Friday, August 13, 2010

Turkey Farming in Ng'arua.

A turkey is a large black or white kind of bird that is kept in homes as part of poultry. With good management turkeys are very productive and farmers keep them as a source of income. One can start turkey farming with only one or two turkeys. A female turkey can be reared alone then taken to the male one for mating so that it can lay quality eggs for incubation

A turkey chick can take about 5 to 7 months to mature. Once it matures, it can lay about 7 to 10 eggs for the first time, it gets broody and starts sitting on the eggs for 28 days before they hatch, that is the incubation period for turkeys. A turkey can lay up to a maximum of 15 eggs and sit on them all.

Once a turkey hatches, it is somehow careless about what the chicks’ eats, for proper upkeep of the chicks it is advisable to isolate them from their mother. One is supposed to keep the chicks inside a wire mesh cage and let the mother to just hung around outside the cage because it can eat all the feeds leaving the chicks hungry, her food should be kept separate next to the cage. After 3 months, the mother turkey can start laying again and the process continues.

Feeding the chicks.
The chicks need to be fed on chick mash 3 times a day for about three months, before introducing any other type of feed. In the morning, it is advisable to give them little warm milk before anything else.

 It is believed that milk makes young chicks healthier and hardy to boost their immunity against diseases. After giving them milk you provide them with clean water and feeds as well. Turkeys feed on young plants, maize, any leafy green vegetables, grains etc.

Cleaning their cage
Cages should always be very clean and hygienic to avoid any attack by diseases, it’s supposed to be cleaned very early in the morning using wood ash, alternatively, one can place a sisal rag or nylon instead of sweeping every day. In the evening, one is supposed to let the mother in so that she can cover the chicks and shield them from cold during the night. In the morning the rag needs to be removed and replaced with a clean one. After removing the used sag, place it in the sun so that it can dry and latter on shake if to remove dust. The same route-en is repeated on daily basis, until the chicks are big enough to fend for themselves.

Advantages rearing turkeys.
Turkeys are good because, one can sit on more than 15 eggs depending on the body surface area. They can also sit on chicken eggs, hatch them successfully, and take care of them nicely. During the day, no one can enter the home compound without being noticed because male turkeys tend to be furious and noisy to strangers, it can even attack.

A mature turkey cost up to Ksh 1,500 while a 3 months old chick can cost from 450 to 500 Ksh and the cost of an egg is Ksh 25to 30. With proper management, turkeys can be very profitable. It is believed that turkeys have the sweetest meat than any other meat. Turkeys can also be kept for beauty in the home.

In spite of the positive advantages of turkeys, they also have some disadvantages. They birds can easily be attacked by wild animals especially while sitting on the eggs. They can also be easily stolen especially at night because they can be held and taken away without making noise. They are also very destructive to the crops if not kept in a closed place.

Turkey chicks are also prone to disease like sleeping sickness and pneumonia.

Written by:

Sam Githumbi.
Mobile: 0715147245.



  1. very informative..i like...
    you should provide information on their diseases as well

  2. where can one get a 4 months old turkeys for a start.

  3. Please let me know where market for turkeys is?