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December 5, 2018

Turkey Farming 101

In honor of the recent Thanksgiving Day gala (and in preparation for the forthcoming Christmas festivities), it seems appropriate to feature some turkey farming facts and fun.

Turkey farming is incredibly popular in the United States. In fact, last year, the average American consumed 16 pounds of turkey. In 2011, 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States. That’s a lot of turkey! Some other fun facts to gobble up: 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving and 22 million turkeys are consumed on Christmas. So, ’tis the holiday to celebrate the bird! Busy turkey farms across the nation really see a boom in business around this time of year.

But fun facts aside, let’s get down to turkey farming business.

What does it take to kick-start a turkey farm?

Well, there are many factors involved, but here are some universal, basic considerations to keep in mind before starting a small or large-scale turkey farming operation.

  • Breed Selection: Be selective about your poults (baby turkeys). Be sure the babies are disease-free. The breed you select will depend on the intention of your ag operation. If you intend to produce turkey meat, you need to select turkeys that have more meat on their bones. If you intend to breed or produce eggs, you should choose an appropriate breed for those purposes.
  • Infrastructure: Will you take the intensive farming route or free range farming route? Generally, it’s best to go free range because the requirements for this setup are minimal. Simply purchase a wooden shelter feeder and be sure the surrounding areas are protected from predators.
  • Feeding: Certain breeds are highly selective about their food. Normal turkeys, however, eat all types of grains and food wastes. An abundance of clean water should be administered at all times.
  • Disease Prevention and Farm Maintenance: Farms should be maintained to avoid some common diseases known to infect turkey populations. Do your research to determine the best practices to avoid typical disease outbreaks.

If you are looking for farmland financing to kick-start your own turkey farm, contact AgAmerica Lending. We know the ins and outs of ag lending and are well-equipped to assess your farm loan options. We offer hobby farm loans to support small-scale operations and more extensive ag loans to finance large-scale operations. Whatever your needs and whatever your questions, AgAmerica Lending is here to help you fulfill your farming dreams. 

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