Help with Raising Turkeys
If you are looking for a way to save money on your grocery bill, then raising turkeys may be the answer. Not only will you be able to view them everyday but you also have all the control over what they are being fed. You can make sure that while they are in your hands, they will be properly taken care of and you can also raise organic turkeys.
Any organic foods that are purchased in a grocery store can be extremely expensive. This is because extra care has to be taken to make sure the food is not contaminated. The problem with bigger poultry farms is the amount of turkeys being crowded into one small place. If you only plan on raising turkeys for your family alone, you should have no problem making sure there is ample room for them to roam.
Another problem with large poultry farms raising turkeys is the food they give to the animals. Because the poultry is in such closed quarters, any infected turkey can easily spread diseases to other turkeys. So the farm will feed the turkeys heavily medicated foods to attempt to prevent this. Along with unneeded antibiotics, these feeds contain hormones, steroids and other unhealthy substances. But if you only have a limited number of turkeys and they have a clean place to live and plenty of room to grow, you do not need to feed them the heavily medicated food. So when they are fully raised and ready to harvest they will be considered organic.
Before you start raising turkeys you should make sure you have the extra space and time to deal with the animals. If you follow these rules you shouldn’t have any problem producing healthy, happy turkeys.
You will need to purchase your turkeys as babies. You can get them at any local hatchery. They are low in cost and when you buy them in bulk, you are often given a discount. At first it is a good idea to keep them inside a closed structure until they are old enough to handle any temperature that goes under 80 degrees. A small infant swimming pool is an excellent idea. If the temperature goes below 80 degrees you can use an extension cord with a light bulb plugged into the end for added heat. Dangle the light bulb directly over the turkeys but make sure it isn’t touching anything and that the baby turkeys cannot reach the light.
When the turkeys are old enough to be outside they will still need to be put in a sheltered area. They should have a place to go if there is bad weather but they should also have a fenced in area where they are free to roam. You can use hay to cover the bottom of the cage to make the turkeys more comfortable. Turkeys do not like to sleep on the ground because of their fear of predators. A small counter top should be built within the cage, so that all the turkeys can fit on it and get a comfortable nights sleep.
Always have fresh water and food available for your turkeys. When they are growing they need proper nutrition to make sure they reach an ample weight. During hot weather you may want to change the water twice a day.
Many people choose to let their turkeys run around the property. This is considered a free range way to raise turkeys. The choice is up to the individual but there are things to think about when you attempt to do this. If there are any predators in the area, the turkeys may be harmed or killed. Even by the family dog. Also the free range turkey will be tougher to eat and most certainly have to be boiled instead of baking or frying. Remember that it is not cruel to keep turkeys in their cages, if they have enough room to move.