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Broilers are poultry raised specifically for meat production and are therefore distinguished by their early maturity. Broiler meat is especially tender and juicy because it is young. The most popular turkeys for growing at home are boilers of crosses: BIG-6, station wagon, bronze-708, BYuT-8, hidon.
There are no particular external differences between broiler turkeys and ordinary ones. Broilers differ in meat characteristics and some features of the content.
Requirements for keeping broiler turkeys at home
How to raise broiler turkeys at home so that they reach slaughter age productively? They should be provided with the necessary conditions for housing, care and feeding.
Most often, turkeys are sensitive to temperature conditions, so the first condition: the room must be warm - at least 20 degrees. For the same reason, the floor should be covered with hay, sawdust, straw or other suitable material.
All broiler turkeys are afraid of high humidity and drafts: when organizing a turkey house, this must be taken into account. In order for fresh air to enter the room, you need to take care of the ventilation system, which you can do yourself.
Some breeds and crosses of broiler turkeys are photophilous; additional lighting will have to be installed for them.
Turkeys value personal space. If another bird encroaches on the broiler's territory, fights cannot be avoided. Therefore, in one room for 40 turkeys, there should not be more than 5 turkeys. If the content is open-air cage, the ideal situation will be when there is one broiler male and two turkeys in one place. The area of the turkey house should be calculated based on the requirement: square meter per broiler.
To avoid contamination of turkeys at home, the house must be kept clean. Before the first arrival of broilers, and then every spring, the room is disinfected with hot water with the addition of caustic soda. The litter needs to be changed periodically.
A place for walking broilers at home
If the turkeys at home eat a lot and move a little, obesity cannot be avoided, as a result of which the quality of meat will suffer. To prevent this from happening, you need to organize a spacious place for walking. The pasture should be sown with perennial (clover, alfalfa) grass, then, while walking, the turkeys will receive fortified food. Part of the walking area can be sown with useful annual herbs: peas, oats and others. This will also help reduce feed costs.
You can walk broiler turkeys at home not only in the warm season, but also in winter (not in frost and not with strong winds). In cold weather, it is advisable to cover the ground tightly with straw. Provide a shelter for broilers to protect the turkeys from rain and scorching sun. Also, a high fence should be installed around the perimeter of the pasture so that broilers cannot fly over it and escape.
Advice! In winter, some broiler turkeys may not want to go out for a walk. They can be lured out by sprinkling grain on the ground and hanging bunches of dry grass or hay on the fences.
Broiler turkeys at home sleep on perches, so they need to be properly built. It is best to set up perches in the back of the house in the form of an amphitheater: each successive row should be at least 50 cm higher than the previous one. The bottom row should be 80 cm from the ground. The length of one perch is made at the rate of 45 cm per bird.
The roost bars should be thick enough to support the heavy weight of several broiler turkeys. The ends of the logs should be rounded. It is necessary to check that the perches are smooth, without splinters and cracks.
Advice! To facilitate the process of cleaning the turkey poultry, pull-out trays can be provided under the perches.
Many novice farmers are interested in the question: do broiler turkeys lay eggs at home? Of course they do. Only usually females are already allowed to eat meat by reproductive age. It is for broilers that egg production is not the main concern. Nevertheless, nests in a turkey house are necessary, at least - for breeding broiler turkey poults.
You need to place the nest in the quietest, darkest and warmest place in the turkey poultry. To ensure dryness and warmth, a litter is placed on the bottom of the nest. Its condition must be constantly monitored: put in if necessary, cleaned and periodically changed.
The size of the nest should be such that it can comfortably accommodate up to 5 broiler turkeys (more often they do - 60 * 60 cm). It is better to build a roof-slope over the nest - so the turkeys will not sit on it.
The type of socket for installation is selected depending on:
- poultry house area: in one or several tiers;
- number of layers: individual or nest designs;
- financial capability: purchased from suppliers or made by yourself.
Feeders and drinkers
Properly selected equipment for feeding and watering broiler turkeys at home is the key to their rapid growth and health.
When choosing feeders, you should be guided by the following rules:
- The use of the feeder must be safe for farmed broiler turkeys;
- for broiler poults, it is necessary to choose feeders made of rubber or silicone, since chicks are born with soft beaks that can easily be hurt on hard edges or the bottom;
- galvanized feeders cannot be used for dairy products, otherwise, as a result of a chemical reaction, broiler turkeys may get poisoned;
- choose feeders that would provide each broiler with at least 40 cm of personal space, otherwise the turkeys will start to fight (there are cases of death).
- Different feeds should have their own containers. For dry - bunker-type feeders are convenient, for feeding - sectional, for grass or hay - mesh.
- Feeders should be set at the same height as the broiler's back.
- It is required to additionally strengthen the structure so that strong and heavy broilers cannot turn the feeder over and be left without food.
