Rules for keeping turkeys in winter
In many private farms today it is not uncommon to see turkeys, which do not cause difficulties in maintenance. Caring for them resembles what is suitable for other poultry, for example, chickens. However, if in summer the birds are content to walk outdoors, keeping turkeys in winter has some distinctive features.
Rules for keeping turkeys in winter
Keeping turkeys in the winter at home requires a spacious room. Given the dimensions of these birds, no more than two birds should be placed per square meter of space.
To house a turkey livestock, poultry houses suitable for chickens, which have enough space and have an attached area for walking birds, are suitable.
Moreover, the room, which will be intended for the winter keeping of turkeys, will have to be heated. There are several ways to do this:
- through natural heating, in which the necessary temperature regime is maintained due to the natural conservation of heat,
- through the use of artificial heating systems.
With natural heating in the premises for growing turkeys in the winter season, it is checked for the presence of cracks and openings that will caulk. The walls of the building must be insulated. At the same time, we must not forget that sometimes natural heating becomes insufficient to ensure proper thermal conditions. In such cases, in the premises where the bird is kept, an electrical appliance and gas boilers, infrared equipment are additionally installed.
Making a comfortable stay
Regardless of the fact that some birds (for example, Siberian Indochka) are able to survive even severe winter frosts, withstanding temperatures up to -15, when caring for turkeys in winter, they should create comfortable conditions that will not prevent them from developing properly and will not affect productive rates of turkeys that carry an egg.
Create a comfortable bird environment
Of no small importance in the winter keeping of the birds are the litter on which they spend most of their time. Warm litter is a thick straw, peat or sawdust layer. To ensure the dryness of the bedding, it is changed:
- with an interval of 10 days - straw filler,
- with an interval of 21 days - peat or sawdust filler.
The minimum allowable temperature limit in wintertime in the room is at least -5 degrees. However, such a degree indicator can only be in cases where the window is lower than -15. In the conditions of such a winter, it is recommended to lower the temperature to -3 to avoid mold due to excessive humidity in the room. In all other cases, in the premises for keeping turkeys in the winter at home, the scale on the thermometer should not fall to 1-3 degrees. This is the most suitable thermal regime for poultry, otherwise turkeys rush much less frequently.
The walking platform for turkeys on the street should be cleared of snow, so the birds have too sensitive limbs, so they often freeze them in the winter cold, which leads to colds.
Walking time at -15 degrees on the street is reduced to one hour. Provided that the temperature regime is more comfortable, the walking period increases to two to three hours.
In order to maintain the necessary illumination, the poultry house, where turkeys are kept in winter, must be provided with proper lighting devices, since the level of illumination noticeably affects the productive indicators of egg production.
In the presence of properly organized natural lighting in the form of windows in the house, such lighting can be limited without resorting to other lighting devices. Natural light is enough to grow young animals. An adult poultry will need at least 14 hours of daylight, so even if there are window openings in the building, additional sources of artificial light cannot be dispensed with.
Principles of winter feed ration
The lack of a green nutritious diet that is common for turkeys during the summer seasons should be compensated for in winter when keeping birds, since turkeys need more energy for wintering, spent mainly on their own warming.
During the winter content of turkey livestock, they switch to three times feeding of poultry; in winter, feeders are transferred under the roof of the house.
The distribution of the feed ration when feeding turkeys in winter is as follows:
- in the morning and evening meals, birds are given cereals and animal feed,
- in daytime feeding for turkeys, mixers and juicy food are given.
Among the necessary food components when feeding turkeys in winter at home should be corn cobs, barley and wheat crops, which contain a lot of carbohydrates and fiber that are useful for turkeys.
As a variety of a leaner winter diet than turkeys than in summer, the menu includes crushed carrots and beets, steamed dried herbs. Coniferous branches, acorns and chestnuts can be used when feeding as a separate feed, or as an additive in the mash.
Responses of farmers who keep turkeys at home in winter are inclined to an alternative option for placing poultry. Instead of the usual for all poultry houses, they adapted to keep turkeys in the winter in greenhouses made of polycarbonate material. Such content has both positive and negative sides. Among the advantages, farmers note the preservation of the thermal regime in the greenhouse, maintaining the required length of daylight in a natural way and the presence of space.
To preserve the floor covering of the polycarbonate greenhouse, which birds often pierce with their beaks, the floor is covered with slate or plywood sheets.
Among the minuses of keeping turkeys in the winter in the greenhouse, some indicate that in greenhouse conditions it often gets wet faster than in a conventional building, and the material itself becomes fragile from frost. On the content of turkeys during breeding in winter, you can watch a frequent video.