How to Start a Turkey Farm in Nigeria

Turkey fowl is a poultry bird raised for food. The bird has good commercial value and is delicious. They are either reared for their delicate meat or egg production.
The business is highly lucrative because the production is greatly deficient to the huge Nigerian population. This is the reason why importers smuggle millions of tons of frozen turkey from neighboring countries.
The illegality of the trade is due to the huge profit and customer demand. To encourage local production the federal government has placed a ban on importation of poultry products such as chicken and turkey.
Local farmers are given grants, subventions to boost production. The amount of startup capital depends on the size and scope of the enterprise. You can start a small turkey farm from home with N100, 000 naira.
Why Start a Turkey Farm
  • Turkey meat attracts premium price
  • You can sell turkey eggs
  • 5 months to maturity
  • Low startup capital
  • Government incentives
  • Huge customer base
Business Model
The business model involves acquiring the chicks and rearing the to table size. This involves comprehensive care and feeding till adulthood.
You need adequate capital for food, medication and space. You could rear them in a free range open system or caged.
Sourcing the Turkey
The best place to buy the young birds is from reputable farms in your locality. To find them use yellow pages or conduct a simple search online. You can visit farms in your area to seek advice. Make sure the birds you buy are devoid of illness to avoid losses.
Turkey Breeds
There are many turkey breeds some ideal for farming. You have the royal palm, standard bronze and white Holland. Others include Narragansett, bourbon reds and Broad-Breasted Bronze.
  • royal palm
  • standard bronze
  • white Holland
  • Narragansett
  • bourbon reds
  • Broad-Breasted Bronze
How to Rear Turkey
Once they have grown past the brooding stage they become highly resistant to disease. Some species exhibit low mortality rate and are rugged.
You can then apply the free range system or cage system. The free range is more economical but you don’t get the desired result.
The cage system is more effective because you can control the feeding, medication and heat requirements. The best age to purchase is those that are 5 weeks old.
Things to consider are type of breed, temperature of cage and adequate feeding. Make sure the turkeys you buy are ideal for your business model. Buy prolific layers if you are going into egg production.
De-beak and Clipping Toenails
The birds are very aggressive and would attack and kill each other. They even attack humans and other poultry birds.
To avoid catastrophic loss you need to de-beak and clip long toe nails. The males are especially aggressive so separate them from each other and the female 'hens'.
The birds despite their bravado are easily frightened and tend to stamped each other. This could also lead to multiple deaths. Make sure the cage is properly ventilated and don’t forget to de-worm.
The Cage
Turkeys are large animals so they need adequate space to grow .you need to also consider the height, weight and population.
Cover the floor with saw dust or wood shaving. Make sure you provide adequate heat and secure the cage from rodents.
There are many manufacturers of turkey feed. Major feeds are corn, sorghum, soybeans, millet and rice. Provide feeders to collect the food and provide water. You can give them supplementary feed such as watermelon, fish meal. Hybrid feeds include turkey starter mash, turkey grower mash and turkey finisher.
  • Corn
  • Sorghum
  • Soybeans
  • Millet
  • Rice
  • Watermelon
  • fish meal
  • turkey starter mash
  • turkey grower mash
  • turkey finisher
There are some equipment’s you need to successfully rear turkey. You need a cage, feeders and water trough. Seek the assistance of a qualified veterinarian and supplementary feed suppliers.
The female hen’s could weigh 5.5 to 6 kg while the male Toms 7.5kg. It takes about 4-5 months for full growth. It is possible to make 80% profit on investment.
The major challenge is selling your produce and pricing. Sell to market women, retailers, frozen food shops and neighbors. Use flyers, poster and banners including newspaper publications.
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