Turkey Farming in Nigeria

Small farmers and private individuals can earn good money from turkey farming. Starting the business is profitable because Nigeria has a population of over 150 million turkey consumers.
The bird is a staple in most homes and sold both live and frozen. The magnitude of imports to the country is huge despite an outright ban on such practices.
This is because of the huge profit margin for such frozen products. and the local farmers can hardly fill the demand with the few smiling all the way to the bank.
Why Turkey Farming Is Lucrative
Turkey meat is a delicacy in most meals in Nigeria. The meat is eaten across the country and served as fast food in restaurants and drinking bars.
It is served grilled, boiled, stewed or peppered and fried. The meat is tender easy to eat and quick to digest.
Apart from chicken frozen turkey is the second most consumed meat. The bird is easy to rear, fast growing and attracts premium price.
You can sell them live or frozen to retailers, frozen food dealers or individuals. The live birds attract premium prices than chickens.
Benefits of Turkey Farming
The benefits of turkey farming include high profit margin and huge market. You could achieve maximum yield in 24 weeks with proper farming procedure.
The business is open to investors because local markets are unable to meet the high demand for the birds. It requires moderate investment, proper feeding and healthcare to succeed in the enterprise.
Risks of Turkey Farming
The major risks involved in turkey production include predators such as snakes, rodents and red ants. They are also prone to diseases and illness due to poor hygiene or dirty environment.
Other risks are infection, rapidity of diseases spread and death. The farming area should be properly managed and clean to eliminate the possibility of infection.
The birds need to take appropriate medication and vaccines in their earlier stages of growth. Improper feeding contributes to slow growth rate and fragility of the birds.
Housing Pen
Prepare a brooding area and include a heating source. Heat is very essential for the survival of your day old chicks.
Huddling together indicates inadequate heat therefore study their behavior. Provide adequate bedding by using straw or wood shavings for the floor.
Make sure they have fresh water at selected areas of the pen. Make sure the housing is pest proof with secure fencing and roof.
Feeding the Turkey
To achieve good growth you need to apply intensive feeding. There are 4 types of feed during the growth period.
You have the starter feed for 0-8 weeks and grower feed for 8-16 weeks. At 16-20 weeks feed them finisher feed and roaster diet for 20 week adults. Beak trimming should be done 10 days to prevent picking and cannibalism.
Turkey Farming Feasibility Study
Before launching your enterprise you need to carry out a feasibility study. The study should focus on ideal location and prices of equipment.  Other considerations include feeding, medication and cost per bird.
How to Start a Turkey Business
There are three ways to start the business venture. You could purchase day old turkey, 8 weeks or buy fully grown adults.
The day old alternative is capital intensive and challenging for new farmers. You need the services of a vet or turkey farming expert.
The amount of money you need depends on the number of day old you want. Day old chick’s costs about N450-N500, 8 weeks old hybrid turkey costs N1800-N2000. While fully grown birds cost N15, 000.
Bird Ratio
You could purchase the birds at a 1-3 ratio 1 for males 3 for females. However there is no hard and fast rule so use your own discretion. You need to purchase extra birds to make up for the shortfall.
Rearing Day Old Turkey
To rear day old turkey you need to estimate the total number of birds. A day old bird (2017) costs N450 each so 100 chicks =N45, 000. The cost to feed the day old to maturity could be estimated 2,500 X 100 = N250, 000. Therefore N350, 000 is a fair estimate if you already have appropriate pen.
Breeding Adult Turkey
You can start a turkey business with just N300, 000. Purchase 3 females and 2 males to start a small enterprise. Total costs to purchase the birds are N75, 000 while the rest could be used for feeding medication, pen and water supply. If you breed the adult turkeys within a year you should achieve 40-60 birds.
The first 4 weeks is very crucial in the life of a day old chick. The average mortality rate ranges 6%-10%. Raising them in a confined pen is more successful and controlled than free ranging. It takes about 20-24 weeks for day old chicks to attain full maturity.
Selling the Bird
The birds are in high demand and you could sell them at 24 weeks. One adult turkey costs N15, 000 therefore 100 birds should fetch N1, 500,000.
Health Management
There are many diseases that affect turkey production. Common diseases are Newcastle disease, blackhead and fowl cholera.
Others include fowl pox, Erysipelas, hemorrhagic enteritis. There are also harmful parasites such as ringworms. And the mode of delivering the medication is through vaccination injections and in their drinking water.
Vaccination Schedules
  • 1 day old injected antibiotics
  • 10-14 days coryza
  • 23 days hemorrhagic enteritis
  • 6 weeks Newcastle
  • 7 weeks cholera(M9)
  • 9 and 14 weeks cholera medication.


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