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November 21, 2022

How to Start Your Own Turkey Farm  

Thinking about starting your own turkey farm? You’ve come to the right place.  

The age-old saying of “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is a true one— especially for farmers. As a nationwide lender, AgAmerica works with farmers and ranchers from all parts of the country. And each year, we see more and more exploring new ways to diversify their farm operations. 

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, some might be considering what it would take to start a turkey farm. Turkey farms can be a viable option for ag operators looking to diversify—but it doesn’t come without risk. 

Before you do anything else, follow these tips to get started on your turkey farm business plan.  

Four Ways to Prepare When Starting a Turkey Farm 

1. Do your research.  

Read as much information as possible from reliable sources on starting such an operation. Visit a turkey farm in person if possible. Then you can learn all the tricks of the trade (such as dipping the beaks of each poult, or young turkey, in the water in the pen so they will understand where the water is located). 

Due diligence in turkey farming research also includes identifying risk factors associated with it. Becoming well-versed in poultry disease management, food safety practices, and animal welfare are foundational parts in a successful turkey farm business plan.  

2. Ready all supplies.  

Once you do your research and see how turkey farm businesses operate firsthand, it’s time to get necessary supplies. For instance, your pen will need at least one square foot of space per turkey. You’ll also need a heat lamp to keep chicks warm for their first eight weeks. 

Whether it’s capital for poultry feed, infrastructure, or additional land, assessing supplies secured and needed can help you decide if you need to discuss financing options for your turkey farm with an agricultural lender.  

3. Choose reputable suppliers. 

As with most things, you get what you pay for. Get poults from a reputable hatchery that uses high-grade feed and keeps their water clean. Cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with ag retailers will also be important as your turkey farm becomes more established and could save you money in the long run if you’re able to lock in inputs sooner rather than later.  

4. Plan from start…to finish.  

Speaking of establishing strong relationships with your turkey farm input providers, it’s equally as important to have a reputable and reliable poultry processor ready and waiting when turkeys are ready to be harvested (usually in 22 to 28 weeks).  

While larger processing companies are always an option, you can also explore local butchers in your area as an alternative choice. 

Ready to Begin Your Turkey Farming Journey? 

Once you have a turkey farm business plan in place, it’s time to make sure you have the right support. AgAmerica has extensive experience in helping a variety of agribusinesses grow, develop, and thrive. We know what works, what doesn’t, and how to customize financing in a way that meets the borrower where they’re at now while helping them get to where they want to be.  

Explore what your estimated farm loan payments could look with AgAmerica’s interactive farm loan calculator. 

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