GAZIPUR, Sept 26: The turkey bird farming is gaining popularity among youths and housewives in Gazipur. Commercial turkey farms have been developed in Gazipur city area as well as different upazilas in the district. More than 40 turkey farms have been established in the district in the last one year. Besides, many people have started keeping the bird in their houses in small rang.
Turkey is a popular bird in American and Europe continent. This bird was taken in our country as a part of hobby, but within a short time, it got popularity among the countrymen. A number of people, specially youths, started turkey bird farming at different parts of the country. Some youths of Gazipur had primarily begun their Turkey farm in short range, but while they found that it is very profitable business, now they are establishing big farm.
Farmers' sources said turkey farming is more profitable than poultry farms as it takes less space and less risk of diseases. The most profitable turkey farming with short time and short investment has opened the possibility of meeting the economic potential as well as meeting the needs of protein. Farmers said, this bird have become the light of hope in the country's poultry industry. The poultry traders who have worried about the continuation of their farm in the face of losses due to increase the prices of chicken and food, they are now also taking initiatives to set up new farms with turkey birds. However, due to less popularity among country's people about turkey bird as well as marketing problems, this sector cannot be fully developed, say turkey farmers in the district.
Mohammed Shakhawat Hossain, a turkey bird farmer in Sukhondi area of Gazipur city said farming of the bird is suitable for small and marginal farmers as it can be easily grown in an open space or under semi-intensive system with less investment shelter, equipment and management. He said, "I have started my farm with 45 turkey chicks a year ago. In nine months, I started selling chicks and eggs." He said that currently there are 135 big turkey birds, 50 chicks in his farm. He gets 25 to 30 eggs per day. Shakhawat said that many peoples, specially youths and housewives are building farms taking eggs and chicks from him. In everyday, people come from Gazipur city and his surrounding areas to take eggs, chicks and advice about turkey farming. Shakhawat Hossain said that he is selling one piece of eggs at Tk 300 and one day-aged chick at Tk 600. One pair chick of one month old can be sold at Tk 2,200, and for two months, it can be sold at Tk 3,000. He also said that housewives have more interest in establishing turkey's farm.
He said that his farm are getting bigger day by day, despite he primarily started it from his hobby. He said, "Now I am reducing the sale of eggs by raising chicks from the eggs and growing my farm. So far, I have invested nearly Tk 7 lakhs.
Talking to the farmers, it is known that after raising a chick from the egg, an adult turkey bird start laying eggs in seven months and lay eggs for next five years continuously. Chicks can be found heating eggs through a local hen or a hatchery machine. In this case, for hatching eggs in the machine, it would be cost of each egg around at Tk 50.
They said Turkey birds grow very fast in a short time. Currently, every kilogram of turkey meat in the market is being sold at Tk 500 to Tk 550. In five months, the weight of a turkey bird is five to six kgs, whose market value is tk3000 to 3500. Besides, the expenditure of turkey farming is very low. The turkeys eat the same foods that are available in the market for chicken. Turkey bird also eat grass and vegetables. As a result, farmers do not have to depend only on market's food. Besides, it can be kept in an open areas, not like the poultry farm. On the other hand, turkey disease is very rare. As a result, it need less medicines.
However, the farmers said that there is a problem of spreading turkey farming as hatching machine is not available in Bangladesh and turkey farming is not popular among ordinary people. They said, many people do not know about the quality of turkey meat. They just buy the meat from their curiosity. There is another problem of marketing. Turkey farms are developing day by day, it will be problems in the future if the market is not created. Farmers said the government should take initiative for this.
Gazipur Sadar livestock officer Dr. Mohammed Zahirul Islam said, the future of turkey farming in our country is quite bright, because the cost of turkey farming is low and there is no disease. It can be reared in a small place.
He said there is a great demand of turkey meat in the markets, especially in the restaurants. The common peoples are now also interested in buying turkey meat. As a white meat, its quality is superior and it is delicious than any other meat. He said the prices are slightly higher in the market compared to other birds. Dr. Zahirul Islam also said the purchasing power of the peoples has increased than the past so many people are now buying turkeys. In future, its demand will increase further.