Like any living creature, a turkey at home cannot survive without water. Broilers have a higher fluid requirement than other poultry. Therefore, in the access zone of turkeys, drinking bowls should have fresh and clean water around the clock.
The best of the drinking bowls is the nipple one: firstly, the water in it is always clean and not stagnant; secondly, the broiler turkey receives exactly as much water as it needs; thirdly, water does not accumulate anywhere, which means that turkeys will not be able to spill or spray it. It is better not to install this type of drinker for very small turkeys - for them this design will be quite complicated. For broiler poults at home, a vacuum drinker is ideal.
Just like with feeders, each broiler turkey should have its own place at the watering hole - at least 4 cm.
If simple drinking bowls from improvised means are installed in the turkey house, you should constantly monitor the presence of water in them and its purity. It is also necessary to ensure the safety of broiler turkeys when using the drinker: prevent the container from falling or spilling liquid.
Instead of open containers, it is better to install a vacuum drinker - you can easily make it yourself with minimal cost.
The principle of operation and the manufacturing process of a vacuum drinker, see the video
Feeders and drinkers should be washed, periodically disinfected and, if necessary, replaced.
Caring for broiler turkeys at home
For broiler turkey poults at home, careful, proper care is required, only then they will quickly grow and be healthy.
- temperature regime: not lower than +35 degrees;
- proper nutrition;
- round the clock lighting;
- lack of dampness and drafts;
- prevention of infectious diseases: make sure that the temperature of drinking water is at least 25 degrees Celsius for newborns, and room temperature for slightly grown turkeys; control so that the poults do not get wet; that the litter is clean and bitch; monitor the general condition and appearance of broilers;
- ensuring the safety of turkey chicks at home (according to statistics, the most common cause of death of turkey chicks is their injury);
- providing the opportunity for walks in the fresh air.
Broiler turkeys at home are susceptible to infection with parasites: feather eaters, lice, ticks, fleas, bedbugs and others. Arthropods can live on feathers, skin and inside.
How to determine the presence of parasites in broilers
- The turkey begins to clean the feathers and itch, because he is worried about severe irritation on the skin in the places where the parasites are located.
- Broiler productivity decreases, while appetite increases.
- Visual confirmation: Some parasites can be seen when examining a broiler.
Infected turkeys pose a threat to other healthy broilers, as the parasites can be transmitted from host to host.
Prevention of parasite infestation in broiler turkeys at home
Preventing the appearance of parasites is easier than getting rid of them, so do not neglect the following recommendations:
- Inspect broiler turkeys at home for parasites. For this, several broilers are selected from different parts of the turkey house. During the inspection procedure, there must be enough light so that even small parasites can be seen. Examine broilers' head, legs and anus.
- Periodically, you should check all the structures of the turkey house, as well as the walls and floor, for the presence of blood-sucking parasites, as they can be in the litter, crevices, under the droppings. To determine if there are parasites in the flooring or in the dust, you need to put the material in a white container and inspect there.
- To identify parasites attacking turkeys at night, the check will have to be carried out at night.
- In order for broiler turkeys to clean themselves at home, a box must be installed in the turkey house, into which sand is poured in half with ash.
Prevention of shoots of broiler turkeys
Domestic turkeys can fly at a speed of 20 km / h, as they are obtained by crossing with a wild turkey, the flight speed of which reaches 90 km / h. In addition, turkeys are freedom-loving.
The following methods can be used to prevent broilers from escaping:
- Clipping the feathers on the wings.
- Fastening the wings one to the other (inlay or rope).
- Cauterization of wings in newborn turkey poults.
- Walking broiler turkeys in a fenced area.
Feeding broiler turkeys at home
Since the main goal of growing broiler turkeys at home is to obtain high-quality meat, it is very important to organize the feeding process correctly. Each breed or cross of broilers will have its own feeding scheme. Let's consider the general principles.
Feeding turkey poults at home is required every two hours. Only born chicks are given a mash of crushed millet and eggs. The next day, grated carrots are added to the feed, on the third day - greens (it should be very finely chopped).
Important! Broiler chicks should be given greens daily, but in small amounts, otherwise the chicks may have intestinal blockage.
The freshness of the feed should be monitored: wet food should be cooked no earlier than 20 minutes before the start of feeding and removed half an hour after the feed has been dispensed.
Young broiler turkeys are fed 4 times a day at home. Food should be balanced, fortified and of high quality. The diet includes special feeding. For better grinding of food, fine gravel with limestone is added.
Adult birds are fed: grain, vegetables, grass (fresh - in the season of its growth and hay - in winter), meal, cake, dairy products. As a vitamin or mineral supplement, give: chalk, fish oil, eggshells, yeast, shell.
Some farmers think that the more food you give the turkeys, and the more nutritious the food is, the faster the broiler will grow and be ready for meat earlier. This is not true. With such an organization of feeding, obesity occurs in broiler turkeys at home, which has a bad effect on meat.
Growing broiler turkeys at home is an ideal way to quickly get juicy, young, tender meat.