Turkey farming in Nigeria is now gradually increasing because of the awareness and many benefits derived from rearing turkeys. Turkey supply eggs and can be source of meat and their multi-coloured plumage can be used for decorations. The poultry industry in Nigeria is expanding rapidly and meat and egg production is an important aspect in satisfying the undying needs and wants of the people.
Turkey population in Nigeria
Turkeys in Nigeria are primarily reared for meat or as breeders to produce hatching eggs. They are rarely kept for the production of table eggs though the eggs are edible. The growth of turkey industry in Nigeria has risen to 1.5- 2 million tons per year. This fast growth in the industry was made possible by intensification of production and development of large breeds with standard weights ranging from 15- 17kg for male and 8-10kg for females. Some of these come from homestead.
Breeds and varieties in Nigeria
Most turkeys that are reared here in Nigeria are resultant crossing between the large size and small size turkeys and also the exotic breed which are been imported from overseas but, are now in much circulation across the country.
Economic potential of turkey Production
Turkey production in Nigeria has largely remained at the small holder level due to various reasons ranging from management problems to lack of incentives by the government. There is also obvious lack of information on specific requirement for turkey production in Nigeria which may be attributed to low level of research in Nigeria. Moreso, the lack of interest on turkey production was mainly due to the government policy that liberalized turkey importation since 1977.
But, the trend has changed, due to the imposed ban on importation of turkeys in Nigeria. This has actually given room to young farmers who want to venture into the production of turkeys( Be it local or the exotic breed) which has great potentials in the supply of good quality animal protein/which Nigerians are lacking according to WHO and FAO and high rate of turnover of investment.
Turkey don’t need much market persuasion before you can make them. You can sell as much turkeys has possible within a day with the right market survey
• Turkey farming business in Nigeria is not capital intensive as people imagine it to be. As a young farmer, you can start small
• The more local breeds produce the less the need to import. This will enhance demand and increase supply locally.
• They have high return on investments with the proper knowledge and adequate facilities.
• Turkey are easy to manage in terms of handling and transportation.
• Empowerment, due to self-employment and employing others.
Things to consider when establishing turkey farm
• If the poultry setup is wrong, you will end up losing your birds. (In terms of building orientation, nature of the site and your farm location).
• The poultry should be well protected against predators.
• Maximum hygiene (In terms of keeping your environment and biosecurity measures).
• Proper feeding: to enhance growth and good market return.
• Get your poults(young turkeys) from reputable farms or breeders
• Proper vaccination schedule.