I know it’s September, but don’t let stand in the way of you making some cash. Everyone looks for turkeys during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They rush to make sure they get the biggest and fattest bird.
This doesn’t come cheap. When you have to cater to your family, extended family and relatives, then sometimes you do wish you had your own birds at home.
Holding that thought, it is actually possible to rare turkeys and make some cash during the holiday season. If you hadn’t planned on it, now it could be the time. Maybe after that, you might consider doing it on a regular basis.
To most people, turkeys are farm animals. This is not all true. Turkeys can be bred in a home garden and also make money out of it.
Types of Turkeys
To begin with, you need to know the genetics of turkeys. There are different breeds and you should select a breed that suits your requirement. Take into account the climate and the zone you live in.
First you need to get turkeys that are healthy and disease free from a breeder or opt for eggs.
In the event you decide to get live birds, going to a vet and having them checked would be a good thing. Getting them checked can help avoid any major losses and detect any issues before you bring them home.
Some people prefer live birds than wait for eggs to hatch. Specially if you want to make some extra cash then waiting for eggs to hatch and having chicks. This takes time.
It is also imperative to keep records and have proper management, planning and then start on this venture.
Turkeys start mating as young as five months, so again you need to calculate the months and plan ahead of time. This way you will be ready to sell when the time comes.
Water and food should be in ample supply for the birds. Turkeys need protein of around 30% in their diet and later it can be reduced.
Do your research on the consumption of turkey during the holidays. Plan well ahead so you are able to supply and maybe take a few confirmed orders. It’s not only about the turkey eggs and meat. Turkey feathers can be sold for arts and crafts.
Check your local craft shops and maybe you can come up with an ingenious way to present this.
Related: Step By Step For Butchering Chicken
Turkeys are voracious eaters. They will eat anything, this includes the bedding you put for them. Occasionally they can die choking on pieces of blanket. They can also fight and kill each other. Bearing this in mind, it is always best to have feed on hand even though they can forage.
They eat bugs, worms and all other creepy crawlies that give them the added protein. Turkeys don’t have teeth, so you need to add grit in their diet. Little pebbles that you have in the garden is a great way to provide the much needed grit in their diets.
They don’t digest the grit, so no worries about them choking on it. Water should always be in ample supply. It is a vital.
Turkey meat is sold by the pound. You can opt for live bird or the defeathered one.
Maybe you could also talk to your local supermarket or grocer about your venture so you will make extra cash during the holiday season. The supermarkets have the equipment to slice and sell turkey meat.
If you have enough resources and are able to invest in equipment such as slicing, vacuum packing and freezing, you can make that extra cash by selling the final product. Be creative and look around for new ideas.
With all the pollution, chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones shoved down poultry, people are more attracted to buying free range meats. There is a good market for homegrown produce. More people prefer a farmers market than expensive air-conditioned supermarkets that sell poison.
One important point to remember is: don’t depend a hundred percent on letting your turkeys forage. They are vacuums when it comes to foraging. always keep feed on hand.
Turkeys can become quite large plump and fat. Specially during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we all know that people look for the big plump muscular turkey.
Do your homework before you buy live birds. Check with the breeder. Make sure the breeder has a good reputation. Visit turkey farms so you can get an idea of how it is run. Weigh the pros and cons
Have a budget. Don’t cut corners to save money. If you give the turkeys proper food and feed, the birds will grow healthy.
Presentation of the turkey is also important . If you are selling turkey meat, not live birds, make it attractive by wrapping it and presenting it in a way that consumers want to just take it with them. You can always check with friends, family and neighbors on their turkey requirements. It is something that everyone needs during that time of the year.
The holiday season sometimes has turkey in short supply due to various reasons. Weather, sickness such as bird flu all can contribute to this. If I remember correctly , around 2022 there was a shortage of turkey meat in the USA. The shortage was around 20%.
As mentioned, planning and setting the goals to achieve this has to begin in advance. Weigh the birds periodically when you see that they are growing big.
Keep a graph and record the weight. This way you can categorize the birds according to weight. You will get a rough idea of approx. how many pounds the bird will weigh by the time the holiday season arrives. The bigger the bird is, more profit for you.
If you are successful in your venture, maybe it can be done on a regular basis. You will automatically grow a customer base. Good Luck!
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