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Management Systems:

Turkeys can comfortably be raised under two systems. These systems are ;

1.      Semi intensive systems.

In this system the turkeys are raised on deep litter and supplemented with concentrates with half of the time left to scavenge on closed runs. The various classes are divided and reared separately. In most cases growers and mature birds are herded half the day. The disadvantage of this system is that turkey flocks are threatened by disease outbreaks and especially where domestic poultry is also reared in the neighbourhood. They may also become a major pest to crop fields. The small breasted turkey love to perch and therefore perches should be provided in housing. Space requirement are 2 birds per square metre for adults and 3 birds per square metre for growers.

2.      Intensive system.

This is where these birds are housed in deep litter open side houses. They are fed on home made rations or commercial broiler type rations. It is important to realise that turkeys on this rations put on weight just like broilers with less tendency to obesity at 6 weeks. Where home rations are used particular attention should be paid to supplement them with minerals and vitamins. Because they are reared in-house care must be taken to prevent disease by putting hygienic measures in place in turkey houses. This includes but not limited to, use of foot baths, vaccination, changing and turning litter to avoid wet spots and rearing different poults batches in separate houses.  Those who deal with or visit domestic chicken houses should never be allowed in turkey rearing units.

Breeding houses should have laying nests (30×30x30 cm) proportionate to the number of laying birds with each nest providing for 4-5 birds.

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