Growing up most of us heard stories like, never look at a turkey for a very long time, or never look at it at all because it gets threatened, then it might get aggressive and attack you. There is some truth in those stories by the way, adult turkeys are known to be protective unlike other poultry birds, they can recognize strangers and might end up attacking them. But did the stories also tell you how profitable turkey farming is?
Almost every household in Malawi owns chickens or knows a household that does, but how many of the households or farmers you know keep turkeys for domestic or commercial purposes? Turkey meat is the leanest of all poultry species (www.livestocking.com ) and it is often considered healthier than dark meat because of its lower fat content. With that information, you might wonder why one still can’t find Turkey meat in the meat section of big shops like ShopRite, Chipiku Plus, or Nyama World. Even when you go to our local markets, you cannot find any traders selling turkeys and if you wanted a turkey, you wouldn’t even know where to get it from. Thus it would be universally acknowledged that turkey is a rare bird to find at a community level as well as country level. At Permaculture Paradise Institute (PPI), we testify that turkey farming is one of the profitable types of farming farmers can venture into.
Contrary to what most people might think, it is very easy to practice turkey farming as it is not very different from any type of poultry farming. Caring as well as management practices for Turkeys are similar to most of the poultry birds’. Like broiler chickens, turkeys grow faster and become suitable for marketing processes within a short period, for instance, it takes only 16 weeks for a turkey hen to completely mature. Just like any other poultry farming, one needs to take into consideration the factors which contribute to successful farming production. For instance, the type of breed, feed, housing, and temperature, among other factors.
There are a lot of facts you should know about turkeys, one of them is that they are omnivores! You might start wondering what or how this interesting fact has got something to do with “farming” Well, Turkeys being omnivores means that they can eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. For instance, Turkeys can feed on plants as well as insects. This is one of the reasons why we raise turkeys so that they help us in controlling pests in our gardens. From time to time, we let turkeys feed in specific gardens which are infested with crop-damaging and disease-causing pests, for example, termites, grasshoppers, and bugs. This is an easy and cheap way of feeding turkeys, controlling pests, and preventing crop diseases in a garden. It is also an environmentally friendly method since there are no harmful chemicals that are used.
Farmers or households who practice poultry farming and those considering to venture into poultry farming should consider including turkeys as part of their flock. They will never regret it.
Those who would like to learn more about Turkey farming can visit us here at PPI or contact us through our email address and social media pages.