Turkey Farming: Alternative of Chickens

Turkey Farming: Alternative of Chickens

Turkey farming in India can be a great alternative of chicken farming. And commercial turkey farming in India is gaining popularity day by day. Turkeys are suitable for commercial egg, meat production and can be raised as pets. They are very beautiful and help to increase the beauty of your home. For business purpose, turkeys are highly meat productive. But not suitable for commercial egg production. 

They grow faster and become suitable for slaughter purpose earlier like broiler chickens and pigs. Weather and other circumstances of India are very suitable for turkey farming. Turkey farming is very easy like chickens. But you have to learn more about them and their raising system. By proper care and management, you can produce more and generate high profit from commercial turkey farming business in India.

Benefits of Turkey farming

Turkey Farming

As turkey possesses lean meat, its demand in India also slowly picking up. The turkey farming is suitable for small and marginal farmers. As it can be easily grown in free range or under semi-intensive system.

With less investment for shelter, equipment and management. Turkey farming in India can be a best alternative to poultry farming.

The farming with good management is highly profitable farming.

You can Also See;  Breeds of Turkey

Economic Parameters

Title Values
Male - Female Ratio
1:5
Avg. Egg Weight
65 gms
Avg. Weight - Day Old Chick
50 gms
Age at Sexual Maturity
30 Weeks
Average Number of Eggs
80 - 100
Incubation Period
28 Days
Avg. Body Weight - 20 weeks (M/F)
4.5 - 5 Kg / 7-8 Kg
Egg Production Period
24 Weeks
Marketable Age (Weeks) (M/F)
14 -15 / 17 - 18
Marketable Weight (M/F)
7.5 Kg / 5.5 Kg
Feed Efficiency (FCR)
2.7 - 2.8
Avg. Feed Consumption (M/F)
24 -26 Kg / 17 - 19 Kg
Mortality - Brooding Period
3 - 4%

Housing - Turkey Farming

For proper growth and management of turkey, good housing is a must. Both intensive and free range system are suitable for raising turkey. Turkey housing design has similarity with chicken house.

turkey housing

As turkeys are big sized poultry bird so cage rearing system is not suitable for them. Most farmers raise them in deep litter system. You can keep about 250 to 300 turkeys in one acre of fenced land. 

In this system you have to ensure 3-4 square feet space per bird for sheltering during the night. 

Keep the house always neat and clean. Make proper ventilation system. 

And always try to protect them from all types of predators and harmful animals.

  • You must have to make proper protection from all types of predators and harmful animals.
  • Ensure availability of sufficient space inside the house. Generally, 75 feet X 75 feet space is suitable for accommodating for up to 12 birds.
  • Never let the turkeys to graze in the pasture until they reach grazing age.
  • Using wooden litter is very effective for turkey farming.
  • Make sure sufficient flow of fresh air and light inside the house.
  • Ensure proper ventilation system.
  • Enable the house suitable enough for cleaning it regularly.
  • In case of fencing, make it as high as possible. The fencing must have to be at least four feet above the ground.
  • The turkeys far very strong and big than other birds. So, make the fencing with strong materials.

Feeding - Turkey Farming

Feeding healthy and nutritious food ensures proper growth and maximizes production. So, it is very important to feed the turkey well balanced and nutritious food. Generally, the turkeys need about 3.25 kg of feed to gain 1 kg of body weight. You can easily feed your turkeys poultry/chicken feeds that are available in the market. But you have to add some extra amount of protein with the poultry feed. 

Along with providing well balanced and nutritious feed, always try to serve them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water according to their demand.

Care and Management

Proper care and management can ensure better production. Turkeys are like other domestic birds. And they also suffer by various types of diseases and parasites. The most common parasites of turkeys are round worms and fowl mite. Dipping and deworming the birds after a several period can keep them healthy and help them to grow well. 

The turkeys also get affected by various types of fungal, bacterial or viral diseases. Harmful diseases of turkeys are fowl cholera, erysipelas, blue comb disease, coccidiosis, new castle disease, arizonosis, chronic respiratory disease, paratyphoid, turkey coryza, turkey venereal disease etc. Timely vaccination and proper care can keep the birds healthy and diseases free.

Vaccination Schedule

Age of Turkey Name of Vaccine
Day Old
New Castle Disease - B1 Strain
4th & 5th Week
Fowl Pox
6th Week
New Castle Disease - (R2B)
8 - 10 Week
Cholera Vaccine

Turkey Meat and Egg

Turkey egg

The turkey will start lay from the 30thweek of age and its production period is 24 weeks from the point of lay. Under proper feeding and artificial lightening management turkey hens lay as much as 60 – 100 eggs annually. Nearly 70% of the eggs will be laid in the afternoon.

The turkey eggs are tinted and weigh about 85 gms. Egg is noticeably pointed at one end with strong shell. The protein, lipid carbohydrate and mineral content of turkey egg are 13.1%, 11.8%, 1.7% and 0.8% respectively. The cholesterol is 15.67 – 23.97 mg/gm of yolk.

Turkey meat

People prefer turkey meat because of its leanest nature. The protein, fat, energy value of turkey meat are 24%, 6.6%, 162 Calories per 100 gm of meat. Mineral like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc and sodium are present. It is also rich in essential amino acids and vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6 and B12. It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and essential fatty acids and low in cholesterol.

A market study shows that a male turkey sold at 24 weeks of age weighing 10 to 20 kg with expenditure of Rs. 300 to 450 will give a profit of Rs. 500 to 600. Likewise a female will give a profit of Rs. 300 to 400 in a span of 24 weeks of time. Besides, the turkey can be reared in scavenging and semi-scavenging conditions also.

Marketing - Turkey Farming

Turkey farming and meat consuming rate is increasing in India. In proper care and management, a male turkey become suitable for slaughtering purpose within their 24 weeks of age. 

At this age they weight around 10 to 15 kg. Female turkeys take slightly more time and weight less then the male. You can sell your products in almost everywhere. You can choose your local market and some large supermarket in the country.

Commercial turkey farming in India can be a great income source for the existing and new farmers.

Dr. Akash Thakor

Veterinarian