Housing Requirements for Turkey

 

General guidelines
  • The shed should be located at an elevated place and it should be well constructed with proper ventilation and drainage systems. The shed should have good flooring that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. Cement floors are preferred for the purpose.
  • Turkeys are generally reared on range or in deep litter system. The advantages of deep litter system compared with range system include excellent protection against predators and adverse weather, lower land cost, low labour cost, disease prevention (soil borne diseases, parasites etc) and convenience of management.
  • Turkey poults grow very rapidly and for the best performance they should never be over crowded. One sq. foot of floor space per poult is required during the first 3-4 weeks and thereafter up to 8th week, the floor space is increased to 1.5 sq. ft per poult. Thus, a compartment of 10x10 ft will be suitable for housing 100 poults up to 4 weeks of age and thereafter, they may be transferred to a compartment of 10x15 ft for further floor brooding until 8th week. From 8th to 12th weeks of age, the floor space should be increased to 2 sq. ft. per growing poult and thereafter until 16th week of age, the minimum floor space allowance is 2 .5 sq. ft per poult. After 16th week onward they require 3-5 sq. ft. per turkey. For small type turkeys, the floor space requirements may be reduced slightly. The smaller floor space can be provided if the birds are debeaked and ample ventilation is provided mechanically to lower the risk of respiratory infection. The floor space is reduced to almost one third under range system since only some shelter is required to protect them from rain and sun.
  • Turkey requires warmer conditions than chickens and a temperature of 950 F should be maintained during the first week of brooding. After this age the brooder temperature may be reduced approximately 50 F weekly until it reached 70 F or are equivalent to the prevailing environmental temperature. Artificial heat may be discontinued during 6th week in winter brooding and 4th week in summer brooding. The proper temperature in the brooder can be known by watching the free movement of the poults in the brooder after one week or so.
References Kerala Agricultural University. 2001. Package of Practices- Recommendations: Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur. .