The turkey is a large bird, native to North America. It’s distinguished by its white plumage and a bare wattled neck and head. The name turkey was first applied to the guinea fowl that was thought to have originated in Turkey. However, the American turkey is a quite different species from the guinea fowl, though the name remained. It was called a”peru” in the 18th century.
The breeder farm is the area where the fish lays the eggs. These eggs have been collected and delivered to the hatchery. In the hatchery, the eggs are stored in special incubators after cleaning. These incubators provide the right temperature and humidity levels for allowing the eggs to hatch. Normally, turkey eggs require 28 days to hatch. The baby turkeys, also called poults, are kept in the hatchery until they are moved to the turkey farms. In the fish, the fish turkeys and the tom turkeys are reared separately. The poults should be fed correctly and watched attentively, at least until they shed their down feathers and get the outer feathers. For this, they are put in climate-controlled barns that have soft flooring covered with straw or wood chips. They’re fed on a soft powdered combination of soybean, wheat and corn. Other nutrients like barley, milk powder, meat meal, lime stone, salt, vitamin premix, methionine, lysine and insoluble grit can also be added. Adequate water must also be provided.
These days, 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 various strains of this white broad-breasted turkey which are reared in different parts of North America. Turkeys are bred specially to have more meat in the breast and thighs. White feathered turkeys are usually preferred, since they don’t leave any ugly pigment stains when plucked.
Turkeys take around 4-5 months to grow to full size. Birds less than 8 weeks old are known as young turkeys. The hen turkeys take 16 weeks to mature completely, and average around 8 to 16 lbs in weight. The tom turkey takes around 19 weeks and weighs anywhere between 16 and 24 pounds. Larger tom turkeys may weigh up to 40 pounds. These take a couple more weeks to mature. A breeder tom turkey can generate up to 1,500 poults at a hen’s six-month laying cycle.
Turkeys are given a balanced diet comprising mainly of soybean and corn. This is also supplemented with minerals and vitamins. A 30-pound tom turkey (male) needs around 84 pounds of feed an average. The expense of the feed is usually 2/3 of the total cost. The use of hormones for Raising Turkeys is banned. Sometimes, antibiotics are also given to turkeys to prevent diseases and to increase feed efficiency. The quantity 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 health is inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other state systems, and it might also be rated for quality. Turkeys that have been on antibiotics aren’t allowed to be processed for sometime until the residue of this medicine has eliminated from the body. Turkey farms are usually comfortable, providing shelter from harsh weather, predators, and disease.