have to make appropriate protection from all types of predators and harmful animals such as a rodent, snakes etc…
Make sure there is enough space in the house, considerably the numbers of turkey you want to put per house.
Make the house suitable enough for regular cleaning if possible; using wooden litters is very effective for your turkey farming.
The turkey’s house should have a normal temperature; not too hot or too cold.
Purchasing the turkey feeding and watering equipment for your turkey farm; though this sometimes depends on the type of house you build, some farmers do prefer to mechanize the feeding and watering systems but nevertheless, you can purchase feeder and water trough. You just need to know where and how to position them to avoid the turkey from defecating into their feeder or falling into their watering trough. (Note; And when filling the watering trough with water, do not fill it to the brim so as to avoid any incident that might cause your turkey to fall into the watering trough.)
Purchasing the right turkey breed; there are so many breeds to choose when purchasing your turkey. You should purchase male and female turkeys which will aid in reproduction. You should seek for the breed that produces quality meats, these breeds consumes less feeds and converts these feeds to meat within a short time these can help in reducing the cost and amount of feed. Just keep in mind that you will be starting with a day old turkey (poults).
Examples of turkey breeds are;
- White Holland
- Standard Bronze
- Broad-Breasted Bronze
- Bourbon Reds
- Royal Palm
- Wild bronze turkey
Turkey growth; Basically, when you purchase your turkey, you will be starting with a day old turkey, which is called Poults. It should be kept in a brooder house under suitable temperature (warm condition) for about five weeks.
Note; (for the first week, the temperature should be between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Then slowly lower the temperature as each week passes)
As they grow, the birds will be separated into different houses/pen; one for the males that are usually fast growers and the second pen/house for females, which usually grow slowly. (It all depends on, some farmers may prefer to leave or add them together)
The turkey/birds may stay there till maturity, which is 20 weeks before the farmer can sell them for money or leave them for the production of eggs.
Feeding and watering of your turkey; there different types of feed, we have the;
- Per-appetizer feeds
- Growers feeds
- Layers feeds
- Finisher feeds… and so much more
As the names imply these feeds serve a different purpose for each stage of the turkey growth. It is better you should use local feeds so that the cost of purchasing of feeds will be lower, just make sure that the content of the feeds is nutritious for the growth if your turkey ( feeds with protein nutrient is essential) . You should also measure the quantity of feeds you give your turkey for accountability. You should provide your turkey with adequate water will also contribute to the growth of your turkey. (For example; 2 gallons of fresh water is necessary for one dozen of turkeys).
When do turkeys start producing eggs?
Turkeys do mature after 20 weeks (5 months or 6 months depend on the breed). By then you should decide if you want to slaughter it frozen food or leave it for the production of eggs.
Marketing your turkey; the most important part of a business is marketing your product because nobody will know what you are selling until you let them know. After your turkey is ready, then it’s time to market them or market the eggs.
Other considerable factors when rearing turkey
We have discussed the steps one needs to take to set up a turkey farming business in Nigeria. The other things that should be of concern are;
Capital; setting up a turkey farming business does not really cost a huge amount of money. The only thing that might cost much is the amount feeds and the medication that will be administered to the birds at the early stage to prevent diseases. So do not wait till you have millions, you can startup with any capital you have, gradually, as time goes on, with adequate care and management, your turkey will multiply.
Care/management for your turkey;
Below are the additional adequate care that can be taken when rearing your turkey.
- Keep your birds in healthy, dry and ventilated environment.
- Always change and provide them (turkey) with clean and fresh water.
- Be careful and always check to avoid feeding your birds contaminated or outdated feed. You should keep food and water off the ground to decrease chances of contamination from earthworms.
- Always know when to dispose of the turkey litters/ feces to keep enough space inside the house. Also spray the litter lightly with an oil-base germicide will help to kill or prevent germs.
- Know when to administer a vaccine to your birds; like Lasota, multi-vitamins etc.
- Do not use litters high in bark content or ones that have previously been wet.
- Supply an adequately nutritious diet to the turkey that are laying eggs and use proper incubation and brooding practices or equipment when hatching.
- Keep wild birds, away from your turkey.
- Closely monitor water consumption in poults until they are drinking well. Monitor the turkey if something new or new medication has been added to the water source.
- Separate injured birds until their wounds are healed and will no longer attract the pecking of others in the pen.
- Eradicate or isolate infected birds to prevent it from affecting other birds.
- Once in a while, you should decontaminate housing and incubators with antifungal (that is, after removing the turkey from the house to prevent the antifungal from harming them. Though, there are some antifungal which are harmless to birds.)
- When buying poults, you should purchase them from trusted dealers and you should also check and be certain that they are vaccinated.
- And most importantly, you should keep a close eye on your turkeys; inspect the birds frequently to observe any changes or behavior.
Some common diseases that can be seen in turkey are;
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Fowl cholera
- Fowl pox
- New castle disease
- Turkey coryza
All these diseases are treatable, request for the right vaccine or seek the help of a veterinarian.
Starting up a turkey farming business is not really difficult. If good care is given to the birds, good income will be made from it.
We wish you best of luck in your turkey business.
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