Breeding turkeys is easier said than done. Many people make the mistake of assuming that breeding and caring for turkeys is similar to that of chickens. Well, it’s not. Turkeys are much more difficult to breed and care for.
Before you go into the business of breeding turkeys, there are some things that you need to take into consideration in order that you won’t commit too many mistakes along the way.
First of all, you need to have at least some experience with regards to breeding and caring for fowls like chickens and ducks. If you have been raising turkeys but never tried breeding them, you still have the advantage of learning quickly since you have knowledge in everything except the process of breeding. Breeding chickens and ducks is, of course, a different ball game from turkeys but they have a lot of things in common.
Normally, turkeys are sexually mature by their seventh month of existence. It is recommended that they must be mated immediately when they reach this age to maximize their productivity and to ensure that they produce batches of eggs that are fertilized. You don’t want your turkeys to be laying unfertilized eggs so as your turkeys reach sexual maturity, start with the mating process as soon as possible. Success in breeding turkeys depends a lot on the mating of the turkeys and on the quality of the eggs produced.
The average ratio is that a tom turkey can be mated with as much as ten turkey hens. However, if this ratio is utilized, you run the risk of having your turkey hens produce less fertilized eggs. Thus it is best to use two toms and alternate them during the whole duration of the breeding process or cycle. This will ensure more fertilized eggs from the hens.
Breeding turkeys also involves maintaining and constant monitoring of the health of the hens. The healthier the hen, the more productive it will be. Use canvas saddles on the hens to protect their backs during mating and clip the toe nails of the toms to avoid the risk of them scratching or injuring the hens.
And of course, breeding turkeys isn’t complete without a nest where the hens can safely lay their eggs. Usually, community nests that should at least measure .5 meters deep and .5 meters in width would be enough to accommodate five hens.