Like any poultry, turkeys require increased care and attention in the winter. In the summer, the bird is mainly on the paddock and the green fodder. How to feed and what should be the content of turkeys in the winter, let's look at in more detail.
A turkey is one of the largest domestic birds, so it needs sufficient space, at least one meter per individual. This parameter should be considered for keeping birds in the house in summer and in winter. However, in the cold season there are questions - how to heat the room and what should be the optimum temperature? This is one of the most important moments of turkey winter care.
Room temperature and comfort
Unlike chickens and ducks, a short-term decrease in temperature and even frost up to -15 degrees turkey is easily tolerated. However, they are destructive drafts and dampness. That is why on frosty days, experts advise to keep the temperature within a small minus (-3-5), rather than a plus. In this case, it will be possible to avoid excessive moisture, and hence the development of mold fungi.
One of the most important roles in the winter in the house is litter. The legs of the turkeys should be warm, since there are many blood vessels here, there is no fluff and no protective fat. As a litter it is best to choose either straw or sawdust and peat. Straw quickly absorbs moisture, so it should be changed every 10 days. Sawdust or peat can be perepilat once in three weeks.
Lighting and daylight
If there are small windows in the house, the young bird can be maintained in the winter without additional artificial lighting. If there are no windows, it is enough to turn on the light for 5-7 hours. But a completely different light regime is required by adults. For females and for males it is very important to maintain the length of daylight about 14 hours a day. If it's sunny outside, you can let the birds out for a walk in the afternoon, thereby saving energy.
If you want the turkeys to fly, it is worth gradually increasing the “day”, for example, starting a month before the planned egg-laying. The same applies to males. Cold and darkness affect them extremely negatively, therefore, for a good fertilization of eggs, the long light regime is also important for them.
Since the bird needs more energy to warm it in winter, therefore, special attention should be paid to the winter diet of turkeys. There is no longer just one green or grain, as in summer. In the cold season, turkeys are fed three times a day: in the morning and in the evening dry food (grain, feed), in the afternoon - wet mash. The basis of the winter grain menu is barley, wheat and corn. These grains are rich in fiber, carbohydrates and give a lot of energy.
Be sure that in winter turkeys need to be given succulent feed. It can be shredded carrots, beets, as well as steamed chop of alfalfa or clover. Chopped chestnuts and acorns can be given as a top dressing during the day, about 30-40 pieces per day.
Do not forget about the vitamins that are contained in green plants. Of course, in the winter there is no grass, so the birds collect the gifts of the forest. It can be branches of any needles: spruce, pine. They contain a lot of useful carotene, as well as vitamin C. The branches should be crushed and left in a closed trough for about one hour. Then add to wet mash 10 grams per bird.
As an additional source of carotene and vitamin C, turkeys can be given rowan berries (about 10 berries to one bird). Do not forget to prepare dried brooms in the summer. The most useful and tasty is dried nettle, as well as birch. The leaves can be added to the mash, as well as hung in the usual dry form, like a broom. For example, they let the birds go out into the yard and leave them to be eaten by one broom.
Sand ash bath
Since birds spend most of their time indoors in winter, parasites can be found in feathers. As a preventive measure, do not forget to leave the turkeys ash and sand bath. Like chickens, they also need fine gravel. In a separate trough pour shell, chalk or crushed charcoal.
Turkeys more than any other domestic birds are prone to obesity, so winter walks in the fresh air they simply need. If there are no severe frosts, the bird should walk for at least 2 hours a day. To do this, it is good to provide a small aviary from the south side of the house. Only necessarily on the site for walking, you must first remove the snow. As we have said, turkey legs are very sensitive to cold.
Birds should also receive vitamin D, so if the sun is outside, a walk is required. In warm weather on a dry bedding in the aviary turkeys can spend the whole day. If, for example, you live in a region where there are few sunny days in winter, you should add fish oil to a wet mash, but not more than 2 grams per individual. As you can see, even in winter, turkeys are unpretentious in content. If you are a novice farmer, then you can successfully take care of a couple of dozen birds.