Quiz 34: Poultry Breeding, Feeding, and Management Glossary


Turkey is known to be the largest bird in the North America. A male Turkey measures about 4 feet from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. They are known to inhabit open fields or woods. The domestic variety of Turkey is smaller than its wild counterpart. Wild Turkeys have good flight skills. It can fly at a speed of 55 meters per hour. A domestic Turkey cannot fly. A male Turkey weighs about 18 pounds. The females are of small built and not as active as the males. A female weighs about 8-10 pounds. A long neck is common to both males and females. Head is blue and featherless in males. The tails looks like a fan. Males are seen varying colors like iridescent red, green, copper color, gold colored feathers etc. The females are not very attractive and are seen in only two shades -brown or grey. Unusual features : Males do not have feathers on their head and neck. They can change color as per their wish. When they are in calm mood the color is grey. When they are in aggression or courtship, the color of head and neck becomes red. Another peculiar feature is the img Fleshy outgrowth on the throat is called img the one below the chin is called img and the one on the beak is known as img The color of these fleshy outgrowths can keep changing according to its state of mind. The snood is like the ear for the bird. It can sense sound better than the human ear. The perception of the snood is five times more than humans. A cluster of feathers is seen on the chest of a male Turkey. This is called beard. It is very common in males and is called as gobbler.

The classification of turkey and chicken adopts different criteria. The chicken can be classified according to class, breed and variety. Turkey classification uses different criteria like class, breed, grade, type etc. Class refers to a flock of birds that have been raised in the same geographical location. All birds developed in the same area will belong to the same class. There are four major classes of chicken - img Breed is a part of the class. It is a sub category of the class. Birds of same size and shape are put together in one breed. Some important breeds in chicken are - img Variety is again a sub category of the breed. All the birds which have the same color of feathers and similar type of comb come under one variety. Some of the breeds of chicken, the purpose for which they are raised, their comb type and the color of their eggs is tabulated below: img Turkeys are classified into 8 different varieties. But the turkeys used grown for their meat are the white colored turkeys. The 8 varieties of turkey are - Broad breasted bronze, broad breasted white, Beltsville White, White Holland, Narragansett Hybrid Turkey, Royal Palm and Bourbon Red. The two famous varieties of turkey in United States are Small white and Large Broad White. Another way of classification of turkeys is according to their class. As per their class they are classified as img The description of each of these classes is given the table below. img

Turkey is a large bird belonging to the genus Meleagris. A turkey grows on 3 different farms during its life cycle. The requirements are different at each stage of production. And the farm provides nutrition at each of these stages. The three farms are names as breeder farm, hatcheries and turkey farm. Breeder farm : Mature female turkeys are bred by using techniques like artificial insemination. The eggs are collected on a daily basis and stored carefully till they are sent to the hatchery. Egg lying by hens begins when they are 32 weeks in age. They continue to lay eggs till they are 57 weeks old. Hatchery : Eggs from the breeder farm come to the hatchery. The eggs are incubated in the hatchery. Within 28 days of incubation they are hatched. The hatched ones are called poults. And they are vaccinated to protect from diseases. Turkey farm : The poults are removed from the incubatory in the hatchery within 24 hours. They are sold to a turkey farm. The small turkeys which are just few days old are raised in barns. The climate of the barn is totally controlled. The poults are not exposed to extreme weather, diseases or predator animals. Stages of production: The production of turkey bird from the poults involves many more steps as discussed below: Brooding : Day 1 to 6 weeks is called the brooding period. The birds are under close supervision. They are kept in a warm climate. As feathers grow the temperature is brought down from 35 0 C to 21 0 C. The feathers act as insulators. Growing cycle : This phase begins at 6 weeks of age. And it continues till 17 weeks of age. By the time they are 17 weeks old they attain the required market weight. In this manner 3 to 7 flocks are produced in an entire year.

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