Turkey Farming in Kenya is a type of poultry business that is profitable, very easy to rear, manage and control. This article will serve as a turkey rearing guide to those who wish to establish a turkey farm here in Kenya.
You might ask, How profitable is turkey farming business in Kenya? We would say, very lucrative as you can make a whole lot of money from starting a Turkey farm in Kenya. There was a certain time when Turkey like other agricultural products were imported into Kenya in large quantities on a daily basis, thereby reducing sales for Turkey farmers in Kenya who rear turkeys. The ban on importation of turkeys into Kenya by the Government has made the market for turkey farming in Kenya open to local poultry farmers in Kenya who wish to venture into such business.
Before starting a profitable turkey farming business in Kenya, you must first know the basics and probably a turkey farming business plan as it is with other kinds of lucrative farming businesses one can start.
Turkey is a poultry bird or a domestic fowl that is easy to rear. Most people in Kenya prefer to eat Turkey meat to other kinds of meat like goat meat, cow meat, e.t.c because of its soft and delicious nature. Apart from being the most demanded meat in the Kenyan market, it is also the fastest growing poultry fowl you could rear.
Although, turkey rearing in Kenya might seem easy, adequate care must be given to these domestic birds because of their frail nature. On thing about turkeys is that its feathers, fertilized eggs and droppings can all be sold. Turkey are best preserved frozen in a freezer as seen in most frozen food stores in Kenya.
You should also be aware on how long it takes for a turkey to grow into an adult and how long it takes to raise a turkey. According to research, it usually takes 14 weeks and the tom up(male) up to 22 weeks to grow to market weight. As for turkey eggs, incubation period is 28 days.
How To Start Turkey Farming In Kenya
The below tips will guide you on how you can start up a turkey farming business:
1. Get Good Training
It is important that you undergo training and get knowledge about free-range turkey farming business and it takes to start up the business. This will greatly help you to know the best feed for them, to know the best time for them to move around and also the best security for them.
It is essential to know about farming before you can engage yourself in the business, most especially if you have not had the
experience before you can also visit other established turkey farming business and make enquires about everything about the farming business when you must be done all this, it will help you to how to establish your own and how to take proper care of them.
2. Know Your Purpose Of Raising Turkeys
It is very important to determine the purpose of raising turkeys before starting it. Turkey can be raised as a pet or commercially for business. So you need to ask yourself why you should raise turkeys. Do you have the required facilities for raising turkeys? And whether you can easily sell your products in the market and make a profit from it. These are the questions you need to ask yourself to know why you really want to engage in the farming and then pursue it.
Turkey farming is one of the best farming business if have enough facilities required for its growing and marketing. If you already have the experience of raising chickens, ducks, etc. for meat and eggs then raising turkey will be easier for you. Ensure that you the purpose of raising turkey before setting it up, in order to know the right step to take in making it a successful farming business.
3. Buy A Land
Turkey farming business requires a suitable land with enough space that will accommodate the number of birds you intend to raise and also will enable you to practice the free-range turkey farming business also. You have to ensure that there is enough security to prevent your birds from wandering about at the wrong time and wrong place, which will also protect thieves and intruders from your farm.
There are various turkey breeds available, but most of them are not good enough for commercial meat production. For profitable meat production, it is advised that you use some modern turkey breeds that are raised for commercial production. This type of turkey has high level of feed to meat conversion rate. They eat less and transform their feed to meat with a very short period.
The broad-breasted white is a modern turkey breed that is good for commercial production. It produces a lot of meat that is very tasted with flavor. So if you are planning to set up a commercial turkey farming, it is important to go with this turkey breeds such as white Hollands, Broad-Breasted Whites, Standard Bronze and white, etc. Therefore before starting up a turkey farming business, ensure that you decide on the kind of breed you want to rear.
5. Good Housing
Good housing equipped with all the required facilities is very essential for commercial turkey farming production. You have to create a permanent house just like chicken house and also make sure that all the needed facilities are available. It is good to make the fencing of the house high and very strong enough, in order to protect to your birds.
Turkeys are very large in size and can be very strong too. You need to consider the following while making housing and fencing for your turkeys;
i. Ensure that there is sufficient space in the house.
ii. You must that there is proper protection from all types of predators and other harmful animals.
iii. Ensure a suitable ventilation system.
iv. Make sure that there is proper flow of light and fresh air inside the house.
v. Do not allow your turkey to graze in the pasture, until they get to the stage of grazing.
vi. Ensure that you clean the house regularly.
The turkey house should be able to protect them during unfavorable weather conditions such as heavy rainfall, wind, etc. It should be well ventilated, clean, with enough space that will help in controlling diseases and flu-associated with poultry birds.
Turkey farming requires good and nutritious feed that will help in keeping them healthy and productive. So it is important to learnt to properly feed the turkey because it will in preventing problems associated with turkey farming and also reduce the feeding costs. In the first few weeks, they need to consume foods that are rich in protein.
While providing them with nutritious food, it is also advisable to provide them with an adequate amount of clean and fresh water.
7. Prevention Of Turkey Diseases
Diseases and other health problems can be seen in turkey farming like other poultry farming. And sometimes, the turkey might develop some issues and you need to learn how you can prevent the diseases and other health problems before they develop to a major problem. In order to prevent your birds from being infected by diseases, you must ensure the following such as adequate ventilation, good housing, proper flow of fresh air, providing clean and freshwater. It is important to raise turkey separately from chickens and other poultry birds.
Provide enough space for your turkey farming. Ensure that you protect them from predators.
8. Marketing Skills And Strategies
Marketing is very essential part of the business because it is important to know what your customers want and then try as much as possible to satisfy their needs, which may be difficult if you have conducted a good about the product you are venturing into.
Conducting a market research about your business is very essential, in order to know your market target and know what is expected from you and what you should also expect from them as well.
Once you have an understanding of the market you want to venture into, it will be easier for you to create good marketing strategies that will guide your business in the short or long run.
It is also good to monitor your marketing strategies from time to time, in order to remove some strategies that are ineffective and also put in more effort. For commercial turkey farming in Kenya, the turkey is good for marketing from 12 to 20 weeks.
Advantages Of Turkey Farming In Kenya
1. Turkey farming business is not that capital intensive as other animal husbandry businesses in Kenya.
2. Turkeys are easy to rear and manage provided that the right equipment and facilities are in place.
3. The market for selling turkeys are everywhere as the demand for turkey in Kenya is high.
4. The risk involved in turkey rearing is also low when compared to other poultry farming business in Kenya.
Disadvantages A Risks Involved In Turkey Farming
The risks involved in starting a turkey farm includes:
1. Rodents like bush rats, insects like soldier ants and even snakes can be an expensive threat to your turkey farming business as they might eat up the eggs and fowls if not curbed.
2. The emergence of turkey related diseases like bird flu due to Unhygienic poultry could lead to infections which spread faster to turkeys than other poultry animals.
Turkey farming business is a very lucrative farming business you can think of.
It is very nutritious and has a very good taste because it feeds on natural diets. Therefore, engaging in this business will yield more profit to you, if you can follow the steps listed above on how to start up a free-range turkey farming business. It is also necessary to visit other established turkey farming before starting up your own so that you can learn more about the farming business.