Types of Turkeys

There are basically two types of turkeys found in small holder backyards. These are:

1.      The black medium large turkey, with mature females reaching 6-8 kilograms and males(stags) reaching 12-16 kilograms

2.      The speckled or white turkey. These are much smaller birds with mature females reaching 4-6 kilograms and mature male reaching 8-10 kilograms.

Under normal circumstances these two types are found mixed in most small holdings. However the small breasted turkey has higher fertility, productivity and better brooders/ mothers.

Attributes

1.      Highly adaptable birds feeding largely on lash grass, seeds and  occasionally insects

2.      Under same conditions they grow much faster than domestic chicken

3.      They have  a higher dressed weight  of 75 – 80 percent compared to broiler chicken which is 70 percent

4.      Turkey are tastier and therefore have a much better market in the local and regional east African market.