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Animal Husbandry > Turkey

Feeding

The general management conditions remain more or less same as that for chicken. But due allowance should be given with regard to water, feeder and floor space to accommodate the size of birds. Due care should be taken at the time of brooding. As a rule of thumb turkey poults require, double the space compared to chicken. Turkey poults are also not self-reliant like chicken and hence should be guarded in the beginning. Poults need to be force-fed for the first few days. Feed must be kept under bright light. Sometimes it may be necessary to put coloured marbles in feed and water to attract the turkey poults. Temperament is usually nervous and hence turkeys get panicky at all stages of life. Therefore, due care must be taken to prevent heavy loss.

  • As readymade feed for turkey is not available in the market, ready made broiler feed is given, as turkeys need high protein diet.
  • The average feed requirement ranges from 20 to 25 Kg. per bird up to Six months of age. The feed requirement for the male birds is more than the females as the males are heavier to females. The feed requirement is less where the farmers were feeding some amount of chopped green grasses.

Nutrient requirement of turkeys differ from that of chicken. Turkeys require more of protein, mineral and vitamins than chicken to meet the fast growth. Turkey rations are costlier than chicken rations.

Protein and energy requirement of turkey

Nutrients Age in weeks
0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16-20 20-24 Adult
Energy (Kcal/ kg) 2800 2900 3000 3100 3200 3300 2900
Crude protein (%) 28 26 22 19 16 14 14
(Source: Kerala Agricultural University)

Poults give more trouble than chicken with respect to feeding. The sooner they are fed after hatching better it is. Turkey must always be fed on trough or hoppers and never on ground. The feed hoppers must never be overfilled to avoid wastage.

Feeding and Feed requirement

Turkey requires higher amount of protein, aminoacids, vitamins, minerals as compared to chicken. The nutrient requirement of Turkeys as recommended by NRC - 1994 is as follows:


Nutrient

Age (weeks)

Breeding Hen

0 - 4

4 - 8

8 - 12

12 - 16

16 - 20

20 - 24

ME (Kcal/kg)

2800

2900

3000

3100

3200

3300

2900

Protein (%)

28

26

22

19

16.5

14

14

Lysin (%)

1.6

1.5

1.3

1.0

0.80

0.65

0.60

Methionine (%)

0.55

0.45

0.40

0.35

0.25

0.25

0.20

Methionine +

1.05

0.95

0.80

0.65

0.55

0.45

0.40

Maintaining energy level as specified by NRC is not feasible under Indian conditions, 10% less of all nutrients specified by NRC can be followed under Indian conditions. Readymade feed for turkeys are not available in the market, however the birds can be reared on broiler feed with additional amount of protein source.

  • Use properly designed feeders and control the rats to avoid feed wastage.
  • Keep proper records on feed consumption per bird for each batch.

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