Turkey farming: Giving poultry a run for their money

Staff Correspondent
Thursday, December 28th, 2017


This year, Thanksgiving came earlier than expected for a few people, turkey farmers to be exact. Not only have they been able to sell off their turkey meats in mainstream markets, but they have also successfully managed to rip open a new sector for budding entrepreneurs – turkey farming.


Take the example of one Delowar Hossain, hailing from Shailkupa, Jhenaidah. He started off by purchasing two turkeys for Tk 6000. But now his farm has over 200 turkeys (estimated at Tk 7 lakh as per current market rate,) which he ships to different places in the country, but more so in Dhaka – where the foreign expatriate community is their biggest customer – through fine-dining restaurants and five star hotels.


So far, he has spent about Tk2 lakhs. He has started raising Titir birds or Francolins. Inspired by his success, many have started their own turkey farms in small scale with chicks they brought from Delowar.


Shailkupa upazila livestock officer Golam Mostofa said turkey farming can help people easily become self-sufficient. He said they helped turkey farmers by providing them with necessary information about diseases that can affect turkeys and ways to prevent them.


Turkey depends on natural grass for food. You do not need to pay extra money to get their food. And, turkeys are hardy birds with low susceptibility to disease. The meat quality is great and since it’s mostly cholesterol-free, it’s well accepted worldwide. Considering all these factors, many entrepreneurs have started their turkey farms.


Amir Hossain, another successful turkey farmer from Ashulia, Savar, said that he had started turkey farming 2 years ago with just 21 turkeys. Now he has over a thousand. “I’m following scientific methods with progressive planning to grow them up in cages; different varieties, of course,” added Amir, “If they’re well reared in one year they may weigh up to 10 kg.”


Amir Hossain learned about turkey farming from online, to be specific, from YouTube. He has chosen Facebook to market his product. So, social media has helped him a lot. To remind you all, we still don’t have a large commercial hatchery for turkey. Entrepreneurs have their own and very small incubators, which can’t meet the demand anyway.


“The day-old turkey chicks imported from India do not have the standard we look for; many of those die,” said Amir. If this goes on, a booming industry may fail at the very beginning. The government’s strict monitoring and other assistance would help turkey farming extension fast and make it more profitable in future.

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