The turkey is a big bird, native to North America. It is distinguished by its white plumage and a bare wattled neck and head. The name turkey was initially applied to the guinea fowl that was presumed to have originated in Turkey. However, the American turkey is a quite distinct species from the guinea fowl, though the name remained. It was called a”peru” from the 18th century.
There are three stages in Raising Turkeys: the breeder farm, the hatchery and the turkey farm. The breeder farm is the place where the fish lays the eggs. These eggs are collected and sent to the hatchery. In the hatchery, the eggs are stored in special incubators after cleaning. These incubators provide the perfect temperature and humidity levels for allowing the eggs to hatch. Generally, turkey eggs require 28 days to hatch. The baby turkeys, also known as poults, are stored in the hatchery until they are moved to the turkey farms. In the fish, the hen turkeys and the tom turkeys are reared separately. The poults should be fed properly and watched attentively, at least until they shed their down feathers and receive the outer feathers. For this, they are put in climate-controlled barns which have soft flooring covered with straw or wood chips. They are fed on a soft powdered combination of soybean, wheat and corn. Other nutrients such as barley, milk powder, meat meal, lime stone, salt, vitamin premix, methionine, lysine and insoluble grit can also be added. Adequate water must also be supplied.
Today, many advances have been made in the genetics of turkeys. This has helped to increase the size of the bird with lesser feed and in lesser time. The white broad-breasted turkey has been the most common commercially raised turkey strain, since the 1960s. There are also different breeds of this white broad-breasted turkey that are reared in various parts of North America. Turkeys are bred specially to have more meat in the breast and thighs. White feathered turkeys are generally preferred, since they do not leave any ugly pigment spots when plucked.
Turkeys take around 4-5 weeks to grow to full size. Birds less than 8 months of age are referred to as young turkeys. The hen turkeys take 16 weeks to grow completely, and average around 8 to 16 pounds in weight. Larger tom turkeys may weigh up to 40 lbs. These take a couple more weeks to grow. A breeder tom turkey can create up to 1,500 poults in a hen’s six-month laying cycle.
Turkeys are given a balanced diet containing mainly of soybean and corn. This is also supplemented with minerals and vitamins. A 30-pound tom turkey (man ) needs around 84 pounds of feed an average. The cost of the feed is usually 2/3 of the complete price. The use of hormones for Raising Turkeys is prohibited. The amount of antibiotics to be given and the withdrawal period are determined by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service). The turkey’s wellbeing is scrutinized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other state systems, and it might also be graded for quality. Turkeys that have been on antibiotics aren’t permitted to be processed for sometime until the residue of this medication has eliminated from the body. Turkey farms are generally comfortable, providing shelter from harsh weather, predators, and disease